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Steelers Gameday

Steelers Can’t Recover from Horrific Start, Lose to Browns 48-37



PITTSBURGH — On the first play of the Steelers’ Wild Card Round playoff game against the rival Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field on Sunday, center Maurkice Pouncey snapped the ball 20 yards over the head of Ben Roethlisberger, Roethlisberger and running back James Conner failed to fall on it, and the Browns scored a defensive touchdown just seconds into the game.

From there, it somehow got worse.

Roethlisberger threw four interceptions, which turned into 17 more Cleveland points, the Browns jumped out to a 28-point first quarter lead and went on to a 48-37 victory.

The Steelers rallied in the second half, with Roethlisberger throwing touchdowns to Eric Ebron, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Chase Claypool, but the defense had difficulty containing talented Cleveland running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt all day long.

Chubb rushed 18 times for 76 yards and also caught four passes for 68 yards, while Hunt added 48 yards on eight carries and two short first-half scores.

The Steelers cut the deficit to 12 points after Roethlisberger hit Smith-Schuster late in the third quarter and got a defensive stop, but the drive stalled and the Steelers elected to punt the ball away on a 4th and 1 at their own 46. The punt went into the end zone, and Cleveland responded with a scoring drive capped by a 40-yard score from Baker Mayfield to Chubb.

Pittsburgh kept firing, with Roethlisberger connecting with Claypool twice late, but ran out of time to complete a comeback in the end.

The Browns will move on to face Kansas City in the second round of the NFL Playoffs.

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[…] Pittsburgh Steelers bowed out of the playoffs in unceremonious style, losing to the Cleveland Browns on Sunday night, 48-37 to finish their once-promising 2020 […]

Steelers Gameday

Alex Highsmith Needs MRI after Ankle Injury Suffered vs. Browns



PITTSBURGH — Steelers rookie linebacker Alex Highsmith suffered an ankle injury that will require an MRI in Sunday’s playoff loss to the Cleveland Browns.

Highsmith left the game in the first half and was seen limping on the Pittsburgh sideline. He made an attempt to return to the game, but was unable to continue playing and did not see the field at all in the second half.

In-game, the Steelers announced that Highsmith was doubtful to return with an ankle injury. After the fact, head coach Mike Tomlin said that Highsmith suffered a high ankle sprain. Highsmith’s father posted on Twitter early on Monday morning that Highsmith will require an MRI on his injured ankle.

Given that Highsmith was able to walk and even run in short bursts after the injury, it does not seem likely that it will impact his offseason training plans.

The team’s third-round draft pick out of Charlotte, Highsmith was thrust into a starting role after starting outside linebacker Bud Dupree suffered  an ACL injury that required surgery.

On the season, Highsmith played in 16 regular season game and made five starts. He finished with 48 tackles, five for a loss, six quarterback hits, one interception and one pass defended.

With Dupree set to become an unrestricted free agent and unlikely to return, Highsmith should be expected to retain his starting role in 2021.

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Mike Tomlin Doesn’t Regret Punt, Will Talk to Ben Roethlisberger About Future



Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin answers questions from the media following his team’s shocking defeat at the hands of the Browns in the playoffs. Tomlin explained why he decided to punt on a 4th and 1 in the 4th quarter while trailing by multiple scores. He also touched on the timeline for when he will talk to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger about his future with the team.

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Steelers Gameday

JuJu Smith-Schuster Says He Doesn’t Regret ‘Browns Is the Browns’ Comment



PITTSBURGH — It was repeated so often in the five days between when JuJu Smith-Schuster said the phrase on Wednesday to Sunday night’s game at Heinz Field, that it nearly became the No. 1 talking point coming into the game.

“The Browns is the Browns.”

Before the game, after the game and probably during the game, many of the Browns made it clear that they had taken exception to Smith-Schuster’s characterization of the team.

Smith-Schuster said after the game that he had no regrets about what he said.

“You know, I don’t regret what I said,” Smith-Schuster said. “I said, ‘The Browns is the Browns.’ They came out and they played a hell of a game. You know, there’s been games where we feel we lose them and today wasn’t our night and hopefully the same Browns will show up next week against the same opponent and go out and do the same thing they did tonight and have a hell of a game.”

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