No one really knew what to expect going into this season in a matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers at First Energy Stadium. It was rainy, windy and an unpleasant afternoon in Cleveland, similar to the last couple of seasons of football in Cleveland. The Browns and Steelers tied at 21, so one can say the 17-game losing streak is over with a bit of an eye roll. Click on the next page to read my five takeaways!
The Browns Have a Changed Attitude, Culture
Down 21-7 in the 4th quarter and missing a crucial conversion, most thought the game was over. However, this Browns team never gave up as Myles Garrett forced a fumble and Tyrod Taylor made a few passes to end up tying the game at 21. While the team wasn’t able to secure the win, they didn’t just fold up and take it like usual. Hopefully, this will translate to wins in the future.
The Elements Saved Tyrod Taylor From Tons of Criticism
Statistically, both Tyrod Taylor and Ben Rothlisberger had really bad games. Taylor missed many open receivers, was wildly inaccurate and only completed 15/40 passes for 197 yards and a touchdown. He did have 77 yards rushing and a TD on the ground, but that always comes with the risk of injury. Sure, a lot of his poor play has to do with the weather, but he will be judged much more next week in New Orleans (dome). I expect Baker Mayfield will get a shot at some point.
Our Defense Has The Chance to Win us Some Games
While Big Ben did throw for over 300 yards, he also threw three interceptions and was sacked four times. Myles Garrett had two sacks and a couple forced fumbles and rookie Denzel Ward had two interceptions. While weather was also a factor for the Steelers offense, the Browns defense looked pretty good and gave the team a chance to win.
Jarvis is as Advertised, Gordon Needs a Few Weeks
The Browns had trouble throwing the ball but Jarvis Landry had seven catches for 106 yards. Josh Gordon only had one catch for 17 yards, but it was a huge touchdown catch in the right corner of the end zone. He needs some time to get back in the swing of things. He was also only targeted three times compared to Landry’s 15.
Team Still Must Find a Way to Win
A tie isn’t a loss, but it isn’t a win either. Honestly, it leaves us all with a really conflicting feeling. The Steelers turned the ball over SIX times and the Browns still could not find a way to win the game. At the end of regulation and multiple times in overtime, the Browns had a chance to take the lead or win the game. The worst was a blocked kick with 13 seconds left in OT that sealed the tie for both teams.
For most of the game, it felt like the “same old Browns.” However, they really showed something in that 4th quarter comeback. Yeah, it’s a tie and it sucks, but we aren’t competing for a Super Bowl this year. Learn from the loss, build on it and get ready for next week in New Orleans. Go Browns!