This brief takes version shall be a small commentary on the wild card video games performed within the first spherical of this season’s playoffs. That’s till I get to my group’s recreation. The Steelers had been embarrassed on their discipline by the Cleveland Browns and now keep residence for the rest of the postseason.

Humiliating is a superb phrase for that stunning Browns victory and there’s a lot to say in regards to the state of the Steelers and this dismal loss particularly coming from a diehard Steelers fan. So, that recreation I’ll save for final.

Baltimore 20, Tennessee 13. Lamar Jackson is on hearth. He tore up the Titans like their protection was swiss cheese. 2,000-yard rusher Derrick Henry was proven up by a quarterback and held to a complete dashing yards end that was a far cry from his common this season. For me, Baltimore is the scariest group within the playoffs that’s nonetheless alive. They get Buffalo subsequent and if I had been a Payments fan, I would be very a lot nervous.

New Orleans 21, Chicago 9. This was an anticipated outcome and units up a showdown that may very properly be referred to as the “geriatric bowl.” Tom Brady vs. Drew Brees making that recreation a matchup between the 2 oldest quarterbacks to fulfill in a playoff recreation ever. Like Ben Roethlisberger however maybe to not the identical diploma, Brees is displaying indicators of carrying down. It is going to be attention-grabbing to see who exhibits their age extra subsequent weekend, Brees or Brady. For the Bears, stable protection however no offense. Now they’ve a quarterback controversy within the sense of what do they do with Mitch Trubisky.

Buffalo 27, Indianapolis 24. This could be Philip Rivers’ final hurrah no less than within the postseason. You’ll learn extra about Rivers once I write in regards to the Steelers recreation under. However the Colts are out and the Payments transfer on however they may have their palms full within the divisional spherical.

Los Angeles Rams 30, Seattle 20. It’s important to marvel if having a full 12th man within the stadium would have made a distinction for the Seahawks. They started the season as one of many favorites to signify the NFC within the Tremendous Bowl and in the long run, Russell Wilson’s hopes for an M.V.P. award got here crashing down as his group exits the playoffs. I feel the top of the street for L.A. comes within the divisional spherical once they should play Inexperienced Bay.

Tampa Bay 31, Washington 23. Kudos to Washington quarterback Taylor Heinicke who was thrown to the wolves and advised he could be the beginning quarterback only a day earlier than kickoff. He practically pulled off main the upset of Tom Brady and the Bucs with 306 yards passing. For a group that got here into the playoffs with a dropping report, The Washington Soccer Workforce didn’t give that impression of dropping by only one landing and a two-point conversion.

Cleveland 48, Pittsburgh 37. Now we get to one of many ugliest video games I’ve ever witnessed my Pittsburgh Steelers play. Totally disgusting. Embarrassing. Disappointing. Humiliating. Before everything, JuJu Smith-Schuster must develop up and preserve his mouth shut. Earlier this season he made it a behavior of dancing on opponents’ logos at midfield when on the street. Now, this previous week he acknowledged that the “Browns are nonetheless the Browns.” It got here again to chunk him huge time and he’s getting lambasted all around the web by many various media sorts.

As he enters the low season he does in order an ensuing free agent. Is he price bringing again? I say no. Not with the emergence of Chase Claypool and the additional improvement of Dionte Johnson. The Steelers must re-establish their identification as a no-fuss, hard-nosed, gritty soccer group and the softies should be chipped away, starting with Smith-Schuster. What Steelers Nation expects is a black and blue sort group and whether or not that may be restored stays to be seen and uncertain whereas Mike Tomlin as head coach doesn’t exemplify the snarling, spitting identification that Invoice Cowher dropped at the sidelines as did Chuck Noll the authoritarian did earlier than him.

All that smack you within the mouth, being the extra aggressive group, run the ball down the opponent’s throat was nowhere to be seen on Sunday evening nor at any level this season because the Steelers once-mighty protection yielded the 5 offensive touchdowns Cleveland scored and allowed the Browns to get in discipline place so as to add two discipline objectives.

Then there was Pittsburgh’s pathetic offense. 52 yards dashing as a group. Nick Chubb topped that on his personal. Kareem Hunt added 48 extra. The place is Jerome Bettis once you want him? However all the main target for the offense falls on the shoulders of Ben Roethlisberger. He confirmed some indicators of life when he introduced the Steelers from behind to defeat the Colts a couple of weeks again however other than that, within the remaining six or seven video games of the season, Huge Ben appeared outdated, out of sync, inaccurate, and simply common.

All that has led to the recent query of the week. “Is Ben Roethlisberger executed?” Many have seen the picture of Huge Ben on the bench after the sport, then joined by Maurkice Pouncy whereas everybody else was at midfield doing their typical meet and greet and congratulations by Steelers gamers to the Browns gamers. The picture is eternal. A dejected Roethlisberger appeared like a misplaced soul. Ultimately, he would come to tears.

That picture of Huge Ben for me spelled the top. I can merely not see him coming again for a tenous lengthy 16-game season for an 18th 12 months. The larger query is whether or not the Steelers convey him again or not. Following the sport, Roethlisberger mentioned, “I hope the Steelers need me again if that’s the way in which we go.” He has yet one more 12 months on his contract however that shouldn’t be an element if Mike Tomlin and the entrance workplace wish to go in a distinct route.

The issue for the entrance workplace and Tomlin’s employees is that if they do wish to take a brand new path, who succeeds Roethlisberger? It might’t be Mason Rudolph, He’s simply not ok. Neglect Joshua Dobbs. He was introduced again to the group only for backup safety. With the 24th decide within the first spherical of the draft, there gained’t be a franchise quarterback accessible this 12 months when Pittsburgh’s title known as. They might after all commerce as much as snag one of many high prospects however then who do they commerce away? Such a commerce could be pricey.

Right here’s my tackle what to do …. make a commerce with Philadelphia for Carson Wentz. If the Eagles determine Jalen Hurts is their future, the already disgruntled Wentz who has talked about requesting a commerce could be a terrific slot in Pittsburgh. Wentz had an off-year in 2020 dropping his job however the evaluation on him is of excessive grades. He’s huge (6’5”, 237) and had a 4,000+ yard passing season in 2019. He’s solely been within the NFL since 2016 so he’s younger.

As for Roethlisberger, whether or not he comes again or not, he took a serious step backward this season however his profession numbers will land him within the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame. He entered the NFL through the draft in 2004 and got here in with a chip on his shoulder as a result of he was not chosen till the 11th decide total. 10 groups handed on him together with these similar Cleveland Browns who took Kellen Winslow as an alternative. The Jacksonville Jaguars who’re nonetheless looking for a franchise quarterback additionally took a go.

Extremely, the one different quarterback from that 2004 draft nonetheless enjoying this season was Philip Rivers. Simply Huge Ben and Rivers stay from 17 quarterbacks chosen that 12 months. The opposite 15 had been:

  • Eli Manning, San Diego Chargers (through commerce with the Giants and the Giants then bought Manning)
  • J.P. Losman, Payments
  • Matt Schaub, Falcons
  • Luke McCown, Browns
  • Craig Krentzel, Bears
  • Andy Corridor, Eagles
  • Josh Harris, Ravens
  • Jim Sorgi, Colts
  • Jeff Smoker, Rams
  • John Navarre, Cardinals
  • Cody Pickett, 49ers
  • Casey Bramlet, Bengals
  • Matt Mauck, Broncos
  • B.J. Symons, Texans
  • Bradlee Van Pelt, Broncos

Another issues to think about within the Steelers loss and exit from the 2020 huge dance:

  • Ben Roethlisberger threw 68 passes. 68! That’s virtually too many to fathom. You throw that many instances you lose. Plain and easy. That and 4 interceptions. UGLY.
  • Huge Ben accomplished 47 of these passes a brand new all-time playoff report. So what. Maybe if Pittsburgh wins the sport one thing could possibly be mentioned of that however with no working recreation, there’s nothing else to do however throw.
  • The final time the Browns gained a street playoff recreation? 1969. Extra mud within the face of the Steelers.
  • The Browns had misplaced 17 straight video games to Pittsburgh when enjoying within the ‘Burgh. That streak is historical past.
  • Ben Roethlisberger has dominated the Cleveland Browns throughout his profession successful all however two video games of the 27 instances he has confronted them. He picked the worst time of his profession to lose #3.
  • In 2002 when the Browns final made it to the postseason as a wild card, they misplaced to the Steelers in a wild one, 36-33.
  • The final Browns playoff victory came to visit the New England Patriots when Invoice Belichick was Cleveland’s head coach. Who did they beat? Mockingly sufficient, the Patriots. Division spherical? They misplaced to Pittsburgh.
  • The town of Cleveland is savoring this victory as they need to. It was like they beat their worst enemy. Since reentering the league in 1999, a season that started with an embarrassing 43-Zero loss to the Steelers, Cleveland has had simply three successful seasons and has gone by way of 11 totally different head coaches. In defeating Pittsburgh within the wild card spherical, they did it with out head coach Kevin Stefanski, who with different coaches and gamers was sidelined due to COVID-19. Nobody gave Cleveland an opportunity due to this however in the long run, the Browns bought the final chuckle and left JuJu Smith-Schuster trying mighty silly.
  • Trying again to Cleveland’s return to the NFL in 1999, since that point, the Steelers have overwhelmed the Browns 37 instances whereas dropping simply 9 instances together with this season’s wild-card loss. Breaking that down additional, other than the 2 losses to the Browns this season, the final time Cleveland gained was in November 2019 and earlier than that, October 2014. Of these 9 Browns victories, the 48 factors scored within the wild card recreation represents essentially the most ever by a Cleveland group since 1999. So does this Cleveland win signify an finish to the domination by Pittsburgh?
  • Within the huge image, the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers have performed a complete of 139 video games because the first assembly on October 7, 1950, when the Browns gained 30-17. Pittsburgh has 77 victories, 61 losses, and there was one tie. With their wild-card win, Cleveland has now overwhelmed the Steelers for the primary time within the postseason in three playoff matchups. On a remaining historic statistical observe, the Steelers have shut out the Browns six instances since 1950 whereas Cleveland has executed it simply as soon as. A walloping 51-Zero lambasting of Pittsburgh on Browns’ turf, September 10, 1989.

So there you have got it. NOT the identical outdated Browns JuJu Smith-Schuster. And on the heels of Smith-Schuster’s smack speak comes fellow rookie broad receiver Chase Claypool who on ESPN by means of Tik Tok made this silly proclamation:

“Unhealthy loss, however um, the Browns are going to get clapped subsequent week, so it’s all good.”

Whereas I agree Kansas Metropolis might be going to thump Cleveland, it’s not his place for Claypool to be speaking any smack. Uh dude…you misplaced and misplaced embarrassingly. You’re embarrassing Steelers Nation followers all over the place. Insult to harm.

Harv Aronson

By 24H

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