Featured Video from Scott Reichel
Where: Raymond James Stadium
When: Friday, August 23, 2019, 7:30 pm ET
We have week three of the National Football League preseason schedule to consider when the Cleveland Browns and Tampa Bay Buccaneers meet on Friday night for a tackle football game under the lights at Raymond James Stadium. Cleveland is 2-0 this preseason and is coming off a 21-18 victory over the Indianapolis Colts. Tampa Bay is 1-1 and defeated the Miami Dolphins in their last outing by a score of 16-14.
Browns 2-0 in Preseason
Head Coach Freddie Kitchens sat most of his starters Saturday afternoon and saw his reserves eke out a 21-18 road victory over the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Reserve quarterbacks Garrett Gilbert and rookie David Blough led the Browns offensively and rookie safety J.T. Hassle led the defense with six solo tackles.
Kitchens discussed his thoughts on week three of the preseason.
“It is not a secret. We are going to play our guys some,” Kitchens said. “I do not know how long yet. We have had a good camp. It has been a good, physical camp. These guys have embraced the fact that they feel like they have been doing some things that probably other teams have not been doing. It does not matter until you start playing the games. I recognize that.
“I recognize the fact that what we do two days before a game in the preseason even and understand how that can affect someone’s body. More so than anything else, that is why I have approached training camp the way that we did. I like to get our work done right now in a controlled environment to see how much better we can get on a day-in and day-out basis. This week is a little different because you are definitely not going to do it next week. We will see.”
6 plays that changed the game in the Browns' win over the Colts
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) August 18, 2019
Browns starting quarterback Baker Mayfield didn’t take the field Saturday, but he’s expected to play as is several of the Browns top players Friday night against Tampa Bay.
Gilbert had a fine game against the Colts, throwing for 151 yards and two touchdowns without an interception on 13-19 passing. Blough was 7-12 for 74 yards and a touchdown and each quarterback was sacked once for a combined loss of 18 yards.
The Browns have a battle for the starting kicker position between rookie kicker Austin Siebert and second-year kicker Greg Joseph. Siebert missed his only field goal try of 52 yards and Joseph missed one from 53 yards out on his only attempt of the night. Look for more of these two on Friday night.
Kicker Battle Between Gay and Santos
Tampa Bay starting quarterback Jameis Winston played just one possession and the Buccaneers still found a way to beat the Miami Dolphins 16-14. Six-year veteran Ryan Griffin threw for 201 yards and one touchdown on 14 of 21 passing and nine-year veteran Blaine Gabbert is trying to make this tackle football team and threw for 42 yards on 5-12 passing. The Bucs quarterbacks were sacked four times for 33 yards and the quarterback trio were without an interception against the Dolphins.
"Obviously, when you’re put in game-winning situations and your young players perform, you’re proud of them, and they did exactly that."
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) August 18, 2019
Griffin and Gabbert are in a battle to be Winston’s backup and expect the two to get at least a quarter apiece against the Browns.
There’s a battle for the fourth running back position between veteran running back Andre Ellington and rookie Bruce Anderson. Ellington had 15 rushing yards on six carries and Anderson rushed for three yards on three carries against Miami.
The Bucs defense has surrendered 44 points over their two preseason games and exactly what they allowed per game last season.
Tampa Bay has a battle at the kicker position between rookie Matt Gay and six-year veteran Cairos Santos. Gay was 2-2 including a 48-yard field goal and Santos knocked down a 23-yard field goal on his only attempt against the Dolphins. I suspect we will see both kickers Friday night against Cleveland.
- Buccaneers are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games on grass.
- Browns are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
Updated on Aug 23 at 8:25am EDT
Update prepared by our editoral staff
Public Money / Line Movements
Everyone likes the Browns in this one as they are getting 76% of the bets, which is consistent with the fact that the game has gone from a pick to Cleveland -3.
Injury / Weather Report
Cleveland’s Impact Injury Report
Questionable: DB T.J. Carrie
Out: Center Kyle Kalis, LB Adarius Taylor, and DT Brian Price
Tampa Bay’s Impact Injury Report
Questionable: DL Vita Vea, DL Jeremiah Ledbetter
Out: LB Kahzin Daniels, LB Anthony Nelson, LB Jason Pierre-Paul, and QB Nick Fitzgerald.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Browns should win this contest easily. That is unless Browns Head Coach Freddie Kitchens decides to sit his top players as he did in game two. Normally teams play their starters at least the first half in the third game of the preseason but since Kitchens doesn’t have an NFL head coaching record, we’ll have to wait and see what he does. Either way, the Browns are deeper than Tampa Bay and should win by at least seven points.
We know Arians is going to want to see Winston run with the rest of the first-team unit and that should be fun to see before Winston gives way to the two fightings to be his back-up this season.
Full-Game Total Pick
These are two of the best defenses in the National Football League from 2018 and it appears both sides have gotten better. It will be interesting to see the Tampa Bay defense, ranked sixth in 2018, have a go against the uber-talented Cleveland Browns offense led by Baker Mayfield.
From what we’ve seen in the postseason, the Buc offense isn’t that strong but maybe a full half from Winston will give the ever-improving Browns defense a run for its money on Friday night.
I see the top defense canceling out the top offenses and the Browns reserves finishing the game in style and why I’m planning on playing UNDER Friday night.