In the 4th: Steelers 21, Browns 18
CLEVELAND—A new season begins on Sunday for Hue Jackson and the Cleveland Browns.
Jackson begins his second season as head coach of the Browns, he went 1-15 in season one, the worst in the NFL. That record afforded Cleveland the top pick in April’s NFL draft—they chose defensive end Myles Garrett from Texas A&M with that pick. Ironically, Garrett will miss Sunday’s home opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers because of a high-ankle sprain suffered Wednesday during practice.
The Browns-Steelers opening weekend match-up will have plenty of storylines to it.
Sunday will mark defensive back Joe Haden’s return to FirstEnergy Stadium. The Browns cut Haden a week and a half ago, he was signed by the Steelers later in the day after spending his entire NFL career with Cleveland after being drafted in 2010 by the Browns.
That same week, the Browns and Steelers made a trade sending wide receiver Sammie Coates to Cleveland in exchange for draft picks. Coates will now face his former team on Sunday.
The Browns will also debut their new defense under coordinator Gregg Williams who they added in the offseason. Williams’ defense allowed 7.3 points per game in the preseason, it helped the Browns finish the exhibition part of their schedule 4-0 for the first time since 1986. The question is, can it carry over to the regular season?
Sunday’s Browns-Steelers game will kick off at 1:00 from FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland.
It’s the first time since 1963 that the Browns will open and close the season against the same opponent. It’s the seventh time the Browns and Steelers have opened a season against each other. Cleveland has won two of their past three home openers and are 27-37 all-time in season openers.