NFL News & Analysis

CHI-CLE grades: Bears rookie RB Jordan Howard impresses in final preseason outing

CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 1: Running back Jordan Howard #24 of the Chicago Bears runs for a gain during the third quarter against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium during a preseason game on September 1, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Bears defeated the Browns 21-7. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Chicago Bears 21, Cleveland Browns 7

Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Bears’ 21-7 preseason Week 4 win over the Browns. 

Chicago Bears

Quarterback grades: Brian Hoyer, 73.9; David Fales, 56.4

Brian Hoyer performed like a solid veteran backup should: solid, if unspectacular. He finished 12-for-16 for 112 yards and didn’t turn the ball over. He completed all 11 of his aimed passes when targeting less than 10 yards downfield. David Fales took over in the second half, and completed just four of nine passes, but did have two of those passes dropped.

Top offensive grades

HB Jordan Howard, 83.5

FB Paul Lasike, 83.1

OT Mike Adams, 77.7

C Khaled Holmes, 74.5

G Amini Silatolu, 74.0

Rookie RB Jordan Howard earns his preseason-best grade

Jordan Howard had easily his best performance of the preseason. He showed great quickness and burst when hitting the edges. On runs outside the OTs, he totaled 62 yards on seven carries and forced two missed tackles. After a disappointing last couple of weeks, tackle Mike Adams made the most of his 67 snaps. He graded positively as a run blocker and allowed just one hurry on 31 pass-blocking snaps.

Jordan Howard preseason rushing stats (four weeks)

Bears RB Jordan Howard

Top defensive grades

CB De’Vante Bausby, 89.5

CB Deiondre' Hall, 84.2

S DeAndre Houston-Carson, 80.7

ED Sam Acho, 79.0

LB Jonathan Anderson, 77.6

Bears will need production from young secondary depth

With a banged up secondary, the Bears are hoping to get some extra contributions from their young corners. Both De’Vante Bausby and rookie Deiondre' Hall played well against the Browns. Bausby was targeted six times and allowed just three completions for 13 yards and added two passes defensed. Hall was targeted four times, didn’t allow a catch, and had one pass defensed.

Cleveland Browns

Quarterback grades: Robert Griffin III, 51.7; Cody Kessler, 43.9; Josh McCown, 41.6

Browns QBs struggle at intermediate and deep levels

The Browns' QBs struggled to maintain consistent drives all night, and really struggled to connect when targeting 10 or more yards downfield. Robert Griffin III was zero-for-three on his 10+ yard targets, Josh McCown was two-for-seven with an interception, and rookie Cody Kessler finished zero-for-four on such throws. For the 2016 preseason, RG III was five-for-six with 215 yards and three touchdowns when targeting 10 or more yards downfield and to the right side; when targeting 10 or more yards middle or left, he was zero-for-eight with an interception.

Robert Griffin III passing under pressure this preseason (four games)

RG III passing under pressure

Top offensive grades

RT Alvin Bailey, 79.4

FB Malcolm Johnson, 78.3

G Austin Pasztor, 77.0

LT Spencer Drango, 73.2

RT Shonn Coleman, 72.5

Cleveland's OT depth continues to impress in pass protection

Alvin Bailey and Spencer Drango continued to be two bright spots for the Browns. Bailey allowed one sack on 41 pass-blocking snaps. This was the only pressure given up by Bailey during the preseason on 56 total pass-blocking snaps. Drango allowed two pressures on 23 pass-blocking snaps versus the Bears, and finished the preseason with just three total pressures allowed on 60 pass-blocking snaps.

Top defensive grades

DI Armonty Bryant, 76.3

LB Chris Kirksey, 75.5

DE Carl Nassib, 75.3

CB Eric Patterson, 74.6

S Rahim Moore, 74.4

Rookie DE Carl Nassib proving to be pass-rushing threat

Armonty Bryant played 42 total snaps and had an impact against the pass (with a sack, a hit, and a batted pass), against the run with two run stops, and also added a blocked extra point on special teams. Rookie Carl Nassib continued to show promise with his ability to disrupt the passing game. On only nine pass rushes, he was able to generate a hurry and also a batted pass. Nassib has totaled two sacks, five hurries, and two batted passes for the preseason.

Ready for Week 1 kickoff? Get the Browns 2016 season “cheat sheet” here.

Cleveland Browns season preview


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