Well, the Browns didn’t lose.
Cleveland ended its 17-game losing streak on Sunday with a 21-21 tie against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but the Browns missed a chance at their first victory since 2016 when kicker Zane Gonzalez’s 43-yard field-goal attempt with 9 seconds left in OT was blocked by T.J. Watt.
Browns haven’t won a season opener in 14 years, haven’t beaten the steelers since 2014. Cool.
The Steelers, who blew a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter, also wasted their chance to escape with a win when Chris Boswell was wide left on a 42-yard field-goal attempt with 1:44 remaining in the extra period.
It was the NFL’s first tie in Week 1 since 1971 and the league’s first overall since Washington and Cincinnati ended in a 27-27 deadlock on Oct. 30, 2016.
“If you don’t win,” Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said, “it feels like a loss.”
The Browns remain winless since Dec. 24, 2016, but at least they have a positive after going 0-16 last season, just the second team in league history to lose all 16 games.
So close, so far
Pittsburgh committed six turnovers, including a strip-sack fumble by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger late in OT that had the Browns poised to win their first opener since 2004.
But Gonzalez’s kick was low and Watt, who had four sacks, got deep penetration and appeared to get his hand on the ball, which went sideways and landed on the soaked FirstEnergy Stadium turf as thousands of Browns fans threw up their hands in disbelief.
So close. So far.
BLOCKED.<br><br>Wow.<a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/PITvsCLE?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#PITvsCLE</a> <a href=”https://t.co/vKXiyNi1Z0″>pic.twitter.com/vKXiyNi1Z0</a>
Browns coach Hue Jackson felt the Steelers were offside on the climactic kick.
“Disappointed for our fans,” said an exasperated Jackson, who fell to 1-31-1 with Cleveland. “Did not want them going home without a victory. I did not want our players to go home without a victory. We were not able to get it done. Did not finish it, but obviously, a tie. A tie.”
The Browns also had a chance to win it in regulation and were driving for a potential game-winning field goal, but Tyrod Taylor’s deep pass for Josh Gordon was underthrown and intercepted by Cameron Sutton with 16 seconds left.