Week 1 . . . Browns @ Steelers
If you just looked at these stats put up by the Steelers, you would think that this was just another in a long line of opening day miseries for Browns fans.
- Ben Roethlisberger: 23 of 34 (67.6%), 365 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
- Le’Veon Bell: 21 carries, 109 yards rushing, 1 TD
- LeGarrette Blount: 4 carries, 6 yards rushing, 1 TD
- Antonio Brown: 5 receptions, 116 receiving yards, 1 TD
- Shaun Suisham: 2 Field Goals (36 and 34 yards)
And the scoring shown was just in the first half as the Steelers raced out to a half-time lead of 27-3.
Included in the onslaught, was an ill-fated attempt by the Browns’ Punter, Spencer Lanning, to tackle Antonio Brown by using only his facemask to bring down the punt returner. The first half was indeed ugly and this play fittingly demonstrated just how ugly it was. To be fair, Brown was flagged 15 yards for unnecessary roughness on the play but it made no difference as Le’Veon Bell ran it in from the 38 for a touchdown two plays later.
And then . . .
. . . clack, clack, clack
The Browns came out after halftime and scored twenty-four unanswered points to tie the game in the 4th quarter. In the 2nd half, Brian Hoyer went 13 of 20 for 160 yards and a TD. The combination of Terrance West and Isaiah Crowell rushed 17 times for 115 yards and two TD’s and Billy Cundiff added his second Field Goal of the game. The good news is that they did all this in a little over 29 minutes. The bad news was that they left Ben Roethlisberger 47 seconds to drive the Steelers to within Field Goal range for Shaun Suisham. And that he did as time expired.
It’s often said that, in the NFL, there are no moral victories. But this one came awfully close.
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Next up – Week 2; the New Orleans Saints