Mike Pettine: 'This is a pass-fail league. We failed'

The Browns know a thing or two about opening-day losses.

Sunday's 30-27 defeat to the Pittsburgh Steelers established new frontiers in futility, as Cleveland set an NFL record by dropping its 10th consecutive season opener.

The latest indignity has been touted by some as a "moral victory" for the Browns after coach Mike Pettine's team roared back from a 27-3 halftime deficit to tie the game with 24 unanswered points. The Browns, though, couldn't close the deal.

"We take out of it that we're 0-1," Pettine said. "I told the team afterwards this is a pass-fail league. We failed. I'm proud of the effort in the second half but it's a valuable lesson to learn. You're behind 24 points at halftime.

"I don't know what the percentages are of coming back and winning. I guarantee it's probably right around one. There are no moral victories in this league, but I was proud of the resolve and the character that showed up. These guys went out and executed the plan in the second half. It wasn't enough. They basically made one more play than we did, and it's a valuable lesson. But it doesn't change the fact that we're 0-1."

The loss dropped the Browns to an outrageous 1-18 against Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers quarterback has owned Cleveland -- unmercifully -- from the day he entered the league. Hundreds of Browns players and a laundry list of head coaches have lost their jobs trying to solve the organization's ungodly ineptitude against Pittsburgh.

Pettine is wise to drop an A-bomb on "positive takeaways" and "hopeful signs" from a game that ended just like all the others. Setting the bar higher is the only way out.

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