Naturally, it was all a smokescreen. Right? “Of interest mainly to fans who endure paying full price for half value, the Browns’ exhibition home opener Friday against Philadelphia was one in which neither team wanted to show much. That was to avoid tipping off their wilier designs before the regular-season opener between the teams in 16 days.
The Browns’ starters, if nothing else, hid their potential thoroughly in a resounding 27-10 loss. The opening quarter, in particular, could have been played at any time since Chris Palmer trap-doored Ty Detmer at halftime in the first game of the 1999 season up to the last, lame days of 2011.” [Bill Livingston/Cleveland Plain Dealer]
Behind the numbers: “Not all of the blame for the Browns’ unsightly performance can be put on Weeden. The offensive line couldn’t handle the speed of the Eagles’ defense and committed four penalties in the first half (left guard Jason Pinkston had false start and holding penalties on the opening drive). Tight end Jordan Cameron had a drop, and wide receiver Greg Little surprisingly pulled up on a catch over the middle.” [Jamison Hensley/ESPN North Blog]
Lipstick and pigs! “The Cleveland Browns’ Pat Shurmur is like many head coaches. He can make the Hindenburg sound like a minor accident. So when he said that nothing good could be taken out of the Browns’ performance in the first half of Friday’s preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles, it’s worth taking notice.
Of course, that was when Shurmur’s first team played in a 27-10 loss to the Eagles. Granted, the Browns showed little against the Eagles, who return to Cleveland in two weeks for the regular-season opener. But there’s quite a difference between playing vanilla and making mistakes.” [Marty Gitlin/CBS Sports]
Oh no, O-Line: “The Browns were timid and slow against the Eagles’ cat-quick defensive line. This was not a good sign considering the Eagles played a game just four nights earlier against New England.
The Browns’ line looked rooted in cement pails. The result in the first half was three sacks of Brandon Weeden and two fumbles (one lost), two false starts and two holding penalties, and a blocked punt of Hodges almost before the ball left his right foot.
Nevertheless, Pat Shurmur, who played offensive line in college, refused to pin the blame on the blockers.” [Tony Grossi/ESPN Cleveland]