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Browns Offense Struggles in Dress Rehearsal Against Bears

The Cleveland Browns opted to play some of their starters in the preseason finale against the Chicago Bears and the results on offense raised concerns heading into the regular season.
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Jacoby Brissett's preseason debut with the Cleveland Browns started with a dropped pass by Anthony Schwartz and things didn't improve from there. The Browns sat a number of starters, but there were no shortage of miscues for an offense that had eight first downs on seven drives in the first half.

Amari Cooper, Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, Joel Bitonio and Jack Conklin were among players who did not participate in the game, but the Browns were often sloppy, making unforced errors including both drops and penalties.

The running game was largely ineffective and the 4.1 yard average is higher than it felt due to a 9-yard run from D'Ernest Johnson. His other eight carries amounted to six carries for 20 yards.

Brissett finished the evening 13 of 23 for 109 yards and an interception.

Anthony Schwartz will once again be the target of plenty of criticism as he not only dropped the opening pass, but wasn't able to make several other plays. He would receive a Bronx cheer when he caught a pass. He finished the first half with one catch on eight targets, prompting speculation on his roster status.

The Browns continue to work to Schwartz as they want him to gain confidence and unlock his potential. His speed can be game-changing and force opponents to stay back, creating more space for the running game and underneath passes. 

Brissett showed off his arm on the second drive of the game trying to go with a deep corner. Schwartz got behind the corner and forced safety help to try to cover the top. He couldn't get his arm free as he was unable to reel in the ball.

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Unfortunately, Schwartz dropped a ball on the Browns most promising drive of the game that resulted in a 4th down. He was booed off the field. Cade York was able to convert a 57-yard field goal to get the Browns on the board. Unfortunately, the Bears scored the first 21 points of the contest.

The Browns might be willing to be patient with Schwartz, but they need far more than they are currently getting.

The offense was able to capitalize off a sack fumble forced by a pair of rookies. Corner Shaun Jolly knocked the ball loose and Perrion Winfrey was able to recover it The Browns were able to move the ball into York's range, enabling him to a 46-yard field goal, reducing the deficit to 21-6.

As disconcerting as the offense was in the first half, there were a few bright spots on offense. David Njoku and Harrison Bryant showed why the Browns are confident in their tight end duo, catching a combined five passes for 49 yards. The Browns paid Njoku to be a star and Bryant is poised to have a productive year not only because of his individual development but because he has become the second tight end, replacing Austin Hooper.

Bryant will likely be the answer to most, if not all of the wide receiver questions the Browns have. Although they have been trying to get as many receivers reps as possible in the preseason, Bryant could see plenty of reps in the slot when the games count.

David Bell had a great drive, catching three passes for 36 yards late in the second quarter, which had the Browns moving the ball. He did a nice job finding and settling in space, able to produce some yards after the catch after securing passes.

The Browns can say having so many starters out made a significant difference, but they also have to be concerned about how poorly things went overall.