The Browns did it. They were perfect.
Despite flashes of competence Sunday, they lost to the Steelers 28-24, finishing the season a sparkling 0-16.
The Browns were actually driving late with something resembling a chance, but after quarterback DeShone Kizer evaded a fourth-and-2 rush, his pass went right through the hands of wide receiver Corey Coleman.
It was a fitting end to a season gone wrong from the start, or really from their return to Cleveland in 1999.
The Browns are the first team to go winless since the 2008 Lions, and just the fifth team since 1944 to do so. They join the 1982 Colts (0-8-1), the 1976 Buccaneers (0-14), and the 1960 Cowboys (0-11-1) in that regard.
They’ve also lost 17 in a row heading into the offseason, with their last victory on Dec. 24, 2016 against the Chargers. The Browns haven’t had a winning season since 2007, and only two since they returned after Art Modell took his version to Baltimore.
And yet for some reason, they’ve declared confidence in bringing back coach Hue Jackson, he of the 1-31 record the last two seasons. He’s going to jump into Lake Erie after promising they wouldn’t go 1-15 again (hey, they didn’t!), and then he’s going to apparently get a chance to rebuild with new General Manager John Dorsey. They’ll have the first and fourth overall picks in the 2018 NFL Draft, thanks to last year’s trade with the Texans.
The Steelers improved to 13-3, but were already locked into the second seed in the AFC playoffs.