Last weekend was the first time since December 24th of the 2016 season that the Browns did not lose a game. They still have yet to win a game since then, however. That is correct, the Cleveland Browns’ losing streak came to an end this past weekend on a tie.
The last time there was a tie in the NFL was October 30th, 2016. Almost the same amount of time its been since the Browns won a game.
At the end of the first half of the very rainy game in Cleveland, the Steelers were winning 7-0 and only due to a roughing the passer call which was later announced as a bad call by the NFL. The Browns defense was doing pretty well with 3 interceptions off Big Ben. Two of those came from the first round rookie Denzel Ward.
At the end of the third, the Browns were on the board with a 20 yard run by Tyrod Taylor. Instead of stepping out of bounds once he reached the defenders like most QB’s would, he lowered his shoulder and drove into the end zone. This mentality is part of the reason the Browns traded for him in the offseason.
Trailing 21-7 entering the 4th quarter the chances seemed slim for the Browns. With 7:32 left, team captain Myles Garett forced a fumble from James Connor which Jabrill Peppers returned to the 1-yard line. Very next play was a 1-yard touchdown run from newly acquired running back Carlos Hyde.
The atmosphere instantly changed. The crowd sounded the loudest they’ve been in a long time.
Fast forward to 2:58 left in the 4th quarter. The Steelers backed up on their own 19-yard line are stuffed once again by the Browns defensive line. After the Browns get the ball back and drive down the field, “Flash” Gordon returned. Josh Gordon made an incredible touchdown catch which would send the game to overtime after the extra point.
With 1:44 left in OT, Steelers kicker Chris Boswell had the opportunity to end the game with a field goal. What happened next made the world think, this is it. The Browns are actually going to win the game.
Boswell missed the field goal which turned the ball over to the Browns. After failing to convert yet again, the Browns punted the ball back to the Steelers. With 48 seconds left in the game, on their own 38-yard line, Rothlesburger was hit from behind and the ball fell into the hands of Browns linebacker Joe Schobert.
On 3rd and 11 with 13 seconds left in the game, Browns kicker Zane Gonzalez came out to try to win the game. The kick was blocked by none other than TJ Watt who has been a nightmare for the Browns in the past 3 matchups.
The Browns may have not won but they also did not lose. There is a lot of optimism, however. The Browns defense performed very well forcing 6 turnovers. Myles Garret is continuing to prove he is worth the number one pick in last years draft. He finished the game with 2 sacks and 2 forced fumbles.
The offense, however, has a lot of work to do. Mainly Tyrod Taylor who finished the game just 15 of 40 for 197 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception. If the Browns offense can find its rhythm next week against New Orleans, they might bring a win back home with them.