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Malik Hooker Jersey 1 week 5 days ago #9486

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CLEVELAND (AP) — When the ball deflected off T.J. Watt’s left hand and fluttered to a water-logged landing Tremaine Edmunds Jersey , well short of the crossbar, there was nothing more the Browns could do.

Their 17-game losing streak was over. Without a win — or a loss. Nothing to celebrate.

“A sour feeling,” quarterback Tyrod Taylor said.

More bitterness.

Cleveland didn’t take advantage of forcing six turnovers by Pittsburgh and missed a chance at its first win since 2016 on Sunday, tying the Steelers 21-21 in overtime in a game that turned into another emotional roller-coaster for fans who were so close to seeing their team go 1-0 for the first time in 14 years.

But the Browns, being the Browns, couldn’t finish the job.

“Tying in the NFL is really weird,” left guard Joel Bitonio said. “I never even thought I would be a part of it.”

Bitonio could have never imagined playing on an 0-16 team, either, but that’s what happened last season when the Browns went through their entire schedule without posting a win. At least that can’t happen again.

Watt capped a brilliant performance by blocking Zane Gonzalez’s 43-yard field-goal try with 9 seconds left to preserve the tie for the Steelers, whose drama-filled week around Le’Veon Bell ended with more theatrics.

It was the league’s first Week 1 tie since 1971, and the first time in 133 games the Browns and Steelers couldn’t settle their rivalry on the field.

The Browns rallied from a 21-7 deficit in the fourth quarter to stun the Steelers, who blew their own chance to win it in OT when Chris Boswell’s 42-yard field goal attempt sailed wide left.

Pittsburgh was without Bell, whose contract holdout will carry into the season’s second week. But the Steelers, who sacked Taylor seven times, refused to offer any excuses after falling dangerously close to becoming the first team to lose to the Browns in Week 1 since 2004.

“Hell yeah, it feels like a loss,” Steelers defensive tackle Cam Heyward said. “I’m sorry for using that kind of language, but if we settle for those, we’re going to be an awfully (steamed) off bunch. We didn’t get the job done. I credit T.J. for getting that block, but the outcome was already decided. It just gives you a sick taste in your mouth.”

Here are some other takeaways from the league’s first tie in two seasons:

BAD BEN

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger hardly looked like a future Hall of Famer, throwing three interceptions in the first half and losing two fumbles. He made some uncharacteristic errors, forcing a pass into double-coverage that was picked off by Browns rookie cornerback Denzel Ward Jessie Bates III Jersey , who had two interceptions in his pro debut.

Roethlisberger passed for 335 yards, but he was upset Pittsburgh’s offense couldn’t put away the Browns.

“It’s just frustrating that we can’t make the plays down the stretch,” he said. “We just didn’t make them.”

GREAT GARRETT

Browns defensive end Myles Garrett seemed to be everywhere. He forced two fumbles, recorded two sacks and rushed Roethlisberger into making some indecisive throws.

“I think he is going to have a great year,” Browns coach Hue Jackson said. “He is showing that he was worthy of being the first player drafted a year ago. A healthy Myles Garrett means a ton to this organization and football team. He just has to do it week in and week out and be this player every week.”

The Browns were last in the league with just 17 takeaways last season.

WATT A PLAYER

Watt already had four sacks and 11 tackles when the made the game’s defining play.

“When it snapped, I’m just trying to do my job and get penetration,” Watt said of his game-saving block. “I threw my hand up at the last minute, and it hit my hand — tie game.”

GORDON’S GRAB

Josh Gordon made just one catch — one mesmerizing, jaw-dropping, game-tying catch.

With the Browns trailing 21-14, Gordon leaped and snagged Taylor’s 17-yard pass over Steelers cornerback Cameron Sutton for a touchdown with 1:58 left in regulation.

It was another positive for Gordon, who missed most of training camp to address health issues and was playing in his first season opener since 2012 because of drug and alcohol addictions. Gordon has also been battling a hamstring issue.

ROUGH START

Browns undrafted rookie left tackle Desmond Harrison had a long day.

Harrison, who moved into the starting lineup this week, was penalized for two false starts in the first half and had some other assignment issues.

Harrison wasn’t the only offending Cleveland player as the Browns were called for 11 penalties for 87 yards.

“Disappointed,” Jackson said of the infractions. “Our team has got to get better. It is not good enough. You take the turnovers, and the penalties that we had and our inability to do some things early offensively, those are huge keys to a tie game. We have to do some things better.”

Jerick McKinnon had a steep learning curve when he arrived in San Francisco as the highly paid featured back for the 49ers.

After four seasons as mostly a backup in Minnesota, McKinnon was one of San Francisco's big-ticket additions in free agency this offseason and took some time to learn coach Kyle Shanahan's complex new offense.

"When I first got here, I was lost. I was really lost," McKinnon said. "My head was spinning. It's different protections I have to learn, different concepts I have to learn and basically I have to take my whole way of thinking for four years and switch it up to a new one. I guess it's complex when you're new to it, but once you start studying it Malik Hooker Jersey , you get it. I'm starting to get it."

McKinnon has shown just that early in training camp. He broke a long run around the left side on the team's first 11-on-11 drill of the summer and also has made several catches out of the backfield.

Those skills are why the 49ers gave the career backup a $30 million, four-year contract this offseason. McKinnon will get paid $12 million in 2018. Only Todd Gurley and Saquon Barkley have signed contracts that will pay them more this season, according to spotrac.

But McKinnon feels no added pressure because of the high price tag.

"I've had the same mindset I've had since my rookie year, which is coming in and working," he said. "A lot of guys get contracts and some of them get content. For me, it's about staying the same and continuing to work and showing my teammates how I work and what I bring to the table and pushing everybody around me."

McKinnon spent four years in Minnesota after being drafted in the third round in 2014 out of Georgia Southern. He has rushed for 1,918 yards with an average of 4.0 yards per carry, has 142 catches for 984 yards, and has scored 12 touchdowns.

McKinnon had his most productive season last year, when he ran for a career-high 570 yards while setting personal bests with 51 catches for 421 yards.

McKinnon replaces Carlos Hyde, who left as a free agent for Cleveland.

McKinnon has more speed and is a better receiving threat than Hyde and should fit well into Shanahan's offense. But Shanahan said McKinnon's strengths start as a runner.

"You have to be a good running back to truly get the effects of being good in the pass game because if you're only good in the pass game, then they can just treat you as a receiver and it's different," he said. "So, it starts with being a running back and we really like him as a running back. We studied every run he had in Minnesota. I think he fits in the type of runs we do very well. He's got the speed. He's got the cutting ability and he's got the toughness to run through arm tackles. Then the pass game is the huge bonus. He is a matchup issue. He's very good in his routes. ... Just versatility-wise, he's going to help us a lot."

Having a running back who is a threat in the passing game is a crucial part of Shanahan's offense. The Niners ranked third in the NFL last year with 113 receptions out of the backfield, up from just 67 the previous year under Chip Kelly.

While Hyde had a team-high 59 catches last season, he wasn't particularly productive. He averaged just 5.9 yards on those catches and turned only 28.8 percent of them into first downs.

Those numbers are significantly below McKinnon's 8.3 yards per catch and 39.2 percent first downs as his skills make him a better option in the passing game.

"Jerick is a unique talent," quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo said. "He can do things out of the backfield. You can line him up in the slot. ... He can do so many different things that it's hard for a defense. What do you put on him? A linebacker, a safety, a corner? It's a pick your poison type of thing so it makes my job a whole lot easier."
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