Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports
The corner had his hands full with Josh Gordon. The physical Browns receiver won more battles against Chris Houston than he lost, though No. 23 did make several tackles. I had him for one missed tackle.
Houston needs to do a better job of anticipating the routes against bigger wideouts like Gordon. He often seemed taken aback by Gordon initiating contact.
Rashean Mathis was not off to a good start before leaving the game in the first half with a groin injury. He did not return. This is the second game he has departed early, leaving his durability a real question as the season progresses. A nice leg-clinging tackle on a third down keeps him from failing here.
Other than being victimized by Greg Little for a touchdown where he was badly beaten from the get-go, Bill Bentley once again played reasonably well. His hard-hitting run support from the slot is well-received. I had him down for two tackles on third downs which prevented conversions. His one pass deflection could have been an interception.
Louis Delmas got sucked up on a play fake and subsequently lost in coverage on the first Cleveland touchdown. He was a count late to help on Gordon more than once as well. The safety missed one tackle because he failed to wrap after a hit. It was not his best game.
It was a very quiet game for the safety. The box score has him down for four tackles, but I only have him listed with two in my notes. He left the game on the final Cleveland drive.
Don Carey was flagged for a penalty on special teams but did chip in two tackles.
One again pressed into extended action, Darius Slay played pretty well. I have three different listings where I praised his coverage. He also blew up a run play and quickly attacked a screen to hold it to a short gain.
But then there were the bad moments, as every rookie corner must suffer. Slay earned his pass interference penalty. He got bailed out on a long completion by an iffy call by the officials, who ruled that Little did not land inbounds.
I give him a half-grade bump for excellent work on the punt and kick coverage units.
His up-and-down rookie campaign continues. He has at least shown enough to merit the nod over Mathis, or at least keep the coaching staff comfortable in replacing the veteran if he's hurt again or struggling on the field next week.