The Cleveland Browns continued their losing ways on Sunday, falling to 0-11 on the season after their latest loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Cleveland Browns continued their winless ways on Sunday, this time dropping a 24-9 decision to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The loss drops the Browns to 0-11 on the season, continuing the worst start in franchise history. It was also Cleveland’s 23rd loss in their last 26 games vs. the Steelers.
The defense was its usual weak self, allowing four different drives of at least 11 plays (three of which were 15 or more plays), didn’t come up with a turnover or sack, and allowed Le’Veon Bell to rush for 146 yards, providing plenty of opportunity for defensive coordinator Ray Horton’s apologists to spring into action.
The defense put its ineptitude on full display at the end of the first half.
The Browns had been dominated through the game’s first 30 minutes, but looked to head into the locker room trailing just 6-0. But consecutive defensive penalties gave the Steelers a pair of untimed downs, and Bell made the Browns pay by scoring on a one-yard touchdown run.
So instead of going into the half with hope for the second half, the Browns were well on their way to sealing another loss.
While the defense was bad, it was the continued ineffectiveness of the offense that was the true story of the game.
Before leaving in the third quarter with his second concussion of the season, quarterback Cody Kessler led four offensive drives that accumulated 88 yards of total offense, and ended in a pair of punts, an interception when he “took a shot” downfield and just three points.
The performance continued a trend for Kessler, who series by series is showing everyone that he is not the answer for the Browns at quarterback. Going back to the second half of the game against the Dallas Cowboys, Kessler’s last 13 drives have totaled just 248 yards of offense and have ended with 10 punts and an interception.
That is simply not going to get it done, folks.
Kessler wasn’t alone, of course, as running back Isaiah Crowell continued in his own way to show that he is not a No. 1 running back.
Crowell finished the game with eight rushes for 10 yards – a 1.3 yards-per-carry average for those of you scoring at home. When you take into consideration that Crowell had a run of six yards, that means he gained four whole yards on his other seven carries.
Over his last four games, Crowell has rushed for just 66 yards and averaged just 1.94 yards per carry, so let’s add running back to the growing list of needs that the Browns will look to fill in the off-season.
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Once Kessler was knocked out of the game Josh McCown came in, and while he led the Browns to their only touchdown drive of the game, he also fumbled on a sack that resulted in a Pittsburgh touchdown. He also took more hits than a 37-year-old should be allowed to take.
Speaking of getting hit, Kessler and McCown were each sacked four times during the game, a staggering number made even worse when you consider that the Steelers came into the game with just 13 sacks on the season.
The loss was Cleveland’s 14th in a row, dating back to last season, and they have now won just three of the past 32 games they have played. And it took them 66 years, but the Browns now have a losing record (461-462-10) for the first time as an NFL franchise.
In other words, it was just a Sunday like so many before it for the Browns.