Steelers vs. Browns doesn‚Äôt deserve vaunted language. It wasn‚Äôt a battle in a labored metaphorical sense, it was a drunken 3 a.m. fight in the parking lot of a Denny‚Äôs where unless you were personally invested in the combatants there was no winner.
But, we did have a scrappy little slugger that gets to say they didn‚Äôt lose on Sunday and the Cleveland Browns (and also the Steelers) are big-time tie-ers! This is how the losing streak ends, it‚Äôs how it was supposed to end ‚ÄĒ not with a bang, but a wet fart in the rain that managed to not only be encouraging, but suck all hope out of the air in one fell swoop.
The simple answer is to say they made plays when it mattered. A few critical moments in the fourth quarter almost turned the game into a nightmare for Pittsburgh.
Up to this point Conner was playing incredibly well, but a fumble on the 18-yard line set up a Carlos Hyde touchdown that cut the lead to 21-14.
It‚Äôs not fair to blame Conner for anything, as he was really the only reason the Steelers were in this game to begin with ‚ÄĒ but that fumble was the catalyst for what would come.
On the ensuing drive Garrett took down Ben Roethlisberger for the second time, and his second forced fumble of the day. It didn‚Äôt give the Browns quite as good field position as their first turnover, but there was a chance.
With 1:27 left in the game there was a chance. The Browns didn‚Äôt manage to score off this sack, but it was a tempo shift. After a 3-and-out Cleveland stopped the Steelers again, which brings us to …
All day the Browns had struggled to get anything special in the air, until it was time for Josh Gordon to be special.
The Browns had one more shot before the end of the game to win this thing, and then Tyrod Taylor threw an interception.
End of regulation ‚ÄĒ Steelers: 21, Browns: 21
Overtime ended up being just as bananas as the end of regulation, so let‚Äôs lightning round this thing because nobody expected it to come to this.
The Browns are +5 in takeaways today. Since the Browns returned to the NFL, teams with a turnover margin of +5 or better in a game are 132-4-1. The Browns are responsible for two of those losses and the tie.
‚ÄĒ Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) September 9, 2018
The perfect ending.