MNF Recap: Steelers Defense Swarms and Shuts Down Browns

4 min readJan 4, 2022
PIttsburgh’s TJ Watt gets ready to give his all on the field.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Ben Roethlisberger downed the Cleveland Browns with ease tonight at Heinz Field. The Cleveland Browns could not break out of their offensive funk tonight, as the Steelers D imposed their will all over the Browns the entire night. Big Ben’s last game at Heinz Field ended on a high note, and I’m sure he will treasure this win for the rest of his life. As predicted, Pittsburgh’s defense proved to be too strong and the offense did enough to come out on top of this game.

The defenses did not disappoint from both franchises tonight. They both swallowed the opponent’s offenses and didn’t allow any points for the first 19:21 minutes. Passes fell incomplete, sacks were taken, and it felt as if nobody wanted to win. It went punt after punt after punt. The play that finally broke the scoring stalemate was a Ben Roethlisberger 5 yard TD pass to his top WR Diontae Johnson. K Chris Boswell would tack on a 22 yard FG, giving the Steelers a 10–0 lead at halftime. The Cleveland struggles on offense continued in the second half; they punted on their first drive and their first points of the game didn’t come until 56 ticks left on the clock in the 3rd quarter on a Baker Mayfield 3 yard TD pass to TE David Njoku. In the last 6 minutes, the scoring started to click on both teams, but it came too late. The Browns and Steelers both had a garbage time TD, scaring me on the total towards the end.

While Ben did come out with the win tonight, he did not have the best of games. He threw for a small 123 yards and 1 TD while also getting picked off once right before the half. His passer rating was only a 56.3. However, the next generation showed up tonight with rookie RB Najee Harris going for 188 yards and a TD (A garbage time one but a TD is a TD) on 28 carries. He had a nice average of 6.7 yards per carry. It was WR Ray-Ray McCloud who led Pittsburgh in receiving yards, with 35 yards on 4 receptions, but Diontae Johnson contributed by hauling in 8 catches for 31 yards. On the other side, the Browns were a mess. They surprisingly didn’t feed Nick Chubb a ton, only having 12 carries; he converted that into 58 yards. Baker Mayfield had a 42% completion percentage, and threw for only 185 yards and 2 TDs (same as Harris, one was in garbage time). He got intercepted twice. Wideout Donovan Peoples-Jones caught 3 passes for 76 yards. Man that Pittsburgh defense. They absolutely owned the Browns tonight, with 9 total sacks and 10 tackles for loss. TJ Watt alone had 4, bringing his season total to 21.5. He is one sack away from tying former Giant Michael Strahan for the single season sack record.

The final score of tonight’s game was Pittsburgh 26-Cleveland 14. The Steelers have stayed alive in the postseason picture with this victory and the Cleveland Browns have now dropped to 7–9 on the season. In order to clinch a playoff berth, Pittsburgh will need to beat the Ravens next week, the Colts will have to lose against the Jaguars, and the Chargers-Raiders game must not end in a tie. I did pretty good with my predictions today, correctly predicting the Steelers covering the spread and the total sliding under. There will be no MNF next week, but ESPN will get two games on Saturday, Chiefs @ Broncos and Cowboys @ Eagles.

Thanks for reading y’all. I’ll be trying to update you guys with sports articles throughout the week with basketball and possibly hockey content. I did great tonight with my NBA top picks, going 3–0. Make sure to check out tomorrow’s edition for hopefully another profitable run. If you haven’t done so yet, don’t forget to follow my page for more sports content. Have a good night everybody.

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