Jacoby Brissett receives no help from Anthony Schwartz in Browns’ 21-20 loss to Bears in preseason finale

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The best that can be said for Jacoby Brissett in his lone preseason appearance is that he walked away unscathed.

After hitting his right hand on a defender in practice on Thursday but quickly shaking it off, Brissett came out healthy from the 21-20 loss to the Bears in Saturday’s preseason finale was a huge accomplishment.

Beyond that, few conclusions can be drawn from his six first-half series.

Brissett, who will start the opener at Carolina on Sept. 11, completed just 13 of 23 attempts for 109 yards without a touchdown and an interception for a dismal 50.8 odds.

But his biggest problem on the night was sophomore receiver Anthony Schwartz, who caught 1 of 6 targets for 8 yards and dropped three passes, including one that was hit at the line but hit it in hands. Prior to the game, he had been credited with three retirements in the first two preseason games, including two in Game 1 in Jacksonville. The goals were a team high during Brissett’s stint.

“Jacoby did a good job in the first half,” Browns general manager Andrew Berry said on the News5 telecast. “I made good decisions. Delivered the ball with precision. Obviously, we need to help him out a bit in skill positions. I was happy with his individual performance, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room to grow.

Berry noted that Brissett, 14-23 as a starter, likely won’t run as much as Deshaun Watson when he returns for the final six games.

“Kevin (Stefanski) and the coaching staff are doing a really good job of building the offense around the skills of the quarterback,” he said. “I think we’ll probably see a little less QB running stuff than we would have with Deshaun with Jacoby. But Jacoby is really good at action gaming, the action shooter world, and we think that’s an area where we can accentuate his strengths.

On Schwartz’s third and final drop, an easy pass midway through the third and 9, he was roundly booed by the home crowd – certainly not what a young player struggling with his confidence needs. Cade York got the mood back with a 57-yard field goal on the next play that put the Browns on the board at 21-3 with 1:25 left in the half.

Schwartz also ran into covering linebacker Harrison Bryant on a drive in the left flat and fell before Brissett threw the ball to him. It was easily picked up by cornerback Greg Stroman Jr., and Justin Fields (14 of 16, 156 yards, 3 TDs, 146.9 odds) converted it into a 24-yard touchdown to tight end Cole Kmet for a 21-0 lead with 3:29 left in the half.

Schwartz’s horrible night began in the first game when a short pass to the left slipped out of his hands. Brissett, playing without five of his Pro Bowlers on offense, fired a deep ball down the left side for the fast Schwartz, but it was just out of reach. He found himself behind two defenders, but failed to grab the difficult one-handed one. His only catch was 8 yards left.

Brissett went three times on three of his first four drives and only had four plays on the drive with the interception.

The Browns will now have to find a way to rebuild Schwartz’s psyche if he is to make an impact this season. Coach Kevin Stefanski has predicted a big season for Schwartz, and he still has a long way to go before Brissett can trust him to play the game.

In Jacksonville, Schwartz provided little help to starter Deshaun Watson, running an errant route on the first play and dropping two assists. He apologized to Watson and others and vowed to flip the script. He did just that in practice the following week and helped himself in the second preseason game against the Eagles. But he took a step back on Saturday night and will have work to do this week.

Brissett, who had Pro Bowlers Jack Conklin, Joel Bitonio, Amari Cooper, Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt inactive on the sidelines, connected three times for 36 yards with third-round receiver David Bell, including completions from 11 and 18 yards on a field goal drive. At that point, the Bears had plenty of backups, but the offense at least showed signs of life.

It was on this drive that Brissett’s pass was hit at the line by safety Devontae Harris, but still managed to hit Schwartz in the hands in the flat left.

Brissett also connected on 3 of 4 targets to tight end David Njoku for 34 yards, including a long 20 through the middle that was one of his best of the game. He also found Bryant on his two targets for 15 yards, including a long gain of 11.

The bad news for Brissett was that right guard Wyatt Teller left the game in the second quarter with a knee injury and did not return. The extent of the injury was unknown during the match.

It was the second game-ending injury of the night. The first was at Grant Delpit, who suffered a hip injury midway through the first quarter. After an 8-yard take by Kmet, Delpit remained seated on the ground. He tried to get up, but quickly sat back down. He left the field and headed for the medical tent with trainers, and quickly made his way to the locker room, holding his hip and favoring it.

QB Joshua Dobbs throws a TD pass and hurdles for two

Dobbs replaced Brissett late in the first half and had 11 points on the board in the form of a 46-yard field goal by York late in the half and a 6-yard touchdown pass to tight end Miller Forristall early in the fourth quarter. Dobbs, stopped last week against the Eagles on a hurdle attempt in the end zone, this time made the 2-point run to the left side, jumping over the left pylon.

Dobbs went 11 of 20 for 89 yards and the only TD for an 83.1 rating. His long pass was a 19-yard pass to Michael Harley Jr.

Josh Rosen scores

Rosen finished the game and scored on a 1-yard run that cut the deficit to 21-20 with 2:31 remaining. The 2-point pass to Javon Wims fell incomplete.

WR Michael Woods II ran hard sprints ahead of pre-match warm-ups

With Schwartz in trouble, help is coming soon. Woods, who suffered a hamstring injury on August 5, ran sprints for about half an hour before pre-game warm-ups and was pretty much back to his pre-injury fast state . Woods, the Oklahoma Browns’ sixth-round pick, was one of five injured players who sat out the game. The others were rookie receiver Daylen Baldwin, safety Ronnie Harrison Jr. (hamstring), cornerback AJ Green (hip) and defensive end Chase Winovich (hamstring).

York dazzles in pre-match warm-ups

York, who had field goals for 57 and 46 yards in the game but missed the wide left on a 58 yard, threw 70 and 60 yard kicks in pregame warmups, which dazzled the handful of fans seated in their seats.

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