Browns Lack The Deep-Ball Threat

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Updated: September 10, 2017

The Indians have won 18 straight and the Browns scored 18 points in their loss to the Steelers on Sunday in Cleveland. I joked on CST Twitter that the Browns putting up that many points was the more impressive feat.

As expected, the defense held its own while the offense primarily scuffled. Negating the special-teams fiasco to start the game and Gregg Williams’ bunch only allowed 14 points to a very good football team.

By the way, a blocked punt to start the season? Seriously?

I had made it a point to note that the Browns’ wide receiving core was lacking a true deep-ball play maker and that remains the case. Corey Coleman did have a touchdown (five for 53), but no other receiver had more than two receptions the entire game.

Rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer held his own during his first start, which was great to see. He went 20/30 for 222 yards, one touchdown and a pick as well. He did get sacked seven times and that could be attributed to him holding onto the ball too long…

OR IS THAT TRULY THE CASE?

Well, when none of the wide receivers can get open, it’s very hard for the quarterback to make plays. I am no longer sold that Kenny Britt is a true replacement of Terrelle Pryor. He’s closer to Dwayne Bowe with only one catch on the afternoon.

On the flip side, we all saw Steelers’ star wide out Antonio Brown have 11 catches for 182 yards. Big Ben could just toss it down the field and know that Brown was going to be there. With Kizer, he has the arm to make those throws, but he just needs the receiving core to do that.

In my opinion, being a downer here, the final score was not indicative of the Browns’ performance. I believe the Steelers played one of their worst games of the season today, meaning they made mistakes on their own that hurt them.

But great teams find a way to win and the Steelers did just that against the Browns.

Moving forward, I want to see more out of Britt and Ricardo Louis next week in Baltimore and beyond. But who knows if those guys have the ability to make a difference on a young and inexperienced team?

Not to be that guy and talk draft in September, but I’m going to assume the Browns will look for a big-play receiver. Right now, it looks like it’s going to be a long year passing the ball, especially to the wide receivers.

Congrats, DeShone, on getting your feet wet in the NFL. Now, let’s win a game!

Follow the author: @ShafOnSports

Photos: ESPN

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