The Negatives: Just like the game, I will start with the bad.

1st Half: Going into halftime the Browns were down by a score of 27-3. 30 minutes into the first game and the season already seemed lost. There were calls for Manziel to start the second half, the entire team as a whole, defense, offense, and special teams all performed at puke worthy levels. Luckily, you play 60 minutes.

Secondary: Joe Haden had trouble all day with Antonio Brown (5 rec, 116 yards, 1 TD). Justin Gilbert has a huge learning curve to adjust to. The secondary allowed Ben Roethlisberger throw for 365 yards, and when it mattered most, allowed him to drive the Steelers down the field to help the Steelers to a game-winning field goal. It does not get any easier for them either as they face Drew Brees and the Saints in week 2.

Tackling: Those boxing gloves worn in practice might have taught the defense to not hold on to receivers, but it sure didn’t help them in the tackling department. Tackling is the most fundamental part of the game, and if the Browns don’t address this problem soon, they could be facing big deficits a lot. On multiple occasions, what would have been a 5 or 10-yard gain turn into a 20 to30-yard gain.

Johnny Manziel Coverage: The camera focused on Manziel for what seemed like a good 50 times in the game. This will be a common occurrence until he is the starting QB.

Injuries: Ben Tate and Jordan Cameron, the Browns two best threats on offense, went down in the game. Tate injured his knee, while Cameron reinjured his shoulder. Both players could be out multiple weeks. Be on the lookout over the next few days for the Browns injury report. If these two guys are out for multiple games, then the NFLPA will need to decide on the new drug policy quickly, so Josh Gordon can return and give the Browns at least one threat on offense.

The Positives: As bad as the first half was, the Browns looked pretty good in the second half.

2nd Half: A different team came out of the locker room for the second half and outscored the Steelers by a score of 24-3. The offense seemed to gel and was able to move the ball extremely well, the defense also came together, and was able to limit the Steelers air-raid, getting to Ben Roethlisberger multiple times. The Run defense tighten up as well, but the Browns just could overcome the huge hole they dug themselves into.

Run Game: The Browns had a total of 183 rush yards, and averaged 6.1 yards per carry. Ben Tate ran for 41 yards on 6 carries before injuring his knee. Rookies Terrance West and Isiah Crowell were able to shoulder the load though. West racked up his first 100-game, with 100 yards on 16 carries, while Crowell had 32 yards on 5 carries, while scoring 2 touchdowns in his debut. This run game is light-years ahead of last year’s team.

Veteran Leadership: According to Mike Pettine, the coaches said very little at halftime. He said that the veteran players stepped up and urged the team to a great second half. Bringing in Donte Whitner and Karlos Dansby to help fill the leadership role has already shown its benefits.

Brian Hoyer: Hoyer shut a lot of his critics up in this game. He only threw for 230 yards and a touchdown, but it would have been extremely easy to just give up in the second half, instead Hoyer lead the Browns on 4 scoring drives and was able to tie the game. If Hoyer plays like this all season, we may not see Manziel at all.

Andrew Hawkins: With Josh Gordon and eventually Jordan Cameron out of the game, Hawkins stepped into the leading receiver role. In his first game with the Browns, Hawkins totaled 8 receptions for 87 yards.

–Chris Sladoje (@CST_Doje)

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