Steelers fall to Browns 13-10
By Ray Porter Jr.
Urban Media Today
CLEVELAND, OH-With the news that Cleveland Browns Quarterback DeShaun Watson would miss the rest of the 2023 season due to injury, it was easily assumed that the Pittsburgh Steelers would easily dispatch of the Cleveland Browns and rookie QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson.
Unfortunately, we must be reminded of two things:
1. That is why they play the game
2. To quote Marshall McLuhan “Most of our assumptions have outlived their uselessness.”
Thompson-Robinson and the Browns truly outlived that assumption as they welcomed the
Steelers into Cleveland Browns Stadium and sent them home after defeating them 13-10.
Thompson-Robinson (24/43, 165 yards, INT) wasn’t flashy, but he didn’t need to be. He made the necessary plays at the necessary times which resulted in points for the Browns.
In the first quarter, he lead them on a 7 plays, 50 yard drive that ended with a 1-yard TD by Running back Jerome Ford (12 carries, 31 yards) and 17 play, 77 yard drive that ended with a 25-yard FG by Kicker Justin Hopkins and in the 4th quarter, an 8 play-40 yard drive that led to the game winning Hopkins 34- yard FG that clinch the victory.
“Exactly the type of game we anticipated.” Said Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin.
“You’ve got a really good defense, in a hostile environment [and] they had a young quarterback, so we knew they were going to do some things to minimize his exposure to our defensive unit. They weren’t going to take a lot of risks, so we had to get stops the traditional way. So, it was a lot of those things. We just came up a play or two short, but that happens.”
Unfortunately for the Steelers, they had a challenging time getting some synergy working on offense as they were unable to generate any forward progress or any points in the first half. QB Kenny Pickett (15/28, 108 yards) had a challenging day as he was either avoiding the Browns pass rush led by Linebacker Myles Garrett (2 sacks) or struggling to get the ball to his wide receivers.
“They have a really good defense. They make a lot of offenses look like that.” Said Tomlin
“Coupled with their venue, we have to give them some credit. We knew their reputation in Week two. Maybe the rest of the National Football League didn’t. It’s kind of been confirmed in the weeks after that and obviously they were really good today.”
But something clicked in the second half: For the second straight game, RB Jaylen Warren woke up the Steelers offense in the 3 rd quarter as he scored on a 74-yard TD to close the Browns lead to 10-7. Warren would also get the Steelers into scoring range again in the 4 th quarter, but the team had to settle for a 28-yard FG to tie the game at 10.
The Steelers defense then forced punts from the Browns, giving the ball back to the offense, but unfortunately Pickett couldn’t get the Steelers into scoring range and they stopped using Warren (9 carries, 129 yards, TD) in favor of fellow RB Najee Harris (12 Carries, 35 yards) And when the Steelers punted the ball back to the Browns with over 2 minutes left to play, Thompson-Robinson led the Browns on the winning drive, dropping the Steelers to 6-4 and improving the Browns record to 7-3.
When asked if he felt Warren should’ve gotten more than 9 carries, Tomlin replied
“I don’t. When you’re unsuccessful, you can look back and make a lot of those types of judgments. We don’t live like that. We don’t live in our fears. We don’t second-guess. We live. I stand by whatever decisions, or play selections, or ball distributions we had today.”
The Steelers must now shake it off and prepare for a trip to Cincinnati to face the 5-5 Bengals.
“We’ll learn from this.” Said Tomlin “We’ll do so while absorbing the L, because that’s what you do in this thing. We’ll be back (Steelers Safety) Elijah Riley had a high ankle . We had some other bumps and bruises associated with play. I’ll give you more details on that the next time we’re together.”
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