COLUMN: Steelers are getting hot and the Browns need answers


Erik Daniel Drost

FirstEnergy Stadium from a previous Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns game.

Anna Meyer, Sports Editor

Rivalries make the world of sports entertaining. 


Anyone remotely interested in sports and the National Football League knows that the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers rivalry is one of the greatest in professional sports. 


For the most part, the Steelers have held the upper hand in the rivalry in recent years, but, after last season’s playoff game, the Browns seemed to be a new team after defeating the Steelers, 48-37. 


On Sunday, Oct. 31, the Baker Mayfield-led Browns were spooked once again by the Steelers in a rematch of last year’s AFC North Wild Card game.  


This time, the Black and Yellow handed the Browns a 15-10 loss on their own turf at FirstEnergy Stadium, giving the Browns just tricks and no treats on Halloween as Pittsburgh got the sweet revenge they hoped to have.  


For the most part, the Browns led for the majority of the game, but not capitalizing on offensive opportunities led to arguably their toughest loss yet of the 2021 season. 


The cards seemed to be stacked against the Steelers going into halftime with a 3-3 tied game. 


The Steeler’s victory route wasn’t easy as they lost their field goal kicker, Chris Boswell, in the first half. Without a kicker, the Steelers were forced to go for it on fourth downs and attempt two point conversions rather than kicking the extra point. 


Despite trailing 10-3 at one point in the third quarter, the Steelers stayed in the game and continued to climb back. 


In the fourth quarter of the game, Pittsburgh’s tight-end rookie Pat Freiermuth made an incredible touchdown catch, which proved to be the difference-maker and the game-winning touchdown in the victory. 


Mayfield and the Brown’s offense had an opportunity to come back and tie up the five-point lead the Steelers had, but costly mistakes led to their downfall. 


Wide receiver Jarvis Landry struggled in the game, including his costly fumble in the last six minutes. 


Once again, the Browns got the ball back, but Landry could not complete the catch on a fourth down from Mayfield. 


The victory for the Steelers was their first in the city of Cleveland since 2017. 


On Sunday, it seemed like the problem continued for the Brown’s wide receiver, Odell Beckham Jr. Beckham finished the game with only one catch and six yards. This is the fewest catches and yards he has recorded in his career in a complete game. Throughout this whole season, there have been criticisms that Beckham is not getting enough passes thrown to him while he is open. This is one of the issues the Browns have been struggling with. 


After the game, the Steelers quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, poked fun at Myles Garrett, who recently put tombstone markers in front of his house with quarterbacks that he has sacked during his career. 


“He can keep the tombstone in his yard,” said Roethlisberger. “I’ll take the win.”

Roethlisberger has primarily owned Cleveland during his time as an NFL quarterback. As a starter, the Steelers are 24-3-1 against the Browns, with Rothlisberger leading the offense and 12-2-1 in Cleveland. 

Most of the Brown’s fans have fallen silent after the victory by their rival AFC opponent. In the eyes of many, this was supposed to be the “Brown’s Year.”


At the halfway point in the season, the Browns hold a 4-4 record but are 0-1 in the AFC North. Sunday’s loss also resulted in the Browns falling to the bottom of the AFC North standings. 


For the Steelers, they are beginning to get hot. Pittsburgh is currently the only team in the AFC North on a winning streak and has won their last three games. The Pittsburgh Steelers will look to continue their hot streak and extend their win streak to four as they take on the Chicago Bears, Monday, Nov. 8, at 8:15 p.m. on their home turf at Heinz Field.


As for now, it seems like the Browns need to have answers for the rest of the season. Still, most importantly, their game next Sunday comes against AFC North opponent, the Cincinnati Bengals, who have been red hot this season led by their fearless rookie quarterback, Joey Burrow.  I believe that this game could determine the Brown’s destiny for the rest of the season. 


The kickoff for the game on Sunday, Nov. 7, is scheduled for 1 p.m. in Cincinnati at Paul Brown Stadium.