Denzel Ward Looks the Part
With two picks in his first game as a pro, Cleveland native and Nordonia graduate Denzel Ward made sure his presence was felt in his NFL debut. Not only did the 21-year old do a decent job of covering Antonio Brown for the game, but he always kept his wits about him, especially in the red zone. Ben Roethlisberger took his chances, and Ward (along with Damarious Randall) made him pay on more than one occasion.
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In addition to just Ward, the entire first-team defense looked to be in top form at various points throughout the game. Despite being a bit undisciplined, the Browns were able to get in Big Ben’s way on more than one occasion. With one play resulting in a sack from Myles Garrett, the Browns made their defensive talent known throughout the game. Despite the three turnovers, the Browns were not able to keep the momentum up on offense for but one touchdown.
Defense might win you championships, but you still have to be able to score. No matter how many flashes they showed, or stretches of dominance they had, a mediocre offense made sure Cleveland’s defense got tired early and often. Naturally, this opened up a great deal of opportunities for Pittsburgh, resulting in a Browns loss. The defense, and especially Ward, is great when healthy and rested. The offense just needs to give them a rest at some point.