No-win situation: Browns can't finish in tie with Steelers

Marcus Newton
September 11, 2018

It was rainy there and it caused a problem for both kickers in overtime. Backup James Conner had 135 yards rushing and two touchdowns and caught five passes for 57 yards. Before then, they looked stagnant on offense with just a broken play touchdown run by Taylor keeping them alive at 21-7. It was also the first time the Browns did not lose in 17 games and the first tie for the Steelers since November 2002.

To be fair, the last time the Steelers played to a tie, Tommy Maddox threw for 473 yards, Plaxico Burress had 253 yards receiving and Amos Zereoue (!) ran for another 123 yards in a 34-34 finish against Michael Vick and the Falcons on November 10, 2002.

The first one came with 5:22 left in the first quarter after Roethlisberger moved Pittsburgh to the 18 on a 27-yard pass JuJu Smith-Schuster.

One of the knocks on Taylor in Buffalo was that he often missed throws he should have completed, and that he was afraid to attempt passes over the middle.

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That's why it was troubling when Haden left the Steelers' opener Sunday in the fourth quarter with a hamstring injury. The third one, they just let the game go to the half - which was understandable and deserves a pass. Gordon only had one reception for 17 yards receiving and a touchdown. Of the 48 pass completions of 20-plus yards, 19 came in that interval. But the Browns punt from their own 26 after Bud Dupree batted a pass intended for Jarvis Landry. Ask DeCastro why they struggled so much slowing down Browns' defensive end Myles Garrett but don't ask him if things could be better if Bell had been there. He forced two fumbles, recorded two sacks and rushed Roethlisberger into making some indecisive throws. With a favorable matchup coming against undrafted rookie left tackle Desmond Harrison, Watt terrorized Tyrod Taylor all day long, accounting for four sacks on the day and an additional three QB hits.

Jackson stiffened when he was asked what kind of leash he intends to have on Taylor, who was acquired in March from Buffalo and will start until the Browns feel the No. 1 overall pick Mayfield is ready.

It was the league's first Week 1 tie since 1971, and the first time in 133 games the Browns and Steelers couldn't settle their rivalry on the field.

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