The Cleveland Browns host the New York Giants in their second preseason game on Monday Night Football. It might be the only nationally-televised game for them aside from (possibly) the London game in the regular season.
Unless, of course, they have a game get flexed into a primetime spot later in the season. Which for a team coming off of a one-win season is very wishful thinking.
The Browns are coming off a 20-14 win over the Saints in their preseason opener. Yes, wins and losses in preseason matter little, but considering the Browns were 0-4 last preseason, a win can’t hurt their confidence.
Here are a few things to watch for in Monday’s tilt on ESPN:
#1 Brock Osweiler is starting again. But for how long?
Osweiler played poorly in the preseason opener against the Saints. The chemistry and timing with his receivers was off. He didn’t have any bad plays, but just wasn’t that great. With rookie DeShone Kizer vaulting up to the No. 2 spot in the depth chart, Osweiler needs to show something to prove he should be the starter Week 1 against the Steelers.
#2 Will Myles Garrett get his first sack?
Garrett played well in his first preseason game but did not record a sack. Will he get his first (unofficial) one against the Giants under the lights of Monday Night Football? It would help for him to get at least a couple out of the way before the regular season.
#3 How will the secondary fare?
Assuming Giants quarterback Eli Manning and receivers like Odell Beckham Jr. play Monday, it will be a big test for the Browns’ defensive backfield. Saints quarterback Drew Brees had the opener off.
Rookie Jabrill Peppers has impressed in camp so far. This is a big chance for him to show off his skills to a national audience.
#4. Will the Browns make their kicker decision after the game?
As expected, incumbent kicker Cody Parkey and rookie Zane Gonzalez have been pretty even in the kicker competition. Depending how things play out in this Giants game, Browns coach Hue Jackson might be able to pick his guy before the preseason dress rehearsal next week against Tampa Bay.
#5. Will the team continue to carry positive momentum?
As I stated above, wins and losses are almost meaningless in the preseason. But for a Browns team with so many rookies and second-year players, every victory counts in the confidence department. A victory in a Monday Night Football game at home can really give the players a boost heading into the back end of the preseason.