Today’s game was an unfortunate loss for our Browns, but there were many takeaways and many were positive:
- DeShone Kizer performed very well in his NFL debut. Being the only rookie quarterback to start the first game for the Browns since Brandon Weeden, many fans did not expect much from Kizer. I’m not saying that he lit up the Steelers, but he performed very well in his first start. His main issue was holding onto the ball too long and that will need to be cleaned up if he wants to progress as a NFL quarterback. What he was able to do well though impressed many fans. His ability to make reads and throw the football down the field is something we have not seen in a while. Then he was able to extend plays with his legs, which in turn, extended drives. He missed a few deep balls that could have changed the game, but once he starts making those, look out. Kizer has a lot of talent and it will be fun watching him progress this season.
- Gregg Williams knows what he is doing with this defense. Maybe even more surprising than Kizer’s performance, the Myles Garrett-less defense looked strong Sunday afternoon. Le’Veon Bell did not have much running space in the game, which is refreshing because he usually tears apart the Browns’ defense. I find it interesting how Williams often played a safety 20 yards off the line of scrimmage. That definitely played a part on why the Steelers did not throw down the field that often. Most of their passes consisted of five to seven yards catches and some chunks of yards after the catch. Overall, with how potent the Steelers can be on offense, the Browns were able to show up and keep them in check. I will contribute that to Gregg Williams being the conductor of the defense.
- The Browns showed that they will miss Myles Garrett. Although the defense played well, the pass rush was almost nonexistent. The Browns were only able to generate clear pressure to Roethlisberger on two out of the 37 pass plays. I’m not sure that Garrett would completely fix that, but he would certainly help. Let’s hope that Garrett can come back healthy sooner than later.
- There’s still no luck for the Browns at First Energy Stadium. Although we played well, we should have won the game. I contribute this loss to a couple of unlucky plays that the Steelers were able to capitalize on. The first unlucky play was the tipped ball across the middle of the field to Antonio Brown that went for 50 yards after his run after the catch. The Steelers were able to score a touchdown on that drive. The second play was late in the 4th when Roethlisberger was able to throw a jump ball to Brown in triple coverage. This later sealed the deal for the Steelers because all they needed was another first down to run out the clock. Keep in mind, if this play doesn’t happen, Pittsburgh is forced to a 3rd and 12 at their own 25. If they couldn’t get the first down, the Steelers would’ve punted and who knows how the game COULD have ended.
- The Browns may actually have something going. I know it’s early and I know it’s only one game, but the Browns showed promise this afternoon. They played with the Steelers all afternoon and most importantly, they never gave up. They have so much young talent, it’s just a matter of being consistent and being able to put it all together for a W.
Any other thoughts? Let us know!
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