​Last Monday Night’s Browns loss to the Steelers was a tough loss to take. Browns fans were primed to show a national television audience that their team has arrived. We wanted everyone to see that we were no longer the same old Browns. We wanted to show that we are ready for primetime. Most intriguing to me was the respect and praise coming out of Pittsburgh before the game. They knew they had to shut up and show up to win the game and they did.
​The Steelers’ defense accounted for 14 of the Steelers points. Two turnovers led to the Browns’ own demise. They lost the game by only four points. The Browns’ offense outgained Pittsburgh’s offense by over 150 yards and outrushed them by 144 yards.

Usually, when that happens it means a win for the statistically better team. But that wasn’t the case for this game.

​The points off turnovers ultimately doomed the Browns that night. And they only have themselves to blame for it. Unlike the Bengals, the Steelers knew the game was going to be a dogfight. And they were ready for it. The lack of pregame trash talking, and bulletin board material was proof. The Cleveland Browns went toe to toe with their division foe on their homefield and on national television. The Browns defense only gave up 12 points. The 1st quarter injury to Nick Chubb was a devastating blow to the Browns offense.

The injury was so gruesome that ABC/ESPN would not broadcast the replay. The replay was shown to the fans at Acrisure Stadium. The fan reaction told the television-viewing audience that it was a horrible injury. Jerome Ford did a nice job filling in for Nick Chubb. But the offense was obviously not the same. It was a horrific injury to one of the best human beings playing in the NFL. And I will give credit where credit is due.

As much as I don’t particularly care for Steeler fans, they showed class when Nick Chubb was carted off the field. They respectfully applauded his exit from the game while chanting the Cleveland running back’s name. They understood the seriousness of his injury. In an era of social media with fans trash-talking each other online, wearing players jerseys, and playing fantasy football. Sometimes we have a disconnect that these players are also people. This injury gave a moment of pause for everyone. Nick Chubb is a consummate NFL professional, and the Pittsburgh fans understood that. Everyone wishes him a full recovery. Football is a rough game and these players put their physical well-being on the line every time they take the field. It was refreshing to see respect from a rival fan base.

At the end of the game, the Browns lost. But they didn’t lose without a knockdown drag-out fight. The game showed that if you are going to beat the Cleveland Browns in 2023 you must show up and beat them. There will be no gimme-easy wins against this team during this season. In my previous article, I sensed that this may be the beginning of a new era in the Browns-Steelers rivalry. I guess I was right, it is a new era, a new era of respect on both sides.

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