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3 Big Takeaways: Mixed emotions the theme in Browns' locker room after improbable tie

1. No one in the Browns locker room is celebrating a tie

The locker room was mostly empty as Jarvis Landry sat on a stool with ice bags wrapped around both of his knees. One of Cleveland's biggest offseason additions wasn't lingering to soak in the celebration.

This one might not have hurt as much as a loss would have, but Landry was left with a sense of dissatisfaction and a touch of mixed emotions.

"As a competitor, you always want to leave with a win," said Landry, who led Cleveland with seven catches and 106 receiving yards. "I'm proud of the guys and the effort but we've got things to clean up and move on from there.

"I've never been part of a tie. It doesn't feel good."

Landry's comments were echoed all across the Browns locker room and at the post-game podium in the wake of Sunday's 21-21 tie to the Steelers.

Cleveland took plenty of pride in its 14-point, fourth-quarter comeback and a defensive performance that was one of the team's most prolific in recent years. There was just plenty to lament because of all the missed opportunities that, had they gone the other way, would have produced the team's first win since Christmas Eve 2016.

"It's disappointment. Real disappointment," wide receiver Josh Gordon said. "That's a tough way to end the game. Nobody wants to do that with as much work as everyone puts in with the changes that have been made here. It's better than a loss, sure, but we came in here ready to win. Anything less is not good enough."

Said Browns coach Hue Jackson: "We were not able to get it done. Did not finish it, but obviously, a tie. A tie."

2. Myles Garrett, Denzel Ward and the Browns defense sent a turnover-themed message

Every last ounce of momentum seemed to be on the Steelers' side early in the fourth quarter. Pittsburgh held a 14-point advantage and Cleveland's offense, outside of a run-heavy touchdown drive to start the second half, couldn't get anything going.

Enter Garrett, who single-handedly shifted the momentum with two forced fumbles. The first led directly to a Browns touchdown, which sliced the Steelers' advantage in half. The second went unrewarded, but it put a shaky Pittsburgh offense even more on its heels, as the Steelers ultimately squandered the lead following another Cleveland defensive stand.

"I am being the person they got from the draft, and I am finally healthy," said Garrett, who finished with two sacks and two forced fumbles. "I am just trying to be the guy to make the plays when we need them."

The Cleveland Browns play the Pittsburgh Steelers at FirstEnergy Stadium in Week 1.

After a 2017 season in which the Browns forced just 13 turnovers, Cleveland's defense had six on a rainy Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium. Only one led to points for the offense, but a number of them were pivotal toward keeping the game within reach.

Rookie Denzel Ward, making his NFL debut, produced both of his interceptions inside Pittsburgh territory, the first coming inside the red zone. Genard Avery's strip-sack of Roethlisberger popped into Joe Schobert's arms and nearly led to a game-winning touchdown.

The Browns surrendered 472 yards of offense but allowed just the 21 points thanks to one of the team's best turnover performances in years.

"You get six turnovers, you think you have a chance that you should win the game if you turn it over one time. You are plus five [in turnover margin]. I am impressed with what they did in that way," Jackson said. "There are some others that I am sure we are going to feel like we had opportunities, too. We just have to keep getting better."

3. There's work to do on offense

The Browns found a rhythm on offense just once Sunday, a run-dominant drive that ended with a 20-yard Tyrod Taylor touchdown scramble. Otherwise, Cleveland couldn't consistently move the chains outside of a couple of Taylor deep balls.

The Browns were able to turn just one of the defense's six turnovers into points, a possession that began on Pittsburgh's 1-yard line following a Jabrill Peppers fumble return.

"The defense did a great job of getting us the ball, and we did not do enough to score," offensive lineman Joel Bitonio said. "When you get six takeaways, you expect to win the game and the turnover battle. That is something we have to improve on. It is hard to tell now what broke down on every play, but it is something that we will definitely be working on."

Cleveland's one turnover was as costly as it gets.

The Browns had a shot to win it in regulation with the ball at Pittsburgh's 43-yard line and 23 seconds to play. Taylor saw Gordon deep down the field and launched a ball in his direction. The pass was well short and ultimately intercepted by Cameron Sutton.

"Me and Josh were on two different pages, but I take the blame for that. I could have put it down the field a little bit more," Taylor said. "I was trying to give him something that he could go up and jump for. Just have to get better at that."

That sentiment was said plenty of times from Browns offensive players who expect better of themselves in a tight-knit game against a division rival.

"There were a lot of misses, and that's the unfortunate part," Gordon said. "That's what we have to get back to work on Monday, practice on Wednesday and make sure we keep this thing rolling and build on those misses that we had."

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