Baker Mayfield, most starters sit out Browns 21-18 win over Colts

Garrett Gilbert throws for 151 yards, 2 TDs in win

Daryl Ruiter
August 17, 2019 - 3:57 pm

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

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Cleveland, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) – Freddie Kitchens accomplished what he wanted to this week in Indianapolis and as a result he sat most starters Saturday afternoon in a 21-18 win over the Colts.

Baker Mayfield got the day off along with Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry and Nick Chubb on the offensive side of the ball.

Garrett Gilbert, who is competing for a roster spot behind Mayfield and backup Drew Stanton, got the start at Lucas Oil Stadium and looked good.

Gilbert completed 13 of 19 passes, including eight straight completions, for 151 yards and two touchdowns as the Browns took a 14-7 lead into the locker room at half, but Kitchens was not happy.

“If the receivers will catch the ball he’d look a little better,” Kitchens told Newschannel 5’s Jon Doss walking off the field.

Jaelen Strong caught a four-yard TD for a 7-0 lead and D’Earnest Johnson a six-yard score to regain the advantage. Strong caught all three of his targets for 14 yards. Johnson also caught his three targets in the first half for 26 yards while adding 40 more on seven carries on the ground.

Kitchens was unhappy with a penalty on center Willie Wright that pushed them to the edge of field goal range resulting in Greg Joseph missing wide right on a 53-yard try as time expired in the first half.

It was a repeat of what happened last week against Washington, which is why Kitchens was so agitated.

“We’re still doing too many self-inflicted wounds, Kitchens said. “We didn’t learn from last week, right before the half we had another penalty could’ve knocked us out of field goal range so we gotta play a lot smarter than we’re doing right now.”

With Chubb out, Kareem Hunt, who missed the start of camp due to a groin injury, started out of the backfield. Hunt carried twice for six yards and he was targeted once coming out of the backfield without a reception.

The first-team offensive line did get some work with the right guard spot still up for grabs on the opening series. Eric Kush remained the starter, but Drew Forbes moved in for the second offensive series and Kush slid over to center.

Most defensive starters got some early work in, but Anthony Zettel started at defensive end in place of Myles Garrett and Greedy Williams started in place of Denzel Ward. They forced a quick three-and-out for the Colts' offense. 

Next week the Browns travel to Tampa Bay for the customary ‘dress rehearsal’ third preseason game that should see the starters get their most and final work of the preseason.