The Buffalo Bills visited the Cleveland Browns for Week 2 of the NFL 2018 Preseason. The two teams combined for 21 penalties, which would be really bad if this were the regular season. We’ll take a quick gander at how the flags flew and see if there’s any trends we need to keep an eye on.
Expect some of these penalties to go away completely or nearly so. Out of bounds on a kickoff and ineligible downfield on a kick are quite rare outside of the preseason. Nathan Peterman gets tagged with the dreaded illegal forward pass. The loss of yards is no bother, but the loss of down stings. So, about that weird three-yard penalty...
Rafael Bush was called for unnecessary roughness on that one, but really the refs could have drawn a name out of a hat for these late hits. This was likely brought up during a team meeting. The yardage was merely half the distance to the goal, but the multiple defenders neglecting to even slow down is the wrong way to get noticed.
Special teams penalties stand out for the Browns as well. Fair catch interference and running into the kicker are likely anomalies. The offensive pass interference flags are worrisome though. Two of the three are courtesy of players that the Browns likely will be depending on (Jarvis Landry and Rashard Higgins).
Third-year man Devon Cajuste has floated around the league. Unless he finally finds a home in Cleveland, I wouldn’t expect him to be a penalty machine. His offensive pass interference also included the cardinal penalty sin of negating a touchdown. Cajuste blocks as if it was a run play. Take a peek below.
Cleveland ended their penalty night by scaring the heck out of Bills fans. After AJ McCarron went down with some sort of shoulder injury, the last thing anyone wanted to see was a second quarterback injury. The play below is a good illustration of why hitting a quarterback below is a penalty. While throwing, Nathan Peterman is not only in a terrible position to protect himself, his momentum creates an even higher risk of injury. Luckily the hit turned out to be mostly harmless.