Observations from the Pittsburgh Steelers close loss to the Cleveland Browns.
The Steelers didn’t win but played a great game against the Browns.
When does a loss feel like a win? When a team with 1/3 of the starters on the bench goes into a hostile environment against a team with the season on the line and only lose by two points. This was the exact scenario the Steelers found themselves in with their 24-22 loss to the Cleveland Browns. Here are our big takeaways from this game.
Myles Garrett showed a lot of class at the end of this week’s game.
Myles Garrett went and found Mason Rudolph in the Steelers tunnel after the game. On that exchange: "I just told him good game. Hell of a game. And we’ll see ya’ll next week."
— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) January 3, 2021
During the course of the last week, everyone wondered if there would be any problems between Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett and Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph. After last season there was every reason to think there might have been a problem.
But the game came and went without any incident and according to Browns reporter Jake Trotter, Garrett found Rudolph after the game in the tunnel just to tell him good game and that he’d see him next week.
Regardless of where you stand on last year’s incident, this was a good move by Garrett. Garrett had a quiet game against the Steelers with only four tackles and no sacks.
Did the officials cost the Steelers the win on Sunday? Steelers Wire looks at some questionable calls.
First off, let me say I do not believe there is any sort of conspiracy at work in the NFL when it comes to officiating. Having said that, the Pittsburgh Steelers were on the wrong end of several huge no-calls by the officials in Sunday’s narrow loss to the Cleveland Browns.
The first big one was the missed roughing the passer on Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph on his interception. The league calls every little touch on quarterbacks this season so you would think two hands straight to the head might have drawn a flag. Instead, it gave Cleveland the football and they turned it into points.
Next up we have the two-point conversion attempt by the Steelers at the end of the game. Rudolph had just thrown a touchdown to JuJu Smith-Schuster. The team rushed back to the line and Rudolph threw a perfect pass to Chase Claypool. The Brown defender was hanging off of him and did not allow the catch but again, no flag. Another blown play that cost the Steelers points.
Finally we have the no-call on a hold late in the game. The Browns had been struggling to move the ball but knew they could salt it away with a first down. Then this happened.
We're just gonna act like this didn't happen. pic.twitter.com/bPWrFvapbn
— Curt Popejoy (@CurtPopejoySW) January 3, 2021
I don’t know how, with two officials so close to the play, a flag wasn’t thrown but this did allow the Browns to essentially end the game and make the playoffs. In the big picture, this game didn’t mean much to the Steelers and they will have a chance for payback in Pittsburgh against this same Browns team. But it is frustrating to see just how inept the officials were in a game so big.
The Steelers nearly pulled on the upset over the Browns but will see them again next week in the playoffs.
No one went into Sunday’s game with the Cleveland Browns thinking the Pittsburgh Steelers were going to upset the Browns on the road. The Steelers were minus eight starters and had their eyes squarely on the first round of the playoffs. Meanwhile the Browns knew this was a must-win game and for the most part played like it.
In the end the Steelers put up a great fight with backups in the game but fell to the Browns 24-22.
Offensively, quarterback Mason Rudolph was pretty much exactly when we expected. Once Rudolph got settled in, made several big throws and finished with a solid 315 passing yards and two passing touchdowns. His effort set up some interesting conversation this offseason about his future as the team’s starter.
Defensively, this group put up an excellent fight minus four of their best players. Even without linebacker T.J. Watt and defensive lineman Cam Heyward, the Steelers applied solid pressure on Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield.
The loss sets up a rematch between these two teams in Pittsburgh next week in the first round of the playoffs.
Here are the Steelers inactives for this week’s game against the Cleveland Browns.
The inactives for the #Steelers today in Cleveland: QB Roethlisberger; PK Boswell; SS Edmunds; C Pouncey; OLB Watt; DT Heyward
— Bob Labriola (@BobLabriola) January 3, 2021
The Pittsburgh Steelers announced the inactives for this week’s game against the Cleveland Browns and as the team had already announced, multiple starters are resting this week.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, defensive tackle Cam Heyward, linebacker T.J. Watt and center Maurkice Pouncey all get the week off in a game that doesn’t have much bearing on the Steelers playoff future.
Meanwhile, safety Terrell Edmunds and kicker Chris Boswell are both out with injuries. Matthew Wright will handle the kicking duties and look for some combination of players filling in for Edmunds including Marcus Allen.
This list doesn’t include tight end Eric Ebron, linebacker Cassius Marsh and cornerback Joe Haden who are all on the Reserve/COVID-19 list this week and will not play.
Winning isn’t the top priority for the Steelers this week but this doesn’t mean it’s a bye week.
The final week of the NFL season often brings intrigue and mystery for teams. This week, the Pittsburgh Steelers have been able to avoid all the drama by securing the AFC North and a high seed in the playoffs.
But for the Browns, this is a must-win game. So with two teams coming from such completely different directions, what are the keys for the Steelers? We’re glad you asked.
The Steelers veterans who are resting this week didn’t travel to Cleveland.
The following #Steelers have been downgraded to OUT & are not making the trip to CLE: DT Cam Heyward, C Maurkice Pouncey & LB T.J. Watt. Also, the three players already ruled out (Boswell, Edmunds, Roethlisberger) will not make the trip this weekend.
— Burt Lauten (@SteelersPRBurt) January 2, 2021
The Pittsburgh Steelers announced that the starters who are sitting out this week to rest ahead of the playoffs did not travel with the team. This means quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, defensive lineman Cam Heyward, center Maurkice Pouncey and linebacker T.J. Watt will stay back in Pittsburgh while the rest of the team heads to Cleveland to try to knock the Browns out of playoff contention.
In addition, Pittsburgh also announced that kicker Chris Boswell and safety Terrell Edmunds are staying in Pittsburgh while they deal with injuries. Matthew Wright will handle the kicking duties this week and in Edmunds’ place, look for some combination of Jordan Dangerfield and Marcus Allen.
There was no mention of cornerback Joe Haden not traveling with the team but Haden, along with tight end Eric Ebron and linebacker Cassius Marsh were all placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.
The Steelers placed multiple players on Reserve/COVID-19 list.
We have placed CB Joe Haden, TE Eric Ebron & LB Cassius Marsh on the Reserve/COVID-19 List.https://t.co/KospwXIovT
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) January 2, 2021
As the Pittsburgh Steelers are making their way to Cleveland to take on the Browns, they are forced to make multiple roster moves due to COVID-19. The team announced they are placing cornerback Joe Haden, tight end Eric Ebron and linebacker Cassius Marsh.
Haden’s placement on the list was due to testing positive but no work on Ebron or Marsh. Cameron Sutton will replace Haden in the starting lineup and Vance McDonald will fill in for Ebron.
The Steelers also announced multiple roster moves to account for these players as well so some injury replacements. Wide receiver Deon Cane, offensive tackle Anthony Coyle, tight end Kevin Rader and kicker Matthew Wright were all elevated to the 53-man roster.
Steelers Wire gives you all the information you need for this week’s Steelers game.
Here is everything you need to know so you can watch, listen to or stream this week’s Pittsburgh Steelers game. The Pittsburgh Steelers wrap up the regular season on the road against the Cleveland Browns. Pittsburgh wrapped up the AFC North last week but with the bad blood between these teams and with so much riding on this game for the Browns, you don’t want to miss it.
Pittsburgh Steelers (12-3) @ Cleveland Browns (10-5)
Kickoff: Sunday, January 3 at 1:00 pm ET
Venue: FirstEnergy Stadium
Weather: Cloudy with temps in the 30s
Ian Eagle (play-by-play)
Charles Davis (analyst)
Evan Washburn (sideline)
You can also follow the game with us @TheSteelersWire and of course here on Steelers Wire with our live updates during the game, along with highlights of all the key moments from this week’s game. Join us straight after the final whistle for more in-depth coverage, injury updates, and analysis of all the action.