For the first time since January first, the Cleveland Browns have lost a football game. Ironically enough, both losses came at the hands of the same opponent; the Pittsburgh Steelers. While the Browns did come away with a loss, there’s a lot to learn from what went down this Sunday. So, what can the Browns learn from this 21-18 loss to the rival Steelers? Let’s find out. These are our week one Cleveland Browns takeaways.
Week One Cleveland Browns Takeaways
1) Not-So-Special Teams
There are three phases to football. Offense, defense, and special teams all play an integral part for a successful football team. However, the Browns special teams unit was anything but special on one fateful play during this game.
After a three-and-out to start the first drive of the season, Cleveland sent out Britton Colquitt to punt. As part of the Colquitt family, something of a royal family for NFL punters, he is one of the best in football. However, something terrible happened; Colquitt’s punt got blocked. Immediately, the block went into the endzone for a Steelers touchdown. Sadly, this would end up costing the Browns the game, as they only lost by three points. Had the Browns successfully gotten the punt off and just played good defense, they could have beaten these Steelers.
2) No Run Zone
Solid defenses often get a nickname in the NFL. For instance, the Seattle Seahawks have the Legion of Boom. For a while, people called the Arizona Cardinals secondary the No Fly Zone. After this game, fans might want to propose that the Browns meat grinder of a defensive line be known as the No Run Zone.
Alright, the nickname isn’t the greatest but it certainly describes the Browns run defense today. Even without Myles Garrett, the Browns played solidly in the front seven. Fantasy football darling Le’Veon Bell had ten carries for only 31 yards. Additionally, rookie James Conner had trouble getting it going as well. Although the Browns running game wasn’t phenomenal by any means, it looked better than Pittsburgh’s at times. Cleveland’s front seven officially ranks as a No Run Zone for the Browns week one.
3) Kizer Shows Promise, But Lacks Pocket Poise
One of the biggest Browns week one questions was “How will DeShone Kizer perform?” That question got an answer throughout the game, and is a bit of a double-edged sword. Of course, Kizer made some good throws throughout the contest. While he didn’t light the world on fire, his arm showcased what he could be. However, and this is a very big however, the rookie also took way too many sacks.
Now, there are such things as rookie mistakes. Truthfully, most of these sacks were due to rookie mistakes. But, Kizer still absolutely needs to throw the ball away. The reality is, he needs to learn that he can’t be the hero on every single play. Although the offensive line will certainly need to shore up throughout the season, Kizer is just as much at fault.
If he wants to be the Browns long-awaited franchise quarterback, Kizer will need to learn from his mistakes today. He looked good, but not great, in his rookie debut. That seems to be the story for the Browns in this game. Good, but just not great. And you have to be great if you want to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers.
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