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QB DeShone Kizer - Cleveland Browns

6-4, 233Born: 1-3-1996College: Notre DameDrafted: Round 2

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17 at PIT 65 16 30 314 2 1 6 61 0 0 28.8

Recent Game Summaries

2017 Week 17 vs PIT (16 / 30 / 314 / 2 / 1 pass, 6 / 61 / 0 rush)

Kizer played the best he has all season, reaching 300 passing yards for the first time in his career. He did take several sacks, a few of which were his fault for holding the ball too long, but he remained mostly calm in the pocket and did keep the Pittsburgh defense on their heels with his rushing ability. Kizer, despite the 300-yard milestone, did make his share of mistakes in the contest. He again struggled with his accuracy, this time missing at least three receivers short and low. In the second quarter, Kizer did make a fantastic pass to Josh Gordon for a 56-yard pickup. The play was originally ruled a touchdown before replay review showed that Gordon's foot touched out of bounds before he crossed the goal line. On the ensuing play from the Pittsburgh two-yard line, Kizer could have had another touchdown pass but he threw too low for an open Marquez Williams at the goal line. Williams was unable to handle the poorly-thrown ball. Kizer bounced back on the next possession, hitting Rashard Higgins with a well-placed pass on a slant. Higgins didn't have to break stride and was able to race up the middle of the field for a 56-yard touchdown. At the beginning of the third quarter, Kizer found Higgins again for a score, this time a five-yard touchdown on a short slant route. Kizer started using his legs more in the third quarter as he picked up large chunks of yardage on several scrambles. He should have had an interception toward the end of the third quarter but the defender had the ball jarred loose on a heads-up play by the Cleveland receiver. In the fourth quarter, Kizer came close to throwing an interception yet again, this time putting a ball in the defender's hands, only to have the Pittsburgh cornerback drop the interception. He finally did throw an interception on the second possession of the fourth quarter. He was hit as he was throwing, causing the pass to David Njoku to go short. On his team's final possession, Kizer made an excellent play on 4th-and-2 from the Pittsburgh 27-yard line. He somehow escaped what looked like a sure sack and fired a perfect pass to Corey Coleman for what should have been a first down, but the wide-open Coleman dropped the ball. In all, the good outweighed the bad for Kizer in this contest but the end results were still the same.

2017 Week 16 vs CHI (18 / 36 / 182 / 0 / 2 pass, 3 / 8 / 0 rush)

It was a rough day for Kizer, who added two interceptions to his league-leading total, with one coming in the end zone. While the windy and snowy weather in Chicago did him no favors, he struggled with his accuracy yet again in what has been an issue for him all season. Kizer's first throw of the game was a poor one to Josh Gordon on a third down where he threw off of his back foot. Later in the first quarter Kizer almost threw an interception as he was hit while he was throwing. The defender had the ball in his hands but dropped it as he fell to the ground. Kizer finally got the offense moving on the second drive of the second quarter, leading his team on a 12-play drive down the field. The drive ended with Kizer throwing an interception in the end zone. He forced a poor pass to a closely covered Josh Gordon. It appeared Kizer had made up his mind to throw to Gordon regardless of coverage on the play. Kizer did make an excellent pass on the final drive before the half as he stepped up in the pocket to avoid the pass rush and hit Ricardo Louis for a 35-yard gain. That set up his team's only score, a 48-yard field goal. In the third quarter, Kizer did make a few plays but wasn't helped out by his receivers. He put a great pass in Josh Gordon's hands but Gordon dropped the ball. Then, from the Chicago 20-yard line, Kizer managed to find Rashard Higgins right before being sacked. Higgins weaved his way down to the Chicago three-yard line but was hit hard from behind and fumbled into the Bears' end zone. In the fourth quarter, Kizer threw his second interception when he forced up a pass instead of taking a sack.

2017 Week 15 vs BAL (20 / 37 / 146 / 0 / 2 pass, 7 / 35 / 0 rush)

Kizer really took a step back after turning in one of his better performances in Week 14. The rookie quarterback struggled with his accuracy, missing several receivers who were open. He also added to his list of back-breaking turnovers, throwing yet another red zone interception and losing a fumble in his own end zone which Baltimore grabbed for a defensive score. Kizer's first interception came when he threw too high for Corey Coleman. It appeared Terrell Suggs grabbed a handful of his jersey on the pass attempt which threw off his mechanics momentarily. That may have led to the inaccurate pass. His red zone interception came in the fourth quarter. He forced an end zone pass to a triple-covered Isaiah Crowell. Nothing was open on the play and, in retrospect, he should have thrown the ball away. He came close to throwing a third interception in the third quarter on a tipped pass that went straight up in the air. Kizer himself swatted the pass down and away from the defense to prevent the pick. Kizer's accuracy issues included: throwing too high to Corey Coleman on a crossing pattern, although that incompletion was nullified by a holding penalty. He then threw too low to David Njoku who was streaking down the right sideline. A higher throw would have allowed his athletic tight end to go up and get the ball. This was a missed opportunity for Kizer to 'throw Njoku open'. He also threw a pass behind Josh Gordon that Gordon was still able to reach back and catch. Kizer's strip sack fumble showed his lack of pocket awareness as he had no idea the defender was coming on his blind side. It didn't help that left tackle Spencer Drango was beaten badly on the play but Kizer needed to step up in the pocket on that pass.

2017 Week 14 vs GB (20 / 28 / 214 / 3 / 2 pass, 2 / 7 / 0 rush)

Kizer turned in his best pro performance as he nearly led the Browns to their first win of the season. Unfortunately, it was Kizer's overtime interception which allowed Green Bay to score the game-winning touchdown. The rookie quarterback came out of the gates hot, connecting with Josh Gordon for a 38-yard reception on the first play of the game. He followed that up with an 18-yard touchdown pass to Gordon to cap off an impressive first drive. He made a great throw to find Gordon on a post route, putting the ball where only Gordon could make the catch for the score. In the second quarter, Kizer led the Browns on their second scoring drive. He connected with Duke Johnson on a seven-yard shovel pass for the touchdown. It was a well-designed play in which Kizer faked a handoff to Isaiah Crowell, who was running right, before flipping the ball to Johnson. He should have had another scoring drive in the second quarter as he had Josh Gordon in the end zone but Gordon was clearly interfered with by the Green Bay defender. No flags were thrown as Gordon was only able to get one hand on the ball. Kizer's first interception came right at the end of the second quarter. He locked in on Corey Coleman which allowed Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to read his eyes and jump the route for the pick. In the third quarter, Kizer found Corey Coleman for a two-yard touchdown. It was a great throw as Coleman was double-covered on his slant route. Things went downhill after the third quarter as Kizer led the Browns on two scoreless drives in the fourth quarter before throwing his second interception in overtime. The overtime interception was inexcusable as Kizer was facing heavy pressure. His arm was hit by Clay Matthews as he threw the ball and it wound up getting picked off. It was a panic play by a rookie quarterback who should have just thrown the ball out of bounds. In all, Kizer's performance was encouraging as this was the most confident and sharp he has looked all season.

2017 Week 13 vs LAC (15 / 32 / 215 / 1 / 1 pass, 5 / 46 / 0 rush)

t was a familiar story for Kizer, who made a few fantastic throws while mixing in several off-targets passes that could have gone for big gains had he put the throw in the right spot. In the fourth quarter, the rookie quarterback lost a fumble and then threw an interception on consecutive possessions in Chargers territory to finish out the game. On the team's second possession of the game, Kizer hit tight end David Njoku with a great pass but Njoku dropped it. He then took a deep shot to Josh Gordon, but it was underthrown. The incompletion was nullified due to a roughing the passer penalty Kizer drew from Joey Bosa. Kizer continued the trend of missing Gordon in the second quarter as he overthrew a wide open Gordon on a deep attempt. The play probably could have gone for a touchdown had it been on target. He recovered later in the second quarter to throw his only touchdown pass of the game, a 28-yard strike to Njoku. He made a perfect pass right down the seam to Njoku, who was barely able to stretch over the goal line for the score. In the second half, Kizer started to struggle a bit more. He was almost intercepted by Casey Hayward on his team's first possession in the third quarter. Hayward read Kizer's eyes and jumped the pass but dropped the interception. He then missed Gordon again with an underthrown pass, allowing the defender to break up the pass. On the second drive in the third quarter, he again overthrew an open Gordon on a deep shot down the field. On the plus side, Kizer does continue to show toughness when he chooses to run the ball. He can be a big, physical runner (for a quarterback) when he chooses to take on tacklers instead of sliding. The fourth quarter was Kizer's worst frame. He was able to get the offense moving, getting into Chargers territory twice, but he committed two straight turnovers to help Los Angeles ice the game. The first turnover came on a strip sack where he held onto the ball too long and was hit hard as he was backpedaling in the pocket. The second turnover came on the final offensive play of the game for the Browns, as Kizer forced a poor throw into triple coverage, handing an easy interception to the defense. In all, the return of Josh Gordon gives Kizer's rest of season outlook a glimmer of hope as the two were a few overthrown balls away from posting huge games for the Browns. If they can improve their chemistry the offense could hit its stride over the final four games.

2017 Week 12 vs CIN (18 / 31 / 268 / 0 / 0 pass, 9 / 39 / 1 rush)

Kizer played perhaps the best game of his rookie season. He showed improved touch and accuracy on his passes, something that had been giving him trouble for much of the season. He did leave the game briefly during the second quarter to be checked for a concussion but wound up missing just one offensive series for his team. His first pass of the game came close to being intercepted as it appeared the Cincinnati defender had the ball in his hands for a moment. On the second possession of the first quarter, he made a beautiful first quarter throw off of his back foot for a 44-yard gain to Corey Coleman down the right sideline. Later, Kizer should have had a 29-yard touchdown pass to Corey Coleman in the third quarter as he threw a perfect ball to Coleman in the end zone. Coleman committed a brutal drop as he was unable to haul in the pass, even though it hit him in the hands. Kizer kept the Bengals defense on their heels all game with his excellent scrambling ability. He managed to score a rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter on a quarterback keeper on 4th-and-3.

2017 Week 11 vs JAX (16 / 32 / 179 / 1 / 2 pass, 5 / 22 / 0 rush)

Kizer took a huge step backward after he played one of his best games of the season in the previous week against the Detroit Lions. He fumbled three times, losing two of them. The final fumble resulted in a defensive touchdown for the Jaguars which put what was a one-score game out of reach. In what has been an ongoing issue this season, Kizer struggled with his accuracy. When he was on point with his passes, his receiving corps did him no favors by dropping several catchable balls. Kizer's lone touchdown came on a pretty throw down the middle of the field to Duke Johnson. He showed excellent touch in hitting Johnson in stride near the goal line for a 27-yard score. His first interception came in the first quarter when he locked onto Corey Coleman. Telvin Smith read his eyes and easily picked the low pass. Kizer's second interception came in the fourth quarter when a throw sailed on him. A.J. Bouye was there to make the interception. The play was reviewed and it appeared the ball may have hit the ground as Bouye fell but the interception call was upheld. Things fell apart quickly in the fourth quarter as Kizer had two consecutive possessions end with him losing a fumble on a strip sack. The second fumble lost resulted in a defensive touchdown for the Jacksonville defense.

2017 Week 10 vs DET (21 / 37 / 232 / 1 / 1 pass, 7 / 57 / 1 rush)

Kizer played one of his better games of the season against Detroit. He came out of the bye week making quicker decisions and getting the ball out quicker. He also did an excellent job running the ball as his ability to scramble helped keep the Detroit front seven at bay. His first pass of the game was a deep strike to Sammie Coates down the left sideline for a 38-yard gain. Kizer then connected with Kenny Britt for an 18-yard touchdown pass on the second drive of the first quarter, Kizer's first touchdown pass since Week 3. He left several other scoring chances on the field, however, as he missed tight end David Njoku on at least two fade routes in the end zone during the course of the game. Kizer also committed a rookie mistake at the end of the first half. With the Browns on Detroit's two-yard line, 15 seconds on the clock, and no timeouts left, Kizer audibled to a quarterback keeper. He didn't score and time expired before the Browns could get off another play. Kizer bounced back to lead the Browns on two scoring drives in the third quarter, including one where he punched in a one-yard touchdown on the ground. He took a big hit at the end of the third quarter and was replaced by Cody Kessler for most of the fourth quarter. He did return for his offense's final drive and led the team down the field before throwing an interception in the end zone. He had Ricardo Louis for a touchdown had he thrown a back shoulder pass but his accuracy failed him, resulting in the pick. Kessler's inability to do anything while Kizer was sidelined should further cement Kizer as the team's starter for the remainder of the season, health permitting.

2017 Week 8 vs MIN (18 / 34 / 179 / 0 / 0 pass, 5 / 18 / 1 rush)

From the outset it was clear the Browns planned to focus on throwing short, quick passes in attempts to limit Kizer's mistakes. Kizer's first four passes were all short (one was later changed to a lateral), which set him up to take a deep shot to a wide open David Njoku, which he overthrew. The game plan mostly worked, especially early on, as Kizer was able to avoid committing a turnover in the game. His accuracy still wasn't great but, like usual, he wasn't helped by his receivers, who committed multiple drops. Kizer was at his best on the team's touchdown drive in the second quarter. He tossed a great back shoulder pass to Ricardo Louis in the drive which went for 37 yards. He followed that up by showing great awareness to step up in the pocket and flip a shovel pass to Isaiah Crowell, which went for 38 yards. He capped off that drive with a one-yard touchdown run on a QB keeper up the middle. In the third quarter, Kizer was helped out by tight end David Njoku. He targeted Njoku in the end zone but the defender stepped in front of the pass. Njoku played great defense on the play to prevent an interception.

2017 Week 7 vs TEN (12 / 20 / 114 / 0 / 2 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)

Kizer started off playing well. He showed quick decision-making on many of his passes and was getting the ball out much quicker than he had been before being benched during Week 5. He generally did a decent job moving the ball down the field and was playing well until his back-to-back interceptions at the end of the second quarter and beginning of the third quarter derailed him and landed him a spot on the bench. Before the interceptions, Kizer showed marginally better accuracy throughout the game, hitting receivers on the run on designed bootlegs and throwing away balls before taking sacks. He had a nice 13-yard scramble in the first quarter nullified by an illegal use of hands to the face penalty. He could have had a first quarter touchdown pass but he overthrew David Njoku in the end zone. Kizer's first interception came on a poor throw at the end of the second quarter. He badly missed an open Rashard Higgins, throwing way too high for Higgins to make the catch. The ball landed right in the defender's hands. Making matters worse, the Browns were on Tennessee's 28-yard line on the pick. Kizer's second interception wasn't much better as he locked in on receiver Bryce Treggs, allowing the defender to read his eyes and jump the route. That was Kizer's final play as he was benched for Cleveland's second offensive series of the third quarter.

2017 Week 5 vs NYJ (8 / 17 / 87 / 0 / 1 pass, 6 / 29 / 0 rush)

Kizer struggled again in Week 5, committing two red zone turnovers and getting benched at halftime. Watching backup Kevin Hogan make quick decisions and get the ball out quickly really emphasized how much Kizer has struggled in those areas. While the rookie signal caller has a big arm he has struggled to make quick decisions and often holds the ball too long. He did make a few impressive throws against the Jets but too often missed his targets. In the first quarter, he most likely would have had a touchdown pass to Isaiah Crowell on a short route but he waited too long to throw the pass and then threw the ball too high. Crowell couldn't make the grab and the defense would have been able to stop him before he reached the goal line even if he did. Kizer's two turnovers were back breakers. He appeared to panic on a designed QB keeper near the goal line and threw a poor pitch to Isaiah Crowell which resulted in a lost fumble. Later, Kizer came back and threw an interception from New York's four-yard line. The defender simply jumped the route on a target that was intended for Seth DeValve. He was benched at halftime in favor of Hogan.

2017 Week 4 vs CIN (16 / 34 / 118 / 0 / 1 pass, 5 / 10 / 0 rush)

Kizer continues to struggle with his accuracy. The rookie quarterback missed several throws that could have led to big gains in the game. On the few occasions he was on target, his receivers struggled to hold onto the ball. He did have a chance to complete a deep shot to Kenny Britt in the second quarter but Britt was held on the play, resulting in a pass interference call for the offense. He bounced back to make a great pass down the middle to Britt on third-and-long to convert a first down. Kizer's interception came in the red zone but it is hard to pin the blame on him. He put the ball right in Kenny Britt's hands, but Britt allowed the pass to bounce off of his hands and into the defender's around the Cincinnati seven-yard line. Kizer later threw another interception, but it was nullified by a dubious roughing the passer call against Vontaze Burfict which got him off the hook. Kizer was pulled from the game with 6:30 left in the fourth quarter, giving way to backup Kevin Hogan. Head coach Hue Jackson told reporters he removed Kizer from the game to protect him and that Kizer remains the team's starting quarterback.

2017 Week 3 vs IND (22 / 47 / 242 / 2 / 3 pass, 7 / 44 / 1 rush)

Kizer had an uneven performance against the Colts in Week 3. He made several fine passes but also struggled with his accuracy, overthrowing several open receivers. The rookie also threw three interceptions and could have had a few more had the Colts defenders been able to secure the catch. While Kizer's final stat line doesn't look pretty, he wasn't done any favors by his pass catchers. The Browns receivers dropped about eight catchable balls which consistently stalled drives and killed momentum. Kizer compounded these issues by overthrowing several open receivers for what should have been easy completions. The arm talent is definitely there for Kizer, but he is going to need to work on his accuracy issues. Kizer did a good bit of damage with his legs, rushing for a touchdown on a one-yard quarterback keeper. He actually should have scored on the previous play but he was carrying the ball in the wrong hand as he crossed out of bounds right near the pylon. Had he been holding the ball in his left hand he could have broken the plane of the end zone before stepping out. Kizer threw three interceptions, one of which was a back breaker in the Colts' red zone during the third quarter. He targeted Kasen Williams near the five-yard line but it appeared the two had a miscommunication as Williams turned toward the middle of the field and Kizer threw the ball toward the sideline, into the waiting arms of the defender. Kizer's last interception came on a Hail Mary on the final play of the game.

2017 Week 2 vs BAL (15 / 31 / 182 / 0 / 3 pass, 5 / 26 / 0 rush)

Kizer didn't play well against a fearsome Baltimore defense in this game. The rookie quarterback threw three interceptions and lost a fumble on a strip sack. He left the game with a migraine following the team's first drive in the second quarter, but later returned with 8:19 remaining in the third quarter. He made several typical rookie mistakes, failing to get the snap off in time twice for delay of game penalties, holding onto the ball too long at times, and forcing throws in the middle of the field. Kizer's first interception of the game wasn't his fault as his pass went off of a wide open Duke Johnson's hands and into the defender's for the pick. He did get a red zone running play called for him on first-and-goal at Baltimore's three yard line but he lost four yards on the play.

2017 Week 1 vs PIT (20 / 30 / 222 / 1 / 1 pass, 5 / 17 / 1 rush)

Kizer did some good things against a tough Steelers pass rush on Sunday. He also made some rookie mistakes, as would be expected. He once again showed the arm talent that made him one of the top collegiate quarterbacks in last year's draft class before he went back to school. Kizer threw several off-balance strikes to his receivers and also had a great back-shoulder completion to Corey Coleman. He did overthrow a few receivers who were open, including Duke Johnson, who had Joe Haden beat and may have scored a touchdown had the pass been on target. Kizer's main issue is that he continues to hold onto the ball too long. He took seven sacks on Sunday, mostly on plays where he was moving around in the pocket and not getting the ball out quick enough. He did come close to completing a touchdown pass to David Njoku in the first quarter, but Njoku was held and drew a pass interference flag around the Pittsburgh two-yard line. Kizer showed the ability to make plays with his legs, running a quarterback sneak for the Browns' first touchdown of the game.


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