This week, every single Steelers fan on the entire planet is going to say, “Well, we didn’t have our starters in the loss to the Browns.” Then, after drinking mayonnaise straight from the jar, they’ll add on by saying, “With our key players out, we only lost to the Browns by two points. Imagine how our team will be with everyone!” I could go on and on.
The game on Sunday was extremely unique with plenty of nuances compared to the average game. Frankly, this entire season have been that way because of COVID and the issues the pandemic has caused.
First of all, it’s a rivalry game no matter if the Steelers played all of their players. The intensity, grit and grind between the two teams are going to be at their highest no matter what to circumstances are.
The Steelers did actually have something to play for in the idea of knocking the Browns out of the playoffs. If the scenario was flipped and it was the Browns with the chance to knock out Pittsburgh, I’d hope they’d give it all they got to play spoiler.
Additionally, the Browns had players out not by choice. The COVID list had TE Harrison Bryant, LB B.J. Goodson, LB Malcolm Smith, CB Denzel Ward, CB Kevin Johnson and S Andrew Sendejo. Now, they aren’t the same caliber as QB Ben Rothlisberger amongst the other players the Steelers rested, but they made an impact for the Browns at some point this season.
The game is going to be played in Pittsburgh on Sunday night at 8:15 p.m. It’ll be prime time, under the lights and with the stakes at an extremely high level.
On paper, the Steelers have the better roster. The team started at 11-0 and some were even talking about if they’d run the table and go 16-0 (Finished 12-4).
There is a reason the games are played. No matter how many people like myself try and analyze each contest, see which team is going to win and make predictions, no one knows for sure until that clock hits zero.
Yes, I think the Browns have a chance. Sure, they’ll come in as underdogs and that’s completely fair. However, with quarterback Baker Mayfield and the rest of the squad carrying the momentum of the win over the Steelers and simply making the playoffs for the first time since 2002, we should be in store for a battle.
I’m excited and I hope you are too. The Browns will be ready no matter who lines up against them. That’s one of the many reasons this season has been so exciting and it’ll continue in the playoffs.
Go Browns #DawgCheck