Browns tie Steelers 21-21 in wild Week 1 game
Written by Brandon Lewis on September 10, 2018
Image courtesy of the Boston Herald
The Browns snapped their 17 game losing streak on Sunday, but not in the way you would think, tying the Steelers 21-21.
Midway through the fourth quarter, the Steelers had a commanding 21-7 lead and looked to be in full control after the Browns just punted the ball back to them. Then, Steelers running back James Conner fumbled, and it opened the door for the Browns to get back into the game. Browns new starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor led two touchdown drives in the quarter and three overall in the second half to help the Browns keep up with their arch rival in the downpour at Firstenergy Stadium. Taylor finished 15-40 for 197 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. It was not a spectacular debut in a Browns uniform for Taylor, but it least he did not lose them the game.
After not being able to get anything going on the ground in the first half, the Browns in the second half pounded the rock. Lead back Carlos Hyde, the former San Francisco 49er, struggled in his Browns debut, getting just 68 yards on 22 attempts, netting a horrible 2.6 yards per carry. Rookie Nick Chubb had just three carries, but gained 21 yards on those carries, and Duke Johnson had five carries for 17 yards. Overall, the running backs did not do much to help out the passing game. Tyrod Taylor had the biggest game rushing for the Browns with 77 yards on eight scramble runs. When your quarterback has the best game on your team both throwing and running, that’s a problem, and the Browns need to get these running backs going if they want to win.
The defense picked up just how it ended last year; forcing turnovers. The Browns forced an outstanding six turnovers yesterday, five by Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger himself and another one by running back James Conner that turned the game around(as mentioned above.) However, besides the fumble, James Conner had a really good game, running 31 times for 135 yards and two huge touchdowns. Maybe Conner was motivated because of the Le’veon Bell situation, but the Browns have to do a better job at stopping the run going forward.
The passing defense though was phenomenal. While Ben Roethlisberger went 23-41 and had 335 yards passing, the secondary picked him off three times, and held Roethlisberger to only a 22.5 quarterback rating, the second worst quarterback rating in the NFL on Sunday behind Nathan Peterman of the Buffalo Bills. The defensive line forced Ben to step up, and the secondary had good coverage down the field, so then Ben could not make a play. This was a good sign for the Browns going forward.
Next week, the Browns go to New Orleans for a battle with Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints.