Steelers wreck the Browns, in Ben’s last home game!

January 4th, 2022
by admin

After a month of awful gut-wrenching performances, the Steelers turned back the clock last night, winning the old-fashioned Steelers’ way, running the football, good defense and timely passing. In what will most likely be Ben Roethlisberger’s last game at Heinz Field the Steelers saved their best performance of the last two months for a big win over familiar doormat the Cleveland Browns by a score of 26-14. That score doesn’t tell the story, the game was not that close, the Browns were gifted the last touchdown by a lousy referee crew.

After weeks of getting torched by the Chargers (159 Yards), Bengals (198 Yards), Vikings (242 Yards), Titans (201 Yards) and the Chiefs (127 Yards) on the ground, the Steelers defense slowed the Browns running game and kept Nick Chubb in check, holding him to just 58 yards (with 32 of them coming on one play). The vaunted Browns running game only mustered 93 yards on the ground on the day. It was a solid effort up front, led of course by Cam Heyward who heled set the point of attack. It was a nice effort by Montravius Adams who looks like a steal right now, cult hero Henry Mondeaux and Isiah Loudermilk. It was great effort by the linebackers led by Robert Spillane who had eight tackles, Marcus Allen filled in admirably playing in the middle subbing for Joe Schobert and Devin Bush.

With the running game stalled, the Steelers linebackers teed off on perennial pitch man Baker Mayfield, recording an astonishing NINE sacks. T.J. Watt led the way posting four sacks, followed by Alex Highsmith who had two.

The secondary had a very good day and again, numbers don’t tell the story, they had Mayfield’s number and he finished with a QBR of 14.8 and a net of 139-yards passing. It was a complete effort and Ahkello Witherspoon is making the most of his chances. He looks right now to be the possible heir apparent to Joe Haden.

The Special teams had an improved night, if not a respectable night, the good was Chris Boswell booted four field goals including another 50 in cold weather in the fourth quarter, it all but sealed the victory. Corliss Waitman had another terrific night, booting a monster punt with the Browns bearing down on him in the Steelers end zone, he averaged 48.8 yards. The bad Justin Layne had two penalties and Ray-Ray McCloud’s muffed punt is what trapped the Steelers down on their own goal line, leading to the Browns only legitimate score. Given the circumstances though, it was a good effort and a noticeable improvement.

With all that being written, the night belonged to Ben Roethlisberger. It was apparent how important this game was for him and for the team. There was a renewed sense of urgency, and his numbers really don’t do the night justice. The play calling is still head scratching, but want to keep it positive, and it was a night Roethlisberger made the plays he needed to win. He finished with only 123-yards and passed for the Steelers only touchdown. He had a meaningless interception at the end of the second half. Diontae Johnson is in a little bit of a slump but still led the team in receptions with eight.

If Roethlisberger is the face of the franchise, Najee Harris looks like at minimum to be the new face of the offense. Harris grinded out 188 very well-earned yards and the touchdown to absolutely seal the game. The offensive line put forth a great effort lead by backup J.C. Hassnauer. John Leglue is a road grader and looks like a very good find. Dan Moore Jr. held helmet wielding madman Myles Garrett to just one tackle. Garrett was banged up, but Moore’s play was solid.

Mike Tomlin deserves a lot of credit for the performance last night as well. It would have been easy to let emotions get the better of them, but the team was focused and had the perfect game plan. He also insured himself at minimum a non-losing season for a 15th season, a new NFL record. While we would never commit football blasphemy, not even Bill Belichick or Vince Lombardi has done what Tomlin has done. That doesn’t happen by accident, it happens because he is a great coach whose team never quits.


My “GAME BEER” goes to: Forget numbers…it is Ben Roethlisberger of course. What he has meant to this franchise is so much more than just wins and losses. His off the field shenanigans are a distant memory, and he has cemented his place in Pittsburgh history as one of the greatest athletes to grace this fine city. “With the sixth pick of the 2004 NFL draft, acquired from the Detroit Lions… the Cleveland Browns select… Kellen Winslow, Tight End, University of Miami” …and the rest is history. I remember thinking that Ben would fall to the Steelers, to be honest I botched his name, horrendously.

Beer of the Game: Iron City of course, an old school game deserves the original beer. Throw in we had Iron City Coffee at breakfast, and it was a solid beverage performance.

“Steel the Snacks”: Monday Night Football is always tricky, so we did Turkey Club Sandwiches made by KGB. Awesome sandwiches that like Roethlisberger’s numbers were unspectacular but damn good.

My Stat of the week:  Twenty-Six career wins by Ben Roethlisberger v. the Cleveland Browns. At one point he had the most wins in the history of Progressive Field as a quarterback (Mayfield holds it now). He has his highest winning percentage for ten or more games against the Browns.

My Thoughts on next week: AFC North football one more week. This year’s schedule was one of the best in recent memory and finishing with the Ravens is always something special. You can assure yourself Baltimore would love to be the team that snuffs the Steelers very slim playoff chances. Look for Ben Roethlisberger to go out with a bang! Baltimore will also do everything they can to make sure T.J. Watt doesn’t break the Michael Strahan’s sack record.

This week’s Jersey: Ben Roethlisberger, 7, ran back the fashion jersey from early in the season. Finally it worked!

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