PITTSBURGH (92.3 The Fan) – How costly Sunday’s last second 30-27 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers was for the Cleveland Browns remains to be seen but they rallied from 24 down in the second half without 2 key players.
The Browns lost running back Ben Tate and tight end Jordan Cameron to injuries.
Tate departed in the second quarter with a knee injury following a 25-yard run while Cameron aggravated a shoulder injury following a 47-yard catch and run.
“I don’t know how serious it is. We’ll wait and see,” Cameron said after the game. “A catch I had, I landed on it.”
Cameron, who re-injured the same shoulder that sidelined him during training camp, finished with 2 catches for 47 yards while Tate had 6 carries for 45 yards.
But the Pro Bowler liked the fight he saw from the team in the second half following a miserable opening 30 minutes to the season.
“There’s no moral victories,” Cameron said. “We didn’t win the game. We failed. We’re 0-1. But the fact that didn’t give up and we kept going and fighting says a lot about our team.”
Rookies Terrance West and Isaiah Crowell stepped in for Tate in the second half to carry 18 times for 123 yards and 2 touchdowns.
“The offensive line did a great job,” West said. “Holes were there. They blocked well.”
Crowell joined Ron Johnson (1969) as the only Browns rookies to rush for multiple touchdowns during a season opener.
West became the first Browns rookie to rush for 100 yards in his NFL debut since Larry Mason rushed for 133 at New England on Oct. 4, 1987. He was also the first Browns player to reach the 100-yard rushing mark since Trent Richardson ran for 105 yards against Baltimore on Nov. 4, 2012.
“If we didn’t dig ourselves a hole in the first half, we probably could’ve won by 14,” West said. “But we were playing catch up the whole game, and when you do that in the NFL, it’s not going to be a good turnout.”
Tight ends Jim Dray and Gary Barnidge tallied 3 catches for 43 yards in the second half as well to help fuel the comeback.
Other Notes From Sunday:
– The Browns rushed for 183 yards and averaged 6.1 yards per carry Sunday. The 183 rushing yards are the most by the team since Nov. 7, 2010, when the Browns combined to run for 230 against New England.
– After falling behind 27-3, Cleveland opened the second half by scoring 24 unanswered points to tie the game at 27. The last time the Browns scored 24 or more unanswered points was on Dec. 9, 2012, when the team scored 30 straight points in a 30-7 victory against Kansas City.
– Linebacker Paul Kruger finished with 2.0 sacks Sunday. It marked his fifth career multiple-sack game. He was also the last Browns player with two sacks in a game, totaling two at New England on Dec. 8, 2013. Kruger has 22 career sacks.
– The Browns defense finished with 4 sacks of Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger: Kruger (2), Chris Kirksey and Jabaal Sheard (1) while linebacker Karlos Dansby registered his 16th career interception during his Browns debut.
– Nine players: FB Ray Agnew, OL Joel Bitonio, RB Isaiah Crowell, WR Taylor Gabriel, DB Justin Gilbert, LB Chris Kirksey, OL Ryan Seymour, RB Terrance West and DB K’Waun Williams made their NFL debut.
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