Multiple teams in the NFL played well on Sunday. Others looked like the junior varsity team of a high school. The Steelers and Browns both had their moments in Sunday afternoon’s game, and they also had some high school moments as well.
The game started as a Steelers-Browns game starts. The Browns went three and out on their first drive, only to have a Dustin Colquitt punt blocked and returned for a Steelers touchdown. Great way to start the season!
The Browns weren’t done, though. They showed significant improvement, especially how they didn’t think, “The Pittsburgh offense hasn’t been out yet and we’re losing. Good game everybody!” The Browns stayed focused on the task, and it appeared as though the Steelers were shocked by this. The Browns put up a good drive that ended in a Deshone Kizer one yard sneak for a touchdown. The Steelers then realized the Browns came to play.
The Steelers offense was the Antonio Brown show, with a special guest Jesse James. Brown grabbed two big passes from Roethlisberger that ultimately ended in a touchdown catch by Jesse James. The Browns answered with a field goal. Jesse James was definitely a nice sidekick for Antonio Brown. James’s second touchdown put the Steelers up 21-10.
The Steelers thought for sure they had crushed the Cleveland spirit when rookie T.J. Watt intercepted a pass from Kizer. However, Cleveland kept pressuring the Steelers. Derrick Kindred grabbed a pass that Roethlisberger threw, and Kizer threw an impressive touchdown to Corey Coleman. Isaiah Crowell ran in for a two point conversion with ease.
The Steelers held off the Browns to claim a 21-18 victory. The rookie of this game was clearly T.J. Watt. With two sacks and an interception, he played at a level that impressed everyone that watched. Deshone Kizer played the best football from a Browns quarterback in what seems like forever. He completed 66.7 of his passes, threw one touchdown, but the interception is rough. We can give him credit, but he got sacked seven times as well. That was not his fault entirely, but it still shows the Browns have work to do.
Select players from the Steelers played well, but the game was a little scary. As expected, Le’Veon Bell played pretty bad. He had no practice with the team and didn’t participate in the preseason. He ran the ball ten times for thirty-two yards. He will be a question mark. As for the rest of the team, some played better than others.
What does this game mean for the Steelers? Well, to start, they need to start taking the Browns more seriously. This Cleveland team is not the same team that went 1-15 last season. A win is a win, but narrowly defeating the Browns was a good experience for the team. We saw young players play well, Antonio Brown could potentially have a record season, and Le’Veon Bell has to work to get back to his full potential. The first game cannot be used to determine the rest of the season. Whether the Steelers improve or decline, that is mainly up to the players in the future.