The Browns narrowly lost to the Steelers in their season opener, but there were bright spots to be gleaned from Sunday.
Using the NFL's Next Gen Stats, here's a further look at what went well for Cleveland against Pittsburgh.
QB DeShone Kizer: The rookie quarterback showed promise in his debut, passing for 222 yards, a touchdown and interception on 20-of-30 attempts. A deeper dive into those numbers show the former Notre Dame star wasn't afraid to attack downfield as he tied for second in average intended air yards (IAY) with 12.2 yards and third in average yards to the sticks (AYTS) with 3.1 yards.
IAY is reflective of how far a quarterback throws the ball downfield, while AYTS shows if the passer is completing third-down attempts at or past the markers or if he's relying on skill position players to make a play after the catch.
Kizer was also 10th in time to throw (TT) at 2.83 seconds among quarterbacks who played Sunday. TT is measured in average amount of time elapsed from snap to throw on every pass attempt (sacks excluded), meaning Kizer was quicker than most signal-callers to get rid of the ball.* *
WR Corey Coleman:Coleman, the 2016 first-round draft pick, ranked 13th in average targeted air yards (TAY) with 13.2. The stat is the average passing air yards per target for the receiver and shows how far downfield the player is being targeted. Coleman, who caught five passes for 53 yards and a touchdown, caught 83.3 percent of his six targets, ranking tied for 14th among pass catchers last weekend.
TE Seth DeValve:DeValve caught four passes for 42 yards on five targets. Advanced stats give us a better look at how the second-year tight end broke free from the Steelers defense as he ranked second in average separation (SEP), which measures the distance between a receiver/tight end and the nearest defender at the time of catch or incompletion. DeValve averaged 4.5 yards of separation, trailing only Chiefs speedster Tyreek Hill (4.7).
Browns run defense: Cleveland's front seven held All-Pro running back Le'Veon Bell to 31 yards on 10 carries. Furthermore, Bell was fifth to last in TLOS (time behind the line of scrimmage) at 3.07 seconds.