The Cleveland Browns’ season started out miserably. And even though they lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, it was all uphill after a doomed opening drive.
Through their first three offensive plays of the season, Cleveland, led by rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer, traveled backward nine yards.
Then fourth down resulted in a touchdown—for the Steelers, on a blocked punt.
— NFL France (@FirstDownFR) September 10, 2017
How did the Browns first drive of the season go?
Blocked punt turns into a Steelers TD.
Browns football. pic.twitter.com/tlXpQ8uvup
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) September 10, 2017
But after the embarrassing start, the rebuilding team showed positive signs the rest of the way.
They lost 21-18, but the Browns outscored the Steelers after that initial touchdown and limited their opponents to just 290 yards of total offense, without the help of injured No. 1 overall pick Myles Garrett.
Hue on the Browns defense, which gave up less than 300 yards: “I think we’re playing inspired football over there.”
— Patrick Maks (@maksimuspatrick) September 10, 2017
As for Kizer, the rookie completed 20 of 30 passes for 222 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. He also added 17 yards on the ground and a rushing touchdown—not bad for the third-youngest quarterback to start in Week 1 in NFL history (behind Matthew Stafford and Drew Bledsoe).
DeShone Kizer gets sneaky with his first NFL touchdown
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 10, 2017
“I like DeShone,” head coach Hue Jackson said after the loss, according to cleveland.com. “I like the feel of him on the sideline with me, I like our communication. He had some opportunities that he’ll be the first to tell you he’d like to have back. But this guy gives us a chance. . . His first game, big game, he handled himself very well. … I thought he did some real good things.
“I thought he made some plays, maybe held the ball a little too long … That’s what young quarterbacks do sometimes … He’ll grow from that. … But for a first game, he did some good stuff.”