Kizer's late TD toss lifts Browns over Saints
(TSX / STATS) -- Rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer threw a 45-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Payton on fourth-and-2 with 1:52 to play Friday night to lead the Cleveland Browns past the visiting New Orleans Saints 20-14 in the preseason opener for both teams.
Saints coach Sean Payton and Browns coach Hue Jackson clearly approached the game differently.
Payton chose to rest starting quarterback Drew Brees and other prominent players, including running backs Adrian Peterson and Mark Ingram. Jackson used the Browns' preseason opener to help determine who should start at quarterback for the season opener.
Brock Osweiler started and played four series without putting any points on the board. He completed 6 of 14 passes for 42 yards. Cody Kessler followed him in the second quarter and hit 5 of 10 passes for 47 yards against the Saints' backups.
Kizer completed 11 of 18 passes for 184 yards and a touchdown.
Chase Daniel started at quarterback for New Orleans and led the Saints to the Browns' 4 on his second possession. The drive died when Ted Ginn dropped a pass in the end zone; Wil Lutz kicked a 22-yard field goal to put the Saints ahead 3-0.
The Browns took a 7-3 halftime lead on a 1-yard run by rookie running back Matthew Dayes.
Garrett Grayson took over at quarterback for the Saints and played into the third quarter. He completed 11 of 16 passes for 126 yards, including a 32-yard pass to Tommylee Lewis inside the Browns' 5 in the third quarter, but he put only one field goal on the board during his time under center.
The Saints moved ahead 14-7 on a 2-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Nassib to Lewis.
Browns defensive end Myles Garrett, the first overall pick in the 2017 draft, made two run stops in the first quarter -- one when he tackled Daniel Lasco for a 2-yard loss and one when he stopped rookie Alvin Kamara at the line of scrimmage.
Kamara, conversely, was a highlight for the Saints. He is fighting for playing time behind Peterson and Ingram and made the most of it by rushing for 35 yards on four carries.
Lewis, listed third on the depth chart at wide receiver, caught 10 passes for 124 yards.
Updated August 10, 2017