There are very few positives from Sunday’s game, but one is the overall play of the defense.
Take away the final touchdown for the Steelers, which was McCown’s fault, and the defense allowed 17 points to an explosive Steelers offense.
The defense allowed long drives during the first half, but the Steelers were held to two field goals until the end of the first half, when several penalties gave the Steelers enough chances to punch in a touchdown from a few yards out.
It is the first game in which the Browns allowed less than 25 points, and was easily the best overall performance.
Le’Veon Bell gashed the defense for 201 total yards, but the Steelers only had a total of 313 yards on the day.
And based on how awful the offense was performing for most of the game, the defense kept the game close all day.
So after weeks of blaming Ray Horton and his defense for all the team’s problems, it is clear the offense may be much worse than anyone realized. Even last Thursday, when the Browns allowed 28 to the Ravens, the offense still has to be able to put up more than seven points.
There are countless games around the league with scores in the high-20s and 30s, but not in Cleveland. The defense has to be perfect for the team to win, and that is just not possible for this young unit.