At 7:00 pm eastern time on Saturday, August 14, the Cleveland Browns will take the field for their first preseason contest of 2021.
They will face the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field, where the NFL-worst Jaguars lost their final seven home games of 2020.
On Saturday, you can catch Joe Thomas as the color commentator with the Browns looking to continue their success in Jacksonville.
The Browns were responsible for the Jaguars’ Week 12 defeat at TIAA Bank Field on November 29 last year.
— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) November 29, 2020
The contest was a close one, but a Nick Chubb one-yard touchdown run pushed the Browns up eight points.
Then, Cleveland’s defense stopped a two-point conversion late in the fourth quarter to preserve the 27-25 lead and the Browns’ eighth win of the season.
Without further ado, let us jump into the first game of the preseason for the Browns and the three bold predictions:
1. Case Keenum Makes Use of First-Team Reps and Plays Well
Kevin Stefanski announced that Mayfield will not play in the preseason opener, so it will be Case Keenum drawing the start.
The veteran signal-caller enters his second season with the Browns after attempting just 10 passes last season.
He will be sure to attempt more just in this contest against the Jaguars.
A few strong series and a nice passing touchdown or two could be in the works for the 33-year-old quarterback.
2. The Browns Sour Trevor Lawrence’s Preseason Debut
However, this Browns defense will be excited to get on the field and show off the improvement as a unit.
The Browns defense was the 21st-ranked one in terms of points allowed last year.
It remains to be seen how much time Urban Meyer will give his No. 1 overall selection in the first preseason game in front of his home fans.
No matter how much time Lawrence is on the field, the Browns will force a turnover against the rookie.
Let us get excited to see that defense in action against Lawrence.
3. Austin Hooper Will Begin His 2021 in a Strong Fashion
It has been rumored that Hooper is on the trade block heading into the 2021 season, so hopefully, a strong performance on Saturday can give Stefanski confidence in him.
Last year, Hooper scored just four touchdowns in what can only be described as a disappointing first year in Cleveland for him.
One of his four touchdowns came against Jacksonville.
Here you can see Joe Thomas break down Hooper’s touchdown at TIAA Bank Field last year:
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) December 5, 2020
The third bold prediction is that Hooper will catch a touchdown pass.
It will surely be great to see the Browns in football action, and it will be even more exciting to see Keenum and Hooper connect on the first touchdown of the preseason.
We will see how much time Stefanski gives the starters, and we hope for no injuries.
If it is a strong performance by the first-teamers, then it will give Browns fans some confidence heading into Week 2 of the preseason at home.