The Cleveland Browns still haven't won a game in 624 days, but the good news for them is that they guaranteed they will not lose 16 straight this season.
In a wild, back-and-forth game, the Browns rallied from down two touchdowns in the final eight minutes to tie it at 21-all against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, but neither team could score in overtime. The tie ensured that the Browns' 17-game losing streak, dating back to the 2016 season, would end.
Both the Browns and Steelers will open the season 0-0-1. Browns kicker Zane Gonzalez had his 41-yard field-goal try blocked in the waning seconds of OT after Cleveland had just picked off Ben Roethlisberger a minute earlier. Roethlisberger had four interceptions in the game. But the Steelers' T.J. Watt, who blocked the FG try, also had four sacks in the game.
After watching the Browns' wild drama in "Hard Knocks" and following the Steelers' soap opera this week with Le'Veon Bell — who did not report to the team before kickoff — it shouldn't be too shocking to see this wild result.
Both teams probably feel like they should have won this game, but neither one was able to seal the deal. Heavy rain doused the FirstEnergy Stadium field, making for sloppy conditions. It resulted in some uneven offensive play all game.
In Tyrod Taylor's first start for the Browns at QB, he was far more effective as a runner (eight rushes, 77 yards, 20-yard TD) than as a passer (15-of-39 passing, 177 yards, TD, INT and seven sacks). Roethlisberger threw for 335 yards, but it came on 23-of-41 passing with the four picks and a fumble lost. He also was sacked three times.
The Browns' Myles Garrett had two of those sacks, as well as two forced fumbles and a deflected pass. Rookie corner Denzel Ward, the fourth pick in the draft, picked off two Big Ben passes in his NFL debut. Considering many thought the Browns might draft Bradley Chubb with the fourth overall selection, Ward's strong first game should quiet some doubters.
James Conner, starting in place of Bell, was terrific. He took 31 of Pittsburgh's 32 handoffs for 135 yards and two scores on the ground, adding five catches for 57 yards. The Browns' run game never got going, with the backs combining for 100 yards on 30 carries, but Carlos Hyde's TD plunge with 7:36 left in regulation helped give the Browns a chance to tie it.
Taylor hit Josh Gordon on an incredible 17-yard score with just over two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter for what would be the final score of the game. Bell, location unknown, offered his thoughts on the final result on Twitter. This was Cleveland's first tie since Nov. 19, 1989.
The Browns showed, even in a tie, that they can be competitive. The Steelers showed that they can run the ball, even without Bell. So what does this tie mean? It's hard to draw too many conclusions from one game in poor weather.
But can say two things: The Browns' losing streak is over — and they just might be pretty fun this season.