May­field sharp as Browns roll over Lions 35-17

The Standard Journal - - NA­TIONAL SPORTS - BROWNS By Noah Tris­ter AP Sports Writer

Even if he doesn’t play again for a while, Baker May­field has given Cleve­land a glimpse.

May­field threw for 138 yards in a dom­i­nant first half for the Browns, who wrapped up the pre­sea­son with a 35-17 vic­tory over the Detroit Lions on Thurs­day night. May­field com­pleted a 41-yard pass to Devon Ca­juste on the first play from scrim­mage, and the top over­all pick in this year’s draft looked sharp through­out his two quar­ters di­rect­ing the of­fense.

“I just think he im­proved ev­ery week,” coach Hue Jack­son said. “I thought tonight, mak­ing plays down the field with the ball, the ac­cu­racy of the ball. Throw­ing the ball away in some key sit­u­a­tions in the scor­ing zone I thought was huge. I think he’s grow­ing ev­ery day.”

With Ty­rod Tay­lor atop the depth chart at quar­ter­back, the Browns are likely to bring May­field along slowly. This was a nice note for the rookie to fin­ish on be­fore the start of the reg­u­lar sea­son.

“Came out fast, we set the tone. Played well early,” said May­field, who made his first start of the pre­sea­son. “We wanted to stress that, and we made sure of that.”

Nick Chubb and Matthew Dayes ran for touch­downs for Cleve­land in what was gen­er­ally a bat­tle of back­ups.

The Lions closed out an unin­spir­ing pre­sea­son un­der new coach Matt Pa­tri­cia. They were booed off the field at half­time by the sparse crowd at Ford Field with the score 25-0.

“We ob­vi­ously didn’t play very well,” Pa­tri­cia said. “We have to do a bet­ter job of coach­ing and play­ing, but the pos­i­tive is that we had some things come up now in­stead of in the reg­u­lar sea­son. That gives us a chance to work on them be­tween now and the first game.”

Jake Ru­dock did lit­tle to dis­tin­guish him­self in the com­pe­ti­tion to back up quar­ter­back Matthew Stafford. When Ru­dock was taken out late in the se­cond quar­ter, the Lions had been out­gained 261-40 and had only two first downs — and both of those came on Cleve­land penal­ties.

Matt Cas­sel took over at quar­ter­back and led Detroit down the field in the 2-minute drill. Then, de­fen­sive line­man Nate Or­chard made a leap­ing in­ter­cep­tion near the line of scrim­mage and ran it back 64 yards for a touch­down with 28 sec­onds left in the half.

Cleve­land went for 2, and the Lions were called for rough­ing the passer. Detroit was then called for hav­ing 12 men in for­ma­tion. Don­trell Hilliard even­tu­ally ran the ball in to make it 25-0.

Dayes had 77 yards on eight car­ries, al­though he ended up with an an­kle is­sue. His touch­down came from 42 yards out in the se­cond quar­ter.

The Lions had 2 yards rush­ing in the first half.

Ru­dock re­turned to the game in the se­cond half, but it was more of the same for Detroit un­til the Lions fi­nally scored a cou­ple touch­downs in the fourth quar­ter.

“At this point, there’s noth­ing I can do. I can say that I’m not go­ing to worry about it, but it is hu­man na­ture,” Ru­dock said. “There are 90 guys in here, and there are only go­ing to be 53 here. Ob­vi­ously, I want to be one of them, but I’ve done what I can. Now it is out of my hands.”

The Lions were outscored 68-16 in the first half this pre­sea­son.

High­light

Or­chard’s touch­down could be a big play for the 25-year-old line­man. A se­cond-round draft pick in 2015, he started 11 games that sea­son but has only two starts since.

“He made a play. He made a real big-time foot­ball play right be­fore half,” Jack­son said. “Ev­ery­thing’s go­ing to be eval­u­ated for our play­ers. The most im­por­tant thing is we put the right 53 guys on this team.”

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