The Browns were understandably disappointed to see their four-game winning streak come to an end Sunday in Pittsburgh, but there was another, longer streak that was also halted at the hands of the Steelers.
For the first time since Cleveland's Week 10 win over the Bills in 2019, the Browns did not force at least one turnover. The 12-game streak was the NFL's longest active stretch, and the latter part of it played a big role in the Browns' 4-1 start to 2020.
"That is our goal going into each game is to get takeaways, and we were unable to do that yesterday," CB Denzel Ward said. "Just have to find a way to get the ball next game and help put our offense in a better position."
The Browns entered Sunday's game as the NFL's leader in turnovers forced with 12 — six interceptions and six fumbles. Most importantly, it's what the Browns were doing with them, as the offense scored 52 points on the subsequent possessions — the second-most in the league.
The Browns have won the turnover battle in all four of their wins and lost it in both of their losses.
"I think we got away from a lot of things that we were doing to win some ball games," Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said. "If you do not play clean on the road against a good team, you are not going to come away with a victory. I think there are a bunch of areas that I can point to that we can do better ... not taking the ball away and that is part of who we are, and we did not do it yesterday so that will be a focus for us moving forward."
It was clear on Monday the team had done just that with its focus shifting to the Bengals. In their Week 2 meeting, the Browns forced one big turnover that helped seal the game in the second half. That'll be the minimum Cleveland is looking to get Sunday in Cincinnati.
"The whole season we have been finding ways to get takeaways, and that is one of the things that we have to get better at," Ward said. "We have to find ways to get takeaways, continue to finish the games out and find ways to get our offense on the field and in position to score."
Check out the best photos from the Cleveland Browns game against the Pittsburgh Steelers yesterday by the Browns photo team
The Browns came out of Sunday's game relatively clean injury-wise and could see some players work their way back during this week of practice.
Stefanski said S Ronnie Harrison Jr. was working his way through the concussion protocol while G Wyatt Teller was "pushing hard" to return after missing Sunday's game with a calf injury.
"With those types of injuries, you just really don't know," Stefanski said.
Both Stefanski and RT Jack Conklin said Chris Hubbard filled in nicely for Teller in his first career start at the guard position.
Hubbard, who started at right tackle the past two seasons, played his first guard snaps in last week's win over Indianapolis after Teller went down with his injury. The versatile offensive lineman has helped Cleveland in multiple ways already this season — he started for Conklin in Week 2 — and continues to be a valuable asset to the group.
"Chris stepped in and did great last game. I trust him there," Conklin said. "It definitely hurts not having Wyatt. Obviously, he is playing great and it is a bummer not to have him there, but I trust Chris."