One week in and the Browns are still undefeated.

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Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2018 1:21 am
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2019 5:36 pm
Now that's progress.Cleveland ended its 17-game losing streak on Sunday with a 21-21 tie against the Pittsburgh Steelers http://www.clevelandbrownsteamonline.com/derrick-kindred-jersey , who prevented the Browns from getting their first victory since 2016 when linebacker T.J. Watt blocked Zane Gonzalez's 43-yard field-goal attempt with 9 seconds left in OT.The Steelers, who blew a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter, also wasted their chance to escape with a win when Chris Boswell was wide left on a 42-yard field-goal attempt with 1:44 remaining in the extra period.It was the NFL's first tie in Week 1 since 1971 and the league's first overall since Washington and Cincinnati ended in a 27-27 deadlock on Oct. 30, 2016."If you don't win," Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said, "it feels like a loss."The Browns remain winless since Dec. 24, 2016, but at least they have a positive after going 0-16 last season, just the second team in league history to lose all 16 games.Pittsburgh committed six turnovers, including a strip-sack fumble of Roethlisberger late in OT that had the Browns poised to win their first opener since 2004.But Gonzalez's kick was low and Watt, who had four sacks, got deep penetration and appeared to get his hand on the ball, which went sideways and landed on the soaked FirstEnergy Stadium turf as thousands of Browns fans threw up their hands in disbelief.So close. So far."They broke through and were right there, so there wasn't much I could do about it," Gonzalez said. "It was blocked. We felt good about it when we went out there. They definitely were in there a little quick."Browns coach Hue Jackson felt the Steelers were offside on the climactic kick."Disappointed for our fans http://www.clevelandbrownsteamonline.com/trevon-coley-jersey ," said an exasperated Jackson, who fell to 1-31-1 with Cleveland. "Did not want them going home without a victory. I did not want our players to go home without a victory. We were not able to get it done. Did not finish it, but obviously, a tie. A tie."The Browns also had a chance to win it in regulation and were driving for a potential game-winning field goal, but Tyrod Taylor's deep pass for Josh Gordon was underthrown and intercepted by Cameron Sutton with 16 seconds left."There is nothing to be excited about, nothing at all," said Gordon, who missed most of the past four seasons because of drug suspensions. "We don't come to work to get ties. It's the equivalent of a loss to me."The Steelers played their opener without star running back Le'Veon Bell, who remains away from the team in a contract dispute. As Bell continued his holdout in warm and dry South Florida, James Conner filled in and scored two touchdowns while running for 135 yards — just nine fewer than he gained as a rookie last season.Roethlisberger threw three interceptions in the first half and finished 23 of 41 for 335 yards, throwing a 22-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to Antonio Brown.Down 21-7 in the fourth quarter, the Browns were on the verge of their 18th straight loss.But they forced a fumble by Conner and scored quickly on Carlos Hyde's 1-yard run to pull within a touchdown.Cleveland's defense then forced a punt before Taylor connected with Gordon, who was playing in his first opener since 2012, made a gorgeous leaping catch in the corner over Steelers cornerback Cameron Sutton.In his debut with Cleveland, Taylor completed 15 of 40 passes for 197 yards.BUNGLING BROWNSCleveland gave up seven sacks and committed 11 penalties http://www.clevelandbrownsteamonline.com/jamie-collins-jersey , including four on false starts."Tyrod got hit way too much," left guard Joel Bitonio said.ROOKIE SHINESBrowns rookie cornerback Denzel Ward intercepted Roethlisberger twice in his NFL debut. Both picks by the No. 4 overall selection came in the first half."We got guys who can get the ball and are ball hawks," defensive lineman Myles Garrett said. "Denzel is one of them."INJURIESSteelers: CB Joe Haden injured his hamstring in the second half and did not return.Browns: DE Emmanuel Ogbah left briefly with an ankle injury in the first quarter but returned.LEFT OUTIt was a tough week for Browns rookie guard Austin Corbett. First, the No. 33 overall pick was replaced in the starting lineup when coach Hue Jackson slid Joel Bitonio back to left guard and put undrafted rookie Desmond Harrison in at left tackle. Corbett figured to be a backup on game day, but was one of the club's inactives.UP NEXTSteelers: Host Kansas City on Sept. 16.Browns: Visit New Orleans on Sept. 16 Zay Jones can reflect on the past 18 months and see how much he's matured as a player and a person.Looking back, the Bills' second-year receiver realizes how ill-prepared he was entering the NFL as a second-round draft pick in 2017. Jones had the wild idea then in believing his success at East Carolina, where he set NCAA records for career and single-season receptions, would immediately translate at the professional level."You have to understand that things just don't happen like that," Jones said, snapping his fingers for emphasis."Things take time," he added. "For me as a man, just understanding this league, how it goes and finally letting the dust settle with everything, I've learned a lot."It's a hard-earned perspective gained from his season-long struggles as a rookie, followed by a frightening meltdown during which a bloodied and naked Jones was arrested 鈥?but not charged 鈥?after trashing a downtown Los Angeles apartment in February.Jones http://www.clevelandbrownsteamonline.com/christian-kirksey-jersey , who still has scars on his right knee from the outburst, wouldn't change a thing if he could."It hurts sometimes because there's growth pains," he said. "You don't understand what the NFL requires until you're in it. And hopefully, for some guys it's not too late."It wasn't too late for Jones, who is beginning to show signs of emerging as a dependable receiver on a young and patchwork offense expected to have rookie Josh Allen back under center Sunday, when Buffalo (3-7) hosts Jacksonville (3-7).Jones entered the bye week coming off a career-best outing. He had eight catches for 93 yards and a touchdown in a 41-10 win over the New York Jets on Nov. 11, with Matt Barkley starting for Buffalo. Jones now leads Buffalo with 37 catches for 392 yards and two TDs receiving. He's already passed last year's totals in catches (27) and yards (316) while matching his scoring output."I'm proud of myself, I wouldn't lie to you," Jones said. "It was nice to just sit back during the bye week and recognize the things that I've done, but also know there's still a long ways ahead."It's a far better place than where Jones was a year ago, when he was being criticized for dropping too many passes and not being on the same page with quarterback Tyrod Taylor. The most memorable incompletion came in the final seconds of a 9-3 loss at Carolina in Week 2, when Jones failed to bring down a pass near the goal line.That's not the type of production anyone, including Jones, was expecting from a player who finished his college career with 399 catches, including 158 in his senior season.In Jones' defense http://www.clevelandbrownsteamonline.com/joe-schobert-jersey , he spent a portion of last season playing with a shoulder injury. It was also unfair to expect Jones to stand out amid a group of receivers mostly made up of rookies and journeymen.Jones was disappointed by his lack of production and stung by the criticism."If people want to place the blame on me last year, sure I'll take it," he said. "But it's helped me grow as a man. It's helped me grow as a football player. I've matured."How much Jones matured wasn't immediately apparent in February, when security video showed him arguing with his brother before being arrested for vandalism. It didn't help that Jones required surgery to repair a knee injury, which sidelined him through the second week of training camp in August.Jones won't go into detail, except to say what happened in Los Angeles could have cost him his life.He will acknowledge having made mistakes."I'm a professional in what I do. And I take that criticism," Jones said. "Is a lot of it deserved? Maybe some."Coach Sean McDermott is impressed by the maturity Jones showed in putting the past behind."He persevered, and that's a testament to Zay," McDermott said. "He's still a work in progress, like we all are. But to be able to step back and learn and grow from those moments on the field and then off the field in February says a lot about him as a person."NOTES: DE Shaq Lawson did not practice a day after hurting his elbow. ... DE Trent Murphy, who has missed three games with a knee injury, practiced on a limited basis. ... LB Matt Milano has been cleared from the concussion protocol. Custom Indianapolis Colts Jerseys

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