This game really looked like it could be the one. Granted, the overtime loss to the Packers in Week 14 looked promising too, as did Week 7's extra time 12-9 defeat against the Titans. But going up against Pittsburgh’s B team, with all the Steelers’ best players resting, the 0-15 Cleveland Browns had as good a chance as they could get to avoid going 0-16 on the year.
They failed. The final was 28-24, but it never felt that close. The Browns “gained” -16 yards of offense in the first quarter, and it barely got better from there. Sure, they tied it at 21 early in the third, but a quick Steeler response on a JuJu Smith-Schuster kickoff return for a TD immediately shut the door once again on any hope. DeShone Kizer attempted to lead a comeback drive with under two minutes remaining, but if you thought that was going to end with anything other than a heartbreaking dropped pass on fourth down (seen above), I greatly admire your optimism. What we now realize was inevitable has now become a fact: The Browns won zero of 16 football games in the 2017 season.
If it’s any consolation to them, the Browns aren’t alone in their misery. They join the 2008 Detroit Lions as the only two teams ever to go 0-16.
There’s always next year.