Some losses are too painful, and the Steelers are indeed getting a taste of that nostalgic defeat they experienced four decades ago. On December 26, 1976, the Pittsburgh Steelers suffered a traumatic loss against the Raiders in the AFC Championship. Forty years later, this feeling haunted them when they lost to the Browns in the 2020 NFL Wildcard Week.
The Steelers had a good ride during the playoffs, which ended as the top seed for the AFC North. They joined the list of the top NFL dogs who made a huge comeback this year. During Wildcard Week, their fate was cut short in the quest for the Super Bowl LV title when the Cleveland Browns buried them to a 48-37 game run.
It is probably one of the most stressful losses that the Steelers won’t soon forget. The team had already soared high and played as a dark horse in today’s season but fell too hard, giving them the worst defeat imaginable. As the odds in NFL Sportsbook strategy detoured to the Browns, here the unforgettable things that appeared in the Browns versus Steelers Wildcard match.
The Browns’ Offense Were Unstoppable
Something that had transpired in the Browns versus Steelers Wildcard Week was a blowout score that Cleveland made in the first quarter. This was one of the unexpected scenarios that the crowd wasn’t ready for. It is this year’s biggest plot twist that the NFL community had seen in the previous season.
It may overwhelm many fans, but since day one, the Browns had a solid offense. Whenever their defense gets ineffective, they convert points to the offense side. Not only that, but Baker Mayfield was phenomenal in making precise shots dismantling the Steelers’ composure and field position.
Jarvis Landry Was A Hero
Every NFL team has a story of redemption. In 2018, the Cleveland Browns were dysfunctional and disgruntled, but Jarvis Landry stepped into the team and made heroic accomplishments. He started a revolution by changing the Browns’ culture playing as the wide receiver. In today’s league, he made 636 receptions, which put him on the pedestal as a five-time NFL Pro Bowl recipient.
During Wildcard Week against the Steelers, Landry was consistent in making connections with Baker Mayfield. He was one reason why the team initiated a big blow out score in the first quarter. The Steelers hustled in the second half, but their efforts were not enough to turn down the Browns.
The Steelers Had A Terrible Start
The home-court advantage didn’t work for the Steelers during the Wildcard Week after making a terrible start. When they entered the field, the team looked unprepared, and when the game began, Mick Pouncey couldn’t remain focused. He snapped the ball too high, which resulted in Brown’s touchdown score right away.
Mistakes came more in the first quarter as Ben Roethlisberger has thrown three picks. The Browns took advantage of the Steelers’ decomposition leading them to inch a few steps away. Another reason was Tomlin’s decision to make a new starting lineup during this match – it left the fans doubtful about their Wildcard Week stint.
Brown’s Defense Was Invincible
While the Browns’ offense served as the key to their success, the defense was a bit unclear. They had two players who were Ronnie Harrison and Denzel Ward, put on the reserved list after getting infected by COVID-19. As such, no one had expected that the Browns’ defense would work as they faced the Steelers.
However, a bench player came out by the name of M J Stewart, who gave out fire in the field. He surpassed what the main defensemen can offer, accomplishing two takeaways that were converted to touchdowns.
Steelers Impending Rebuild
The Steelers had opened the 2020 NFL season with a bang. They went up 11-0, which got the attention of the whole NFL community. In Week 11, the team had started falling out, losing two back-to-back games. That’s when they lost their defense momentum, and their competitors took advantage of this weakness.
Lastly, Ben Roethlisberger is an aging quarterback that may no longer be effective for the Steelers to count on. Although his achievements are undeniable, this might probably be the best time for the Steelers to look for a replacement. Working with younger yet promising talents is something they should work on the next season.
Winning the playoffs gave the Steelers a ticket to Wildcard Week. The NFL community got surprised when this team had stolen their hearts showing impressive performances. But, like someone who soared high who forgot to look back, falling is too painful to take. The Steelers may have gotten sentimental loss last week to the Browns, but this team will surely come back and crave for more in many NFL seasons.