Rookie defenders, Keenum shine in Q1 for Redskins vs Browns
The game started with an off-target throw by the Brown's Baker Mayfield, but their offense started humming immediately.Running back Nick Chubb gained first downs on his first two touches, an underneath pass into plenty of space and then a 12-yard run, however the star of the show was second-year quarterback Baker Mayfield.
After the first incompletion, Mayfield ripped off five consecutive completions, mostly to wide open areas of the field as the Washington defense was unable to put up much resistance. The drive culminated with a 24-yard completion to the front of the end zone to Rashard Higgins for the early 7-0 lead.
Looking to match, Case Keenum took the field first for Washington, but didn't fare nearly as well. Keenum converted his first third-down opportunity, scrambling for 10 yards on third and six, but things quickly deteriorated on the drive.
Washington's offensive line was called for four holds in three plays, two on the same third down, leading to a punt back to Cleveland.
After forcing a Drew Stanton-led punt with nice pressure from the defensive line, things fell into place for Keenum and the Washington offense.
After a beautifully thrown deep bomb attempt to Robert Davis resulted in a pass interference for a 43-yard gain, two plays later the two would hookup for a score. Davis got behind his coverage and into the clear, allowing Keenum to drop a dime to him for a 46-yard score on 3rd-and-16 to knot things up at seven apiece.
Stanton got Cleveland going on their third drive and Washington's defense looked porous in their summer debut. Higgins caught a wide-open pass and then juked safety Deshazor Everett badly to make a 20-yard gain a 40-yard gain down to the goal line.
Washington however responded with a beautiful goal-line stand thanks to their rookies. On first and goal, linebacker Cole Holcomb plugged the gap and stopped Hilliard short of the goal line.
Jimmy Moreland was up next with a pass breakup in the end zone on second down, as one of the rookies the club is most excited about came through in a big moment. The play was reviewed after Antonio Calloway came down with the ball but his knee was ruled out of bounds. Cleveland then tested Moreland again, and he got his second consecutive pass deflection.
Cleveland went for it on fourth down and Moreland made another big play, not only stopping Hilliard, but forcing a fumble that was recovered by Washington's McKinzy.