The NFL’s top two 2018 draft picks were on display as the Cleveland Browns defeated the New York Giants 20-10 in a preseason opener on Thursday night in East Rutherford, N.J.
Aug 9, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) scrambles as New York Giants linebacker Jordan Williams (79) pursues during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield replaced Browns starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor late in the first quarter and responded by connecting on 11 of 20 passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns. The Heisman Trophy winner also converted two fourth-down plays with his own running plays.
Taylor, expected to be the starter, was a perfect 5-for-5 in his two series, throwing for 99 yards, including a 36-yard TD pass to David Noku.
Meanwhile, the Giants’ first pick and No. 2 overall, running back Saquon Barkley rumbled 39 yards on the opening handoff from Eli Manning, setting up Aldrick Rosas’ 42-yard field goal. Barkley finished with 43 yards on four carries.
Colts 19, Seahawks 17
Andrew Luck returned to the field for the first times in 586 days, playing two series in Indianapolis’ win at Seattle. Luck, who missed all of last season after having shoulder surgery, was 6 of 9 for 64 yards.
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was 4 of 5 for 43 yards, including a 5-yard touchdown pass to tight end Nick Vannett. Wilson, who played just one series, also had 14 rushing yards on two carries.
Adam Vinatieri, who will be 46 in December and is entering his 23rd NFL season, kicked three field goals for the Colts.
Saints 24, Jaguars 20
New Orleans scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, including Jonathan Williams’ go-ahead 4-yard run, to rally past host Jacksonville.
Blake Bortles drove the Jaguars down the field to start the game, capping a 15-play, 79-yard drive with a 2-yard TD run. He converted both of his third-down passes and finished 6 of 9 for 53 yards.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees received the night off as Tom Savage started and completed 10 of 14 passes for 70 yards.
Steelers 31, Eagles 14
Landry Jones and Josh Dobbs tossed a touchdown apiece for visiting Pittsburgh, which played without quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, wideout Antonio Brown and running back Le’Veon Bell, who still hasn’t signed his franchise tender.
Jones finished a perfect 4 of 4 for 83 yards, including a 71-yard TD pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster. Dobbs was 9 of 13 for 91 yards with a TD and a pick.
The defending champion Eagles rested several starters, too, including quarterbacks Carson Wentz and Nick Foles. Nate Sudfeld started behind center for Philly, tossing 140 yards, going 10 of 14 with two touchdown passes and two interceptions.
Buccaneers 26, Dolphins 24
Chandler Catanzaro’s 26-yard field goal with 23 seconds left lifted Tampa Bay to the win at Miami.
Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston, who is suspended for the first three games of the regular season for violating the league’s personal-conduct policy, played the second quarter against the Dolphins’ second team. Winston engineered two scoring drives, finishing 11 of 13 for 102 yards in four series.
Ryan Tannehill, in his return from two serious knee injuries, completed passes on his first four plays to open the game, driving the Dolphins 40 yards before rookie Jason Sanders missed a 53-yard field goal try. Tannehill wound up 4 of 6 for 32 yards.
Bengals 30, Bears 27
Andy Dalton completed 6 of 8 passes for 103 yards, two touchdowns and one pick for host Cincinnati. The one pick wasn’t the quarterback’s fault as wideout John Ross fell on his route and Chicago’s Kyle Fuller picked it off and returned it for a 47-yard score.
Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky played two series, netting minus-1 yard on eight plays. He completed 2 of 4 passes for 4 yards. Tyler Bray, hoping to make the team, hit on 18 of 27 passes for 219 yards and one interception but no TDs.
Chicago’s Ryan Nall gained 95 yards on nine carries.
Panthers 28, Bills 23
C.J. Anderson’s 4-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter put visiting Carolina ahead for good.
Panthers quarterback Cam Newton played just two series, going 6 of 9 for 84 yards in the win.
Bills first-round draft pick Josh Allen entered in the second half, completing 9 of 19 passes for 116 yards, including a 14-yard TD to Ray-Ray McCloud III.
Buffalo’s returning backup QB, Nathan Peterman, was 9 of 10 for 119 yards with a TD and a pick over two drives, while AJ McCarron finished 7 of 10 for 116 yards with no TDs or interceptions.
Ravens 33, Rams 7
Host Baltimore jumped out to a 17-0 lead as Joe Flacco hit Patrick Ricard for a 6-yard touchdown on the Ravens’ opening drive. It was the only series Flacco played, and he went 5 of 7 for 71 yards.
Ravens rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson was 7 of 18 for 119 yards and added 21 yards on five carries, including a 9-yard TD.
The Rams sat starting quarterback Jared Goff and starting running back Todd Gurley. Los Angeles didn’t score until the fourth quarter, when Brandon Allen hit KhaDarel Hodge with an 8-yard TD pass.
Patriots 26, Redskins 17
Both starting quarterbacks — New England’s Tom Brady and Washington’s Alex Smith — didn’t play in the preseason opener at Foxborough, Mass.
Brian Hoyer, Brady’s backup, completed 16 of 23 passes for 144 yards with no TDs or picks.
Colt McCoy, Smith’s backup, tossed two touchdown passes, finishing 13 of 18 for 189 yards.
Packers 31, Titans 17
Marcus Mariota drove the visiting Titans down the field for a score on their first possession, capping it with a 4-yard touchdown pass to Darius Jennings. Mariota attempted just three passes, completing two for 42 yards, in his only series.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers didn’t play, with backup Brett Hundley getting the nod. Hundley hit on 9 of 14 passes for 108 yards, including an 8-yard TD pass to running back Jamaal Williams, and one interception.
DeShone Kizer, who is battling for the backup job with Hundley, was 9 of 18 for 134 yards with no TD passes. He also gained 18 yards on three carries.
Texans 17, Chiefs 10
Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson, in his return from a torn ACL, played sparingly, completing his one pass attempt for 4 yards in his five-play stint during the Texans’ win at Kansas City, Mo.
Patrick Mahomes, who will be the Chiefs’ starter now that Alex Smith is with the Redskins, was 5 of 7 for 33 yards on two drives.
Brandon Weeden replaced Watson on the Texans’ second possession and led back-to-back touchdown drives, hitting rookie tight end Jordan Akins with both scores — passes of 6 and 14 yards.
49ers 24, Cowboys 21
Nick Mullens’ 7-yard touchdown pass to Richie James Jr. with 18 seconds left capped San Francisco’s come-from-behind victory at Santa Clara, Calif.
Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott played one series, completing all three of his passes for 39 yards, including a 30-yard touchdown to rookie Michael Gallup. Prescott added a 12-run on his only carry.
Niners quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was 3 of 6 for 34 yards in his only series.
—Field Level Media