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Friday Football Footnotes: Barkley breaks out

August 20, 2018 GMT

The Steelers/Eagles game wasn’t the only preseason NFL Debut. Quite a few others got going as well. We recap in our “Friday Football Footnotes” as Saquon shines, Baker busts out, and Dez may become a Brown after all.

Saquon’s sizzling start

Former Penn State standout Saquon Barkley got going on the right foot for the Giants.

The second overall draft choice rambled 39 yards against Cleveland in his first run from scrimmage.

Gee, a No. 26 with vision and patience and athleticism to make a run like that. Where have we seen that act before?

Unfortunately for Barkley, he only had three more carries for four more yards, and the Giants lost 20-10

Just let ’em count it as a real win

Yup. You read that right. The Giants lost. So, that means the Browns w….wwwww….wwwooo.

Weird. The keyboard is stuck. It won’t let me type that that Cleveland actually ... won.

What?! Cleveland won?!

Yup. It’s true. Just preseason. But the Browns were, in fact, victorious. And top overall pick Baker Mayfield did some really good things. He was 11-20 for 212 yards, no sacks, no interceptions, and two touchdowns. One of them went to Antonio Callaway.

The other went to David Njoku.

That was Njoku’s second TD of the night. Look at “Coach Todd” getting the tight end involved!

Njoku caught the other one from Tyrod Taylor who was a perfect 5-for-5 against the New York defense.

Bryant a Brown??!!

During the action last night, out-of-work receiver Dez Bryant tweeted that he was going on a visit to Cleveland.

If there truly is a God above, he will allow this happen. The very thought of Bryant being added to an already combustible locker room makes me quiver with anticipation over how “Hard Knocks” is going to go moving forward.

I mean, at least just film the interview with Hue Jackson, OK?

Can you process the notion of Todd Haley trying to get along with a guy like Bryant? I’m sure those two won’t have problems with each other.

Nope. Not ever. Not once. Never. Nothing but sunshine and rainbows.

That got weird

Bills receiver Kelvin Benjamin recently said this to the Athletic about his trade from Carolina to Buffalo.

“It was a bad fit from the get-go. If you would’ve put me with any other quarterback, let’s be real, you know what I’m saying?”

What he’s saying is that he wasn’t particularly impressed with Cam Newton.

Well the two teams played each other last night in a preseason game. Newton tried to address the situation with Benjamin. But Benjamin wanted none of that. And it got tense. Fast.

Carolina won the game. Newton was decent, going 6-9 for 84 yards. But Benjamin stood out catching all four passes thrown his way. They went for 59 yards, including this score.

Belichick being Belichick

For a long time, the Patriots didn’t look like the Patriots last night. But Bill Belichick was in midseason form.

Without Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, New England trailed 17-3 at halftime. When Belichick gave his on-field interview to begin the second half, he summed up his club’s effort to at least get a field goal before halftime

Well, hey, 38 seconds of good football was better than the 30 of that typically glum Belichick interview. The second half was much better for the Pats as they came back to win 26-17.

The worse news for Washington is that second-round draft choice running back Derrius Guice hurt his knee. The team is awaiting and MRI result.

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at tbenz@tribweb.com or via Twitter @TimBenzPGH