No loss, but no win for Browns

A wrap-up of the first Sun­day of the NFL season

Fort McMurray Today - - SPORTS - ROB MAADDI

Browns tie! Browns tie! Browns tie!

It’s not a win, but Cleveland will take it after go­ing 0-16 last year and 1-15 in 2016.

The Browns ral­lied from a 14-point deficit in the fourth quar­ter against the ri­val Steel­ers and snapped a 17-game los­ing streak with a 21-21 re­sult that left fans cel­e­brat­ing in the rain. They had a chance to win the game, but Pitts­burgh’s T.J. Watt blocked Zane Gon­za­lez’s 43-yard field-goal at­tempt with 9 sec­onds left in over­time.

For a while, it seemed the Steel­ers would cruise to an­other easy win over the Browns even without Le’veon Bell. The All-pro run­ning back is still hold­ing out over a bit­ter con­tract dis­pute, caus­ing some an­i­mos­ity among his team­mates. Backup James Con­ner had 135 yards rush­ing and two touch­downs and caught five passes for 57 yards. But Ben Roeth­lis­berger threw three in­ter­cep­tions and fum­bled twice, and Con­ner’s fum­ble in the fourth quar­ter helped the Browns rally.

Con­ner, a star at Pitt who be­came a city favourite while re­cov­er­ing from a can­cer di­ag­no­sis in Novem­ber 2015, may have cost Bell some lever­age with his strong performance.

Ty­rod Tay­lor’s 17-yard touch­down pass to Josh Gor­don sent it to over­time, and nei­ther team could find a way to win it on a wet, sloppy field.

In case you missed it, here are the other top top­ics after the NFL season’s open­ing Sun­day:

Breathe easy, Wis­con­sin

Aaron Rodgers re­turned in the sec­ond half after be­ing carted off the field with a knee in­jury and led the Packers back from a 20-0 deficit to a 24-23 win over the Bears. Rodgers threw three touch­down passes, in­clud­ing a 75-yarder to Ran­dall Cobb with 2:13 left in the game. The sta­dium fell silent and every­one in Green Bay pan­icked when Rodgers went down. The Packers missed the play­offs after los­ing Rodgers last season and are 6-10-1 without him since 2013. Backup Deshone Kizer threw a pick six to Khalil Mack, who dis­ap­peared in the sec­ond half after a dom­i­nant start in his first game for Chicago.

Big play Bucs

Ryan Fitz­patrick had a 417yard, four-touch­down performance fill­ing in for the sus­pended Jameis Win­ston in a 48-40 up­set at New Orleans. Fitz­patrick threw touch­down passes of 50 yards to Mike Evans and 58 and 36 yards to Desean Jack­son. The Buc­ca­neers had 529 to­tal yards against the Saints, who coun­tered with 475. Tampa Bay, com­ing off a 5-11 season, was the big­gest un­der­dog of the week­end at 9 1/2 points.

Beck­ham is back

Odell Beck­ham Jr. had 11 catches for 111 yards and drew two pass in­ter­fer­ence penal­ties on the same drive in his first game since last Oc­to­ber fol­low­ing an­kle surgery. Beck­ham won the 1-on-1 bat­tle against out­spo­ken All-pro cor­ner­back Jalen Ram­sey, but the New York Giants lost the game. The Jaguars got a pick six by Myles Jack in a 20-15 vic­tory on the road.

Na­tional an­them

Mi­ami Dol­phins re­ceivers Kenny Stills and Al­bert Wilson were the only two play­ers to kneel dur­ing the na­tional an­them open­ing week­end. Colin Kaeper­nick called them “broth­ers” and thanked them on so­cial me­dia. Dol­phins team­mate Robert Quinn raised his fist. Niners re­ceiver Mar­quise Good­win did the same at San Fran­cisco’s game at Min­nesota. Bron­cos re­ceiver De­mary­ius Thomas and linebacker Bran­don Mar­shall, and Sea­hawks line­men Duane Brown and Quin­ton Jef­fer­son, re­treated to their re­spec­tive tun­nels while the an­them played. In Los An­ge­les, Charg­ers left tackle Rus­sell Okung raised his fist.

Trolling the Boys

For­mer Cow­boys re­ceiver Dez Bryant had fun tak­ing shots at his old team dur­ing an 18-6 loss at Carolina. Bryant wrote on Twit­ter: “It’s kind of cool call­ing out all of the sig­nals and know­ing which route play­ers are about run.” He en­gaged with fans, sug­gested he’d have suc­cess in New Eng­land or Wash­ing­ton and said he didn’t think Cow­boys owner Jerry Jones wanted him out of Dal­las.

Jimmy Garoppo(nooooo)

Play­ing his first game since sign­ing his megadeal with San Fran­cisco fol­low­ing seven ca­reer starts, Jimmy Garop­polo didn’t look like a $137.5 mil­lion quar­ter­back. He tossed three in­ter­cep­tions in a 24-16 loss to Min­nesota, in­clud­ing a pick six. Garop­polo was 2-0 as a starter for the Pa­tri­ots in 2016 and 5-0 for the 49ers last year.


Cleveland Browns Joe Schobert cel­e­brates his in­ter­cep­tion with team­mates dur­ing over­time against the Pitts­burgh Steel­ers the at Firsten­ergy Sta­dium in Cleveland, Ohio, on Sun­day. The game ended in a 21-21 tie.


Green Bay Packers quar­ter­back Aaron Rodgers re­acts after throw­ing a touch­down pass to Ran­dall Cobb dur­ing the fourth quar­ter of a game against the Chicago Bears at Lam­beau Field on Sun­day, in Green Bay, Wis.

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