NFL - National Football League

08/17/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 08/17/2019 17:38

What we learned from Browns-Colts on Saturday

Saturday brought us a quintet of Week 2 preseason games that began in the Indianapolis afternoon and carried into the Honolulu night. Here's what we learned:

1. The Indianapolis Colts can sleep well knowing Jacoby Brissett can perform if Andrew Luck isn't ready for Week 1. Brissett looked stellar leading Indy's first-team offense Saturday versus most of the Browns' starting defense. The signal-caller did a marvelous job navigating a muddy pocket to find his targets. Brissett showed great accuracy, especially over the middle, going 8-of-10 for 100 yards and a touchdown for a 141.7 rating on three drives. He also added an 11-yard scramble for a first down. The QB's best two passes went to Pro Bowl tight end Eric Ebron. The first came on a fourth down when Brissett evaded a free rusher and slung a dart to Ebron for a first down for 16 yards. Brissett then threaded the needle with perfect ball-placement to Ebron in the corner of the end zone. Luck looked good warming up before the preseason tilt, providing some optimism he could be ready for the regular season. If he's not good to go, Brissett, a starting-caliber QB, showed once again he can hold down the fort.

2. The Browns offense once again flashed its depth in the preseason. Backup quarterback Garrett Gilbert looked good dicing up the Colts secondary in the first half, completing 13 of 19 passes for 151 yards and two touchdowns for a 127.3 rating. The 28-year-old displayed plus accuracy and spread the ball around well to his targets. If Gilbert continues to perform as he did Saturday, he could force his way onto the roster as the No. 3 QB. Elsewhere, Cleveland's depth at the skill positions was on display. Rashard Higgins continued to lock down the No. 3 WR role. Undrafted rookie D.J. Montgomery flashed good hands, and great sideline-catch acumen, going for three receptions for 77 yards, with a long of 32 yards that set up a short TD. Reserve running back D'Ernest Johnson also displayed dual-threat ability, rushing 10 times for 53 yards (long of 15) and catching three passes for 26 yards and a TD. Johnson flashed wiggle out of the backfield and the ability to find open grass in the passing game. The preseason is about young players stating their case for roster spots. The Browns' brigade of green guys spoke loudly on Saturday.

-- Kevin Patra