Kizer starts in Browns’ 13-9 win over Buccaneers
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer made his first start in the Cleveland Browns’ 13-9 preseason win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Saturday night.
Playing the entire first half after a pregame downpour, Kizer completed 6 of 18 passes for 93 yards and an interception. Browns coach Hue Jackson named Kizer as the starter earlier in the week after watching him develop over the past month.
Kevin Hogan’s 5-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Leslie with 1:53 left gave the Browns (3-0) the win. The 87-yard touchdown drive was aided by two unnecessary roughness penalties against Bucs rookie Justin Evans.
Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston played 2½ quarters, completing 17 of 27 passes for 200 yards and one interception.
Kizer drove the Browns to a field goal on their first possession, completing third down passes of 13 yards to Kenny Britt and 32 yards to Corey Coleman. Cody Parkey’s 38-yard field goal made it 3-0 in the first quarter.
The second-round draft pick from Notre Dame had two more third down conversions on Cleveland’s next drive, but his third-and-15 pass early in the second quarter was intercepted by Vernon Hargreaves at the Cleveland 37.
Nick Folk kicked a field goal on the final play of the first half to pull the Bucs even at 3-3. It came at the end of a nine-play, 53-yard drive in the final 1:17 of the half highlighted by Winston’s completions of 17 yards to Cameron Brate and 16 yards to rookie Chris Godwin.
Folk’s 42-yard field goal, set up by Winston’s 25-yard completion to Bernard Reedy, put the Bucs up 6-3 midway through the third quarter. Folk added a 43-yard field goal early in the fourth.
Cody Kessler played the third quarter at quarterback for the Browns and Hogan played the fourth, leading a 10-play, 59-yard drive that resulted in Parkey’s 47-yard field goal with 5:14 remaining.
About 30 Browns stood arm-to-arm in a line during the national anthem before the game. This was five days after a home preseason game against the New York Giants when more than a dozen Browns players formed a circle and prayed in silent protest during the national anthem.
That protest was the largest so far in a social-consciousness movement started last season by quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who became a polarizing figure for kneeling during the anthem and is currently out of the NFL.
Browns: S Jabrill Peppers ended Tampa Bay’s first drive with an interception near the goal line and a 23-yard return. … No. 1 overall pick DE Myles Garrett had a good first half before getting called for an offside penalty that started the Bucs’ scoring drive.
Bucs: Godwin had four receptions for 56 yards. … TE O.J. Howard had two catches for 15 yards.
Browns: FB Danny Vitale left the game with an ankle injury in the first quarter and did not return.
Bucs: WR Adam Humphries sustained a hip injury in the second quarter and did not return. … DL DaVonte Lambert left the game in the third quarter with a wrist injury.