Steelers Prevail over Browns 20-13
[Pittsburgh,Pa] The Pittsburgh Steelers 20-13 win was symbolic of their 2019 season: They started 0-3, then 1-4 and found a way to overcome themselves and rebound to a 7-5 record, only losing one game in the past several weeks-which ironically was to the Browns 2 weeks ago. In comparison, they overcame themselves and a 10-0 deficit and found a way to win, which is what’s needed for December football.
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“Man, it feels good to win always, but it definitely feels good to win when you are faced with adversity in terms of people available to you.” Said Tomlin “There’s just less margin for error. Not that we feel like we are incapable, we just realize we must play closer to optimum level. They did what they needed to do tonight. I thought particularly in the second half at halftime, we didn’t want to talk too much specifics. We felt like we needed to minimize their run in the second half more than we did in the first half and we needed to run it better than we did in the first half.
The key to the Steelers success is that they never gave up. Even after losing their franchise QB, their starting Center, Running Back and Wide Receiver, they never gave up. Then They boldly made a move to improve their defense by trading a 1st round pick for Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, and that has paid dividends. Last week, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin put in Devlin ‘Duck’ Hodges, who led the Steelers to victory.
“We needed to flip that. We felt like if we could flip that, we could stay away from negativity on offense and we could create some negativity for them on defense and really that is what transpired.” Said Tomlin “The guys deserve the credit. They made the necessary plays. Can’t say enough about the efforts of a lot of people, but that is team.”
Hodges also was the hero in this game as he passed for 212 yards and a TD. Tomlin said that Duck Hodges was chosen because he ‘didn’t kill them’ and Hodges continued to prove him right. Hodges’s TD was a 30-yard strike to WR James Washington, and he led the team on 2 other scoring drives that ended with a 1-yard TD run by rookie RB Benny Snell and a 29-yard FG by Chris Boswell.
Regarding Hodges play, Tomlin replied “I thought he played his tail off.”
And after giving up a 1st quarter TD, the Steelers defense and only allowed 3 points the rest of the game. The Steelers sacked Browns QB Baker Mayfield 5 times, recovered a fumble after LB Bud Dupree’s sack Mayfield (Recovered by DE Cam Heyward) and intercepted him once when veteran CB Joe Haden picked off Mayfield to seal the game late in the 4th quarter. The Steelers defense also held the Browns potent running attack of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt to 106 total yards.
When asked what he was thinking when they were down 10-0, Dupree said “Just hang in there. Don’t blink. Keep going. Coach Tomlin always tells us not to blink. We knew what we were messing up on. It would have been different if we just couldn’t stop them at all, but we knew what we were messing up on.”
DB Mike Hilton called the Steelers defense ‘The best in the NFL.’
In addition to his TD, Washington had another big game, catching 4 passes for 111 yards. Snell rushed for 63 yards and his TD was the first of his NFL career. “It was very exciting. I got to keep the ball too, so I’m happy about that.”-said Snell, when asked about how satisfying it was.
For the Browns, Mayfield passed for 196 yards (18/32 passing) 1 TD to Hunt and the interception to Haden. WR Jarvis Landry led the Browns with 76 catches on 7 receptions.
The Steelers are now one win away from securing another non-losing season under Tomlin, who’s never had a losing season since being hired in 2007. He continues to show that in a 16- game season, no matter how you start, it’s a journey and giving up and making excuses is never an option. Because he’s invested that support and confidence into this team, it continues to pay off. They’re next challenge will be in Arizona next Sunday when they take on the Arizona Cardinals, who have rookie QB Kyler Murray and veteran WR Larry Fitzgerald.
One man’s misfortune is another man’s opportunity.” Said Tomlin “The standard is the standard. And they made all those clichés, if you will, true. So, I am appreciative of that. It is good to get a win in AFC North ball. Excited about it.”
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