Originally written on Waiting For Next Year  |  Last updated 11/18/14

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 27: Reggie Hodges #3 of The Tennessee Titans punts as Eric Smith #33 defends during their game on September 27, 2009 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Thankfully the preseason is now over.

Even Reggie Hodges had a tough night tonight as one of his first half punts failed to cross the 50 yard line with the line of scrimmage at his own 20. That’s not good. Speaking of uncharacteristic, Colt McCoy also gave the Bears a great chance at a touchdown by throwing an interception that was returned to the Browns’ 30 as he failed to connect with Jordan Norwood. For any criticism you might have of Colt McCoy, he’s always been pretty good at not being careless with the football. The Bears quickly made the Browns pay on a short field to take a 7-0 lead as McCown found Dane Sanzenbacher.

The Browns’ defense was also gashed continually for running plays and screen passes. The Browns made Armando Allen look pretty good out of the Bears backfield. He had 83 yards rushing and 51 yards receiving as he filled the Matt Forte role for an evening. The Browns’ backup defense obliged.

James Dockery was flagged twice for pass interference. That’s not good for a guy on the bubble looking to make the roster. They were close calls as one seemed weak and the other seemed uncatchable, but regardless they ended up next to his name.

Seneca Wallace quickly replaced Colt McCoy after McCoy put up two punts and the aforementioned interception. Wallace threw into triple coverage and Josh Cribbs made an athletic catch to his right to save the play. Then Wallace or running back Brandon Jackson went the wrong way which turned out to be an ugly bootleg. That drive led to Reggie Hodges’ ugly punt.

It was good to see a couple decent runs out of Brandon Jackson. He showed all the veteran ability Browns fans thought they were getting as he bounced off tackles and smartly covered the ball with two hands as he got into traffic. For a team that has languished with Montario Hardesty running the ball, it could be a welcome sign to have a real backup option to Trent Richardson whenever he gets back. Jackson’s solid running led to a Rod Windsor TD catch from Seneca Wallace. Good for Windsor, but he’ll have a tough time making this roster, I think.

Some other final notes from the first half…

James-Michael Johnson left the game slightly hobbled. Trevin Wade looked pretty good in coverage. Neither Seneca Wallace or Colt McCoy did much to blow you away, but I guess you give the edge to Wallace by a hair because he was in during the TD drive and finished off Brandon Jackson’s nice work.

Thaddeus Lewis played in the second half and it’s really tough to tell if any position battles were fought and won in the second half.



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