The Browns weren't able to accomplish much yesterday during the 34-7 opening day throttling they took from the Steelers, but they did manage the inglorious feat of committing four penalties on one play, the botched opening punt that led the first of four Ben Roethlisberger touchdown passes. It was the worst Week 1 Browns beating since the Steelers handed them a 43-0 loss to start the 1999 season.
That makes it eight in a row for the Stillers over the Brownies and 14 out of the last 15. More importantly, it finally gives the Steelers a 56-55 edge in the all-time series. At one point, the Steelers had trailed 32-9. So suck it, Paul Brown. Goes for you, too, Jim Brown.
Not that everything went perfectly for Pittsburgh. Had they been facing a team of even marginal competency, this would have been a dramatically different game. Up 17-0 midway through the second quarter, the Steelers had several chances to put the game decisively away before the half, but Willie Parker put yet another ball on the ground, then receivers and backs dropped about five passes in a row on successive drives. That's three lost fumbles in Willie's last three regular season games dating back to last season. You're getting close to being on notice, Willie. This close.
The six sacks were nice to see but many of them seemed like coverage sacks or that Charlie Frye or Derek Anderson were holding the ball too long. The front seven needs to be able to create more pressure on its own. We're not always going to be facing mediocre quarterbacks who can't read defenses.
Quibbles notwithstanding, it was an impressive start to the Mike Tomlin era, and long may it prosper. Next week comes the home opener against Buffalo, who lost a last second heartbreaker at home yesterday to the Broncos. Rookie back Marshawn Lynch looked solid, and as he'll tell you, it don't get no better than that.