Browns, Headlines

(Im)Perfect! Browns fall to Steelers, 28-24, to end season at 0-16

The parade is a go. The Cleveland Browns lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 28-24, to go winless at 0-16. The Browns played against the Steelers backups, nonetheless the Browns could not find a victory and so we begin another offseason of questions. Will Hue Jackson be back as head coach? Will Jimmy Haslam still be owner by the start of next season? Who will general manager John Dorsey select at No. 1? Who is the quarterback of the future and how will the position look at the start of the 2018 season? There are so many more questions, but the offseason is here where we will get all these answers. Before we turn the page, let’s take a look at how the Browns finished off the perfect season.

Here is the summary for the first quarter. The Browns had negative 16 yards of total offense, while the Steelers had 141 yards of total offense. Quarterback DeShone Kizer did not complete a pass. But, somehow the Browns were only down 7-0 after one quarter. The defense kept the Browns sort of in it with an interception and a goal line stand that turned the Steelers over on downs. But, the first quarter pretty much summed up the Browns 2017 season.

After getting great field position on a bad punt from Browns punter Britton Colquitt at the beginning of the second quarter, the Steelers quickly notched their second touchdown of the game in three plays covering 28 yards. But, the Browns responded. Kizer hooked up with receiver Josh Gordon on a beautiful 54-yard pass that set up a touchdown run by running back Duke Johnson. In Browns fashion, Pittsburgh drove 75 yards right down the field for a touchdown, moving the score to 21-7. The Browns looked to have forced the Steelers to kick a field goal, but a questionable roughing the passer call on Myles Garrett gave Pittsburgh new life on the drive. However, the Browns responded once again with another big pass from Kizer. Kizer threw a perfect pass to receiver Rashard Higgins, who took the slant pass 56-yards for a touchdown. Following the Browns touchdown drive, the only threat of a score for the rest of the half from either team came from Pittsburgh, but that drive was thwarted by a strip sack from Garrett to end the threat. So, the Browns trailed 21-14 at the half.

The Browns opened the second half with a great drive. In seven plays, Cleveland drove 68 yards to the endzone, capped off by another touchdown reception by Higgins. The tie game did not last, though. On the ensuing kickoff, Steelers receiver Juju Smith-Schuster returned the kick 96 yards for a go-ahead touchdown. The Browns would answer with a field goal on the next drive to cut the deficit to 28-24. Kizer used his legs to help maneuver the offense into field goal position. With one quarter to play in the game and the season, the Browns trailed 28-24.

After forcing a punt, the Browns had the looks of a big play coming, but a turnover ended the threat. Kizer threw a screen pass to Duke Johnson, who took the screen 30 yards. However, Johnson was stripped at the end of the play, wiping away what could have been a possible go-ahead drive. The Browns defense remained strong and stopped the Steelers again on the ensuing drive. Though, the Browns would take over and commit another crushing turnover. This time Kizer threw a pick, causing Cleveland to lose another chance of trying to take the lead. The Browns defense did not give up and stopped the Steelers again to give the Browns offense one last chance to take the lead. Will this be the drive to end the losing streak? The Browns started the series well, driving all the way down to the Pittsburgh 27-yard line where they were faced with a 4th-and-2 situation. After taking the snap on the fourth down play, Kizer eluded the Pittsburgh pass rush and scrambled to the sideline where he found an open receiver, Corey Coleman, beyond the sticks. But, Coleman dropped the pass that hit him right in his hands. The drop turned the ball over on downs and all but sealed the loss. The defense could not make the stop to get the ball back and so the Browns lost their 16th game of the season.

The Browns are now on the clock in one of the most important offseasons in the new Browns era. With the loss by the Houston Texans today, the Browns own the No. 1 and No. 4 picks in the 2018 NFL Draft. The Browns have five picks in the first two rounds. This is a draft where the future of the organization can be changed. The pressure is on for general manager John Dorsey to get the picks right, especially the quarterback selection. Let the real games begin!

  • MartyDaVille

    What a gritty, gutty performance by a team that would not be denied, culminating in Corey Coleman’s absolutely clutch drop to nail down the loss. Thanks, Sashi. That was a fabulous use of an asset. Take a bow, my man.

    Listening to Hue after the game, it was plain that he just loathes Sashi.

  • RGB
  • RGB

    Yep. Totally apropos that Sashi’s first pick dropped such an easy pass to insure the perfect season.

  • WE HAVE A NEW CHAMPION OF THE CLEVELAND BROWNS PREDICTION GAME.

    Find out during the Winners and Losers article tomorrow.

  • Harv

    weirdly, given that I’ve excoriated Coleman, I feel awful for him this afternoon. Maybe because his immediate and ongoing reaction suddenly shows that at least he cares. I’ll get over it by tomorrow, because he was invisible for most of the game – again – and the drop was not him trying to make a play, like Duke’s horrible fumble. It was a drop you can’t have, whether you’re the 15th selection in the country or a street free agent.

  • Mr. Clandestine
  • Harv

    Amazing how many picks Kizer tried to throw that were dropped. He could have had 4 easy. This kid has regressed since the opener. Not sure if he can ever be a decent starter but I’ve never seen a rookie QB handled worse, start to finish, top of the org to the bottom. If Hue stays I hope the kid gets a chance someplace else.

    Look at me DeShone. It’s not your fault .. it’s not your fault … [paging GIF assist]

  • Dave

    The one bit of good news: Whoever is running the Browns next year can’t possibly do any worse!

  • Mr. Clandestine

    All of my loathing is aimed directly at the numbskull that put him in a position to make that call and a coach that has shown a comprehensive incompetence that’s breathtaking and now hired a new GM who once again has no power to build a structure but can feed more talent to the talent killer coach. Yay.

  • Mr. Clandestine
  • RGB
  • “ Not sure if he can ever be a decent starter but I’ve never seen a rookie QB handled worse, start to finish…“

    Question, did you ever see Terry Bradshaw’s stats during His rookie season? They don’t look like pro-Bowl numbers to me.

    https://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/B/BradTe00/gamelog/1970/

  • RGB

    Only two more seasons of the Scheiner orangier unis!

  • Take the following rumor with a bag of chips, but my sauces cans confirm that Jimmy and Dee Haslam have decided to keep the existing jerseys for the next 2 decades.

  • RGB
  • MartyDaVille

    Have you boys seen your won-loss record?

    [crickets]

    Well, have you?

    I know it’s a little below par, Sir.

    It’s more than a little below par, Mr. Jackson. IT STINKS! It’s the worst in the league. It’s the worst in league history!

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e359718faa47d4f9fa31bf52847f54cb73146e32822c5dd2a90cc71d510185d0.jpg

  • MartyDaVille

    Are you sure?

    DATELINE, NEW YORK, FEB. 3, 2018 — At his yearly pre-Super Bowl state of the league address, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced that the league will begin an 18-game schedule this year.

  • RGB

    Well, we went 4-0 in the preseason, so technically we can.

  • MartyDaVille

    Harv, Braylon on line 2 for you.

  • Harv

    my man. Happy new year.

  • Harv

    Stats? I’m talking about handling, and I saw Noll handle Bradshaw through his rough start expertly. Among many things he did not do was make the kid throw and throw and throw, and that was in an era where the defenses were relatively unsophisticated and Bradshaw was considered the most pro-ready QB in the country, by far.

  • Harv

    woops, call was dropped (nyuk nyuk nyuk)

  • Harv

    …, but I’ll say this for Braylon: for all the critical drops and essence, dude could run the hell out of routes and was always open. When Coleman deeks a CB we cheer like we saw our toddler take first steps. And next year will be his third year. You can learn how to run routes even with a broken finger, and you can watch film, if you have the urge to work,

  • JM85

    Do I need to clear my history every time to get on here? Is anyone else having this problem?

  • RGB

    Yep.

  • Are you talking about disqus by any chance? Every other time, disqus logs me off for no reason.

  • Casual_Kenny_Reigns

    This is exactly how I feel. Is Kizer bad? Probably. But it’s the coach’s job to figure out how to position his players to mimize their weaknesses and maximize their strengths. Kizer’s weaknesses are reading defenses and throwing a lot.

  • Casual_Kenny_Reigns

    Disqus is the *worst*.

  • I’m beginning to agree with you. But what’s better out there?

  • JM85

    I’m having problems with disqus and WFNY.

  • I noticed that the 1970 Steelers had a decent running game to to assist the young QB. However I feel Kizer did not have that luxury since Crowell didn’t provide that spark needed to push the running game to an elite level and Hue abandoning the run game multiple times because the defense couldn’t keep a lead.

    I also feel that Hue had more on his plate to deal with since Kizer wasn’t pro-ready. Unfortunately, Hue had no alternatives that could do a better job and mentor Kizer in the process.

    At this point, I’m hoping Kizer deeply learns a thing or three to greatly improve his game and keep his starting job. Just to stick it to everyone who’s thinks he isn’t a starting QB anywhere in the NFL.

  • For WFNY, I’m experiencing no problems. and I haven’t cleared my history in months, although I should do that for other reasons. Have you tried another web browser?

  • Steve

    Does he not realize he doesn’t need to scapegoat someone else anymore?

    He signed up for Sashi’s blow it up plan. He OK-ed not taking Wentz or Watson. He has no one to blame but himself.

  • Steve

    Offenses were even more unsophisticated as many thought running the ball into a pile of 15 people was an effective strategy.

  • Warburton MacKinnon

    Wait you are saying Crowell and the running game did not provide a spark? How about stick with the run,how about not throwing the players under the bus? All of that is on Hue,not Crow,or Kizer, so yeah Hue screwed this QB and RB over with his coaching.

  • JM85

    I use mobile mostly. Google chrome was having issues too.

  • The only hope I had left for this team—the only hope to be found from this seemingly endless embarrassment of a season—was that Hue Jackson would soon be gone, and thus the bevy of draft picks accumulated over the previous seasons would have a chance to bring some semblance of positivity going forward. Instead, we will press on and maintain the status quo at the HC spot until—perhaps at 0-4, perhaps 0-6, perhaps 0-10–we inevitably cut Jackson loose, squandering vital developmental time for our rookie additions in the process and forcing yet another regrouping. To hell with this franchise so long as they are content being the laughingstock of American professional sports.

  • Warburton MacKinnon

    I think,unless I can’t find updates for some reason,the website has given up….no winners and losers for 2 weeks? This is not to say I don’t get it,but seems the writers have lost hope. This is not the only place this happens,or has happened.

  • palebluedot

    Jackson on 0-16: “Nobody else in the National Football League could’ve did it.”

    Give that man a cigar! Also, forget the OC, Jimmy needs to hire Jackson a grammar coach.

  • Jenifer

    yourself if you don’t check it
    !da13d:
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  • Mr. Clandestine

    Can’t wait ’till we’re 0-4 next season and everyone is calmly waiting for Hue to “get it fixed.”

  • MartyDaVille

    Jimmy Haslam seems to be genetically incapable of making a good decision.

  • mgbode

    We had a W/L for Week 15. We didn’t for Week 16 as a Christmas present for everybody. We have not given up on covering the Browns despite, well, everything.

    Here is Week 15:
    http://waitingfornextyear.com/2017/12/cleveland-browns-baltimore-ravens-hue-kizer/

  • mgbode

    Our web techs have been trying a bunch of different cache schemes. One of the issues has been reproduce-ability and also that the changes don’t respond to everyone the same. I apologize for the pains, man. We are trying to fix things.

  • mgbode

    4.5 YPC is No. 3 in the NFL for the Browns rushers

    28th in rush attempts. Actually, 32nd if you count Kizer’s late scrambles as pass plays.

  • JM85

    I believe you are. I just noticed you guys aren’t commenting as much so I figured it wasn’t just me.

  • Harv

    Right. Haslam admitted yesterday that Dorsey did not get a say on Hue’s immediate fate as a condition of taking the GM job. It feels like Haslam’s main objective at this moment is to start shedding his quick-trigger rep by letting Hue go into the next season. But the newcomer always gets Haslam’s ear and when Dorsey tells him in November that the problem isn’t his roster, we’ll get Dorsey’s HC then. In the mean time Hue gets more time to inculcate young players with his special sauce of lack of attention to detail, poor discipline and loyalty to their coach.

  • Oh yes, I know the Browns had a high YPC this year, but I guess that still wasn’t enough to convince Hue to stick with the run game when they were behind by a huge amount.

  • Casual_Kenny_Reigns

    Nothing. It’s like wanting to root for a better Cleveland football team.