With the final game of the preseason more about determining final rosters than getting starters prepared for Week 1, the Bears decided to rest all of their starters on both sides of the ball. Meanwhile, the Browns played their starters for roughly the first quarter before giving away to the second- and third-teamers trying to lock down rosters spots. Here are a few noteworthy performances from each team in the preseason finale.
Chicago Bears — Performances of Note
David Bass, DE: +2.3
Breakdown: Bass generated good pressure as a pass rusher, tallying two sacks, a hurry, and a forced fumble, on 17 pass rushing snaps. He also added in three stops in run defense. Bass would have graded higher if not for a defensive holding penalty that led to a first down late in the first quarter.
Signature Play: With 11:45 in the second quarter, he was able to quickly get around left tackle Paul McQuistan and bottle up Johnny Manziel before he fully escaped the pocket, causing Manziel to fumble on his way down.
David Fales, QB: -3.1
Breakdown: Fales made some good throws and showed potential as he was given all 55 snaps in the game. However, there is plenty of room for improvement as the rookie stared down some receivers and held onto the ball too long at times.
Signature Plays: His worst pass came on the first play of the second quarter. Looking to hit Santonio Holmes on a quick slant route, Fales didn’t notice the safety sitting in the alley and threw a pass that could have easily went the other way for a touchdown. His best pass was a perfectly placed ball on a ‘Go’ route that allowed Josh Bellamy to highpoint the catch over the defender for a 32-yard completion.
Josh Bellamy, WR: +2.7
Breakdown: Bellamy was the go-to receiver for Fales on Thursday night. Bellamy caught four of the five balls thrown his way for 78 yards. He also had a couple nice blocks sealing defenders in on outside pitch runs.
Signature Stat: Bellamy ran 21 pass routes, giving him a modest 3.71 Yards Per Route Run.
Cleveland Browns — Performances of Note
Justin Gilbert, CB: -2.0
Breakdown: For the second straight week, poor pursuit and tackling effort by Gilbert led to a long touchdown. After Holmes caught a slant route, he turned back outside causing Gilbert to over-pursue and take himself out of position to make a tackle. With room to the outside, Holmes outran every other defender on his way to the end zone.
Signature Stat: Gilbert finished the preseason with 3.01 Yards Allowed per Cover Snap, the sixth-highest among cornberbacks.
Jordan Poyer, S: +1.5
Breakdown: Poyer made a good push for the Browns’ fourth and final safety spot. His lone target in pass defense went for a 1-yard gain as he made a quick tackle in the flat. He added in two more stops in run defense.
Signature Stat: Both of his two run stops came while aligned more than 8 yards from the line of scrimmage at the time of the snap.
Johnny Manziel, QB: -2.7
Breakdown: Manziel further showed that he’s not ready to start after mostly struggling against the Bears’ backups. He made a few plays that showcased his ability and potential, but those were overshadowed by his inconsistency and poor accuracy.
Signature Stat: Even accounting for drops and passes thrown away, Manziel was accurate on less than half his passes, finishing with a 46.7 Accuracy Percentage.
PFF Game Ball
This game ball goes to the collective performance of four-fifths of the Browns’ backup offensive line, excluding the left tackles. The six players that played the other four positions combined for a +9.1 overall grade, led by Martin Wallace at +3.4. Those six did not allow a pressure and dominated most of the Bears’ defensive line in the game.
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