Bucs fall 13-9 at home to Browns

Cleveland Browns quarterback Cody Kessler (6) is sacked by Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Sterling Bailey (70) during the fourth quarter of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan Ebenhack)

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.

Cleveland Browns players lock arms during the playing of the national anthem before an NFL preseason football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)


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.



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