Game Ball: Rookie LB Kwon Alexander continued his rapid ascension, standing out on a Buccaneer starting defense that dominated after giving up an early touchdown drive. Alexander showed off his blazing speed on several occasions, including a four-yard tackle for loss on RB Terrance West in the second quarter. Alexander's top moment was a crushing two-yard sack of scrambling Browns QB Josh McCown that drew gasps from the crowd. The rookie, who has recently taken over as the team's starting middle linebacker, finished with five tackles, a sack, two tackles for loss and a quarterback hit.
Play of the Game: The Buccaneers didn't have many offensive highlights on the night, but they did put together a quick, two-play, 45-yard touchdown drive in the second quarter. The score came on a 19-yard run by Doug Martin, who broke a tackle near the line of scrimmage and outran several Browns defenders to the end zone. Martin continued his impressive preseason with 44 yards on nine carries.
Turning Point: The Buccaneers probably could have overcome Travis Benjamin's 53-yard punt return for a touchdown in the opening minutes, but that hole grew deeper when the Browns offense drove 80 yards for a touchdown on its first possession. That march was nearly snuffed out at the beginning, when the Bucs forced a third-and-six after two plays. However, Browns QB Josh McCown scrambled out of trouble on third down and was able to get around the corner for a gain of nine yards to keep the drive alive. The Browns would go on to convert three third downs on the possession, including a second scramble by McCown to set up Brian Hartline's touchdown catch.
It Was Over When: The Bucs failed to come out of halftime more efficiently than they started the game. After holding Cleveland to four plays or fewer on its last five drives of the first half, the Bucs needed a quick stop to start the third quarter, down 17-7. Had they gotten that stop – and potentially good field position for the last drive for the their starting offense – they could have scored to make it a one-score game. Instead, Cleveland marched 78 yards for another touchdown to make it 24-7 and the starters for both sides took to the bench.
Photos from the Buccaneers' preseason game against the Browns at Raymond James Stadium.