Cleveland is now just the second team in National Football League history to record an 0-16 season, joining the 2008 Detroit Lions in the pantheon of all-time miserable National Football League teams.
The Browns had their chances in the fourth quarter, but a fumble by Duke Johnson Jr.at the Pittsburgh 31, a DeShone Kizer interception by Sean Davis at the Cleveland 47, and a dropped fourth-and-2 pass by Corey Coleman at the Pittsburgh 11 kept the Browns from winning their first game.
It happened. The Browns went 0-16 and turned in one of the most embarrassing seasons we've ever seen.
With the resting Pittsburgh Steelers running out their junior varsity roster, the NFL's version of the seventh-grade B team joined the 2008 Detroit Lions in winless infamy Sunday in Pittsburgh and took their inglorious place as the worst team in the history of the four major professional sports. The Lions are the only team to go winless in a 16-game season.
As you might recall, Coleman was the player they drafted with the Eagles' first-round pick previous year after passing on Carson Wentz. Cleveland has struggled on offense all year, averaging just 14 points and 322.3 yards per game.More news: Hip hop to dominate Firefly with Eminem, Kendrick Lamar as headliners
Smith-Schuster had 9 catches for 143 yards and a score against the Brown and will finish the regular season with 58 catches for 917 yards and a touchdown. "I think it's amusing sometimes".
"Wow", Smith-Schuster said. "I was on the sideline and Ben Roethlisberger said, 'You don't know what cold is". But darkness is a friend of all who dwell in the Dawg Pound, and it's hard to imagine that's going to change any time soon. Tomlin said it will likely be an "11th-hour decision" as to how much playing time to give his starters but insisted there will be no "empathy" toward the plight of the Browns factoring into his thoughts.
"I don't think that I need to say this". This isn't the "same old Browns" the Steelers face on New Year's Eve.
"It's been so long for me that I've played in a game that we won that it's like, 'Man, I just can't get that feeling back, '" he said. This team has never not given me effort, they've never not worked.
From annual staff changes through free agency and the National Football League draft on into training camp, optimism reigns before the reality of failure in the regular season sets in again for fans.More news: Intel & Micron To Go Their Separate Ways On NAND Development
It was not a season of bad bounces or bad breaks, bad calls by officials or a bad schedule that forced the Browns to experience burdensome travel. The Steelers led 21-14 at halftime. Despite clawing their way back to 21-21, and then entering the fourth quarter down just four, the Browns found a way to Browns it up once again.
The Browns tied the game on their opening possession of the second half. Alvin Kamara scored on a 106-yard kickoff return and had a second touchdown rushing for the Saints. A 34-yard pass to tight end David Njoku set up a 5-yard touchdown pass from Kizer to Higgins, his second touchdown of the game.
It hardly mattered in the 2016 finale, when Landry Jones stepped in for Roethlisberger and guided a 27-24 comeback victory. Meanwhile in Pittsburgh, Bud Dupree was absolutely invisible against a bad team, recording not a single tackle, QB pressure or pass defensed.
Browns fans somehow maintain a sense of loyalty to their beleaguered team, which is pretty remarkable.More news: Short Term Outlook For The Charles Schwab Corporation (NYSE:SCHW)