After an impressive season-opening win, the Cleveland Browns traveled to Acrisure Stadium for a Monday Night showdown with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Browns can only account for three wins on the Steelers home field since 1999. They haven’t won a regular season game in Pittsburgh in 20 years. The reason for this is that at that time the Steelers were a better team. Now, that is not the case.
The Cleveland Browns now have the better roster than the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Browns are beaming with confidence after a blowout victory over the rival Cincinnati Bengals. The Steelers are licking their wounds after being humbled in their home opener by the San Francisco 49ers. And yet there is still a lingering doubt that the Browns are for real by some national sports pundits. Some still hold on to the past and do not see the present.
I am old enough to remember the infamous Three Rivers Jinx. It took the Cleveland Browns 16 years to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers at Three Rivers Stadium (1970-1986). The truth is there was no Jinx, the Steelers had Hall of Fame players in that era. The reality is if you have the better team, you should win the game. I know that doesn’t always happen and upsets are abundant in sports. But to win consistently against any opponent, you need to get better and be better than them. The Cleveland Browns are now the better team. For the game, the Browns wore their new White Helmet/ White Out Alternate uniforms. This should be the beginning of a new era of the Browns-Steelers rivalry.
The game was a throwback to the old Browns-Steelers rivalry games. The Browns lost more than the game last night in Pittsburgh. They lost Nick Chubb for the season. His first-quarter knee injury was devastating for the Cleveland Browns offense. Jerome Ford did a nice job filling in for Chubb. But the Offensive production was not the same. Anytime you have four turnovers leading to your opponent’s getting 14 gift points on the road in the NFL, you will not win the game.
The game was a physical AFC North Game. Players got hurt on both sides. For the Steelers, this could have saved their season. For the Browns, they will have to regroup without the heart and soul of their offense. The Browns will face the Tennessee Titans at home next Sunday. Can this team bounce back next game? They will have to bounce back without Nick Chubb.