NFL Preseason Week 3 Game Recap: Kansas City Chiefs 33, Cleveland Browns 32

2RM24F1 Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Charles Omenihu (90) pressured Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) during an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 26, 2023, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Peter Aiken)

The Kansas City Chiefs outlasted the Cleveland Browns 33-32 in a wild encounter to close out the preseason for both teams.

The Browns led 29-16 at the half thanks to a pair of interceptions returned for touchdowns and another pick that gave them a short field, with Deshaun Watson and tight end David Njoku connecting in the end zone.

The Chiefs came roaring back in the second half though, with both Blaine Gabbert and Chris Oladokun passing for touchdowns in the third quarter to give them a 30-29 with a quarter remaining. Cleveland would get back in front on a 40-yard field goal by Cade York with 4:23 left in the game, but the Chiefs moved down the field quickly before Harrison Butker connected on what would ultimately be the game-winner from 44 yards out, as York missed from 43 with just 57 seconds left.

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Offensive spotlight: Things didn’t start out well for the Browns offense, with a botched handoff between Deshaun Watson and running back Jordan Wilkins resulting in a turnover on their first drive before a three-and-out on their second. A short field allowed them to score on a nice throw from Watson to tight end David Njoku

Their next drive could have turned sour again with another botched handoff between Watson and Wilkins on the opening play of the drive, but the running back was able to get the ball back. That drive would lead to another score, and the biggest play came when Watson found Amari Cooper wide-open for a 53-yard gain after evading pressure. That wrapped things up for the mostly starting offense, with a mix of big plays and errors with Watson on the field.

For the Chiefs, wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette had another big game as he attempts to make the final roster. He caught all four passes thrown his way for 101 yards, including a 43-yard touchdown.

Defensive spotlight: Browns defensive backs Juan Thornhill Rodney McLeod and Caleb Biggers all had interceptions in the game, with Thornhill breaking on the ball perfectly before making a couple of cuts on his way to taking it back for a score. McLeod’s interception came off a tip drill, with 2022 third-round cornerback Martin Emerson forcing the incompletion before it bounced to his fellow defensive back. Biggers later took advantage of a dropped pass to pick off backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert and return that for a score too.

Rookie spotlight: Chiefs’ second-round pick Rashee Rice saw six targets in the game and should have had a far better output than three catches for 29 yards. He got open on a play where backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert was under heavy pressure. The ball sailed a little and Rice had to try and locate it, but a huge play was on the cards had he not dropped it. Drops have been an issue for Rice throughout preseason, with one in each of their first two games too.

Box Score

Passing
Cleveland Browns
Player Fantasy Comp/Att Yds YPA TD Int
Deshaun Watson 6.78 5 / 10 92 9.2 1 0
Dorian Thompson-Robinson 4.08 7 / 12 92 7.7 0 0
Kellen Mond 2.72 10 / 19 93 4.9 0 1
Kansas City Chiefs
Player Fantasy Comp/Att Yds YPA TD Int
Blaine Gabbert 14.36 10 / 18 169 9.4 2 1
Chris Oladokun 6.64 7 / 9 66 7.3 1 0
Shane Buechele 5.56 8 / 17 89 5.2 1 2
Rushing
Cleveland Browns
Player Fantasy Car Yds YPC TD Long
John Kelly Jr. 14.3 6 20 3.3 1 9
Deshaun Watson 6.78 3 1 0.3 0 1
Dorian Thompson-Robinson 4.08 1 4 4 0 4
Hassan Hall 2.7 3 3 1 0 4
Jordan Wilkins 2.5 1 5 5 0 5
Demetric Felton Jr. 2.5 6 9 1.5 0 8
Kansas City Chiefs
Player Fantasy Car Yds YPC TD Long
La'Mical Perine 16.6 4 32 8 0 30
Blaine Gabbert 14.36 2 6 3 0 7
Deneric Prince 7.4 12 46 3.8 0 15
Jerrion Ealy 2 4 8 2 0 4
Isiah Pacheco 0 1 0 0 0 0
Clyde Edwards-Helaire -0.3 1 -3 -3 0 -3
Receiving
Cleveland Browns
Player Fantasy Tgt Rec Yds YPT TD
John Kelly Jr. 14.3 4 3 33 8.2 0
David Njoku 8 1 1 10 10 1
Amari Cooper 6.3 3 1 53 17.7 0
Thomas Greaney 5 3 2 30 10 0
Zaire Mitchell-Paden 4.8 3 2 28 9.3 0
Miller Forristall 4.4 5 3 14 2.8 0
Mike Harley Jr. 4.1 4 2 21 5.2 0
Cedric Tillman 3.3 3 1 23 7.7 0
Donovan Peoples-Jones 3.1 1 1 21 21 0
Elijah Moore 2.8 3 2 8 2.7 0
Hassan Hall 2.7 1 1 14 14 0
Demetric Felton Jr. 2.5 2 1 6 3 0
Austin Watkins Jr. 2.2 3 1 12 4 0
David Bell 1.4 2 1 4 2 0
Jalen Wayne 0 1 0 0 0 0
Kansas City Chiefs
Player Fantasy Tgt Rec Yds YPT TD
Ihmir Smith-Marsette 23.1 4 4 101 25.2 1
La'Mical Perine 16.6 3 3 44 14.7 1
Matt Bushman 10.4 5 2 24 4.8 1
Justyn Ross 9.2 6 2 12 2 1
Deneric Prince 7.4 2 2 8 4 0
Ty Fryfogle 6 2 2 40 20 0
Rashee Rice 5.9 6 3 29 4.8 0
Cornell Powell 4 3 2 20 6.7 0
Jerick McKinnon 3.3 1 1 23 23 0
Jerrion Ealy 2 2 1 2 1 0
Justin Watson 1.8 1 1 8 8 0
Ty Scott 1.8 1 1 8 8 0
Izaiah Gathings 1.5 1 1 5 5 0
Blake Bell 0 1 0 0 0 0
Kendall Blanton 0 2 0 0 0 0
Noah Gray 0 1 0 0 0 0
Clyde Edwards-Helaire -0.3 1 0 0 0 0

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