I don’t take the Cleveland Browns win lightly over my Pittsburgh Steelers on the night of January 10, 2021. In fact, I feel like I’m in a stupor of sorts on this Monday morning after the debacle. There’s enough blame to go around for the Steelers’ loss of the NFL Wildcard playoff game on Sunday night. Some say it was because of the coaching, others say the QB was at fault, while others blame the players. Whatever happened, it was the worst “showing up” I’ve seen from my favorite football team.
I can’t give a detailed analysis of the game because I honestly didn’t watch all of the game. While I’m not a superstitious person – I have my rituals like most Steelers’ fans. Routines make some of us fans feel we’re somehow willing our team to win. One of my habits during a game when the Steelers are behind is either turning the channel or walking out of the room for a while. After a record first-quarter lead by the Cleveland Browns of twenty-eight unanswered points over my Steelers, you only have to guess what I did. I waited until late in the second quarter of the game to turn the channel. I’d had enough torture for a while.
I believe myself and most Steelers’ fan were in shock during the game because of the stellar season our team had up until week thirteen. With an 11-0 record by week twelve, we Steelers fans were on top of the world along with our team. I don’t mind that we lost in week thirteen of the regular season. A loss was bound to happen with a perfect record. I’ve seen the Steelers lose many times before in playoff season. But it’s the loss after such a great season, not counting the three consecutive defeats in weeks 13-15, that makes the loss hurt so much. To advance to a wildcard playoff game against a previously inferior division rival and lose to the extent we did is embarrassing. Sure, we made a comeback in the second half (I heard about it but didn’t see), but it was too little too late. The final score was 48-37. Cleveland advances in the playoffs, and we’re left with a 12-4 record to end our season. Cleveland outplayed us at every turn and should be congratulated for winning the game.
Now, who to blame? I’m only qualified to answer as a fan. I’d think jobs may be lost as a result of the way we ended our season. We lost four of the last five games in the regular season. Hopefully, if not in the coming days, there’ll be changes before the 2021-22 season starts. As a fan, I blame complacency by the organization, coaches, and players in preparing for the game. We had a total meltdown by the defense, offense, and coaching staff. Why weren’t we better prepared for this Browns team? Why weren’t adjustments made when it was apparent the Browns’ coaches caught on to our game plan? By the way, the Browns’ head coach wasn’t even present for the game. The report during the game was that Cleveland’s head coach was quarantined at home because of Covid-19. For the love of all things holy, why were the Browns (or you can insert any other team’s name here) “allowed” to get 28 unanswered points in the first quarter? This is not any Steelers team I’ve ever witnessed. Something went terribly wrong. I don’t think an answer as to what went wrong will satisfy any Steelers fan at this moment.
With all that said, I still love my Pittsburgh Steelers’ team. I’ll continue to watch the games next season and root for my team to win. I’m hoping we’ll have a preseason in August 2021 since Covid-19 and the pandemic it brought stopped the 2020 NFL preseason.
It’s a solemn Monday for us die-hard Steelers’ fans. As they say, we’ll get ‘em next time!