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Steelers vs. Browns, Week 17: Knee Jerk Reactions to the Steelers 26-14 win over the Browns

It was a big night for the Black & Gold.

Cleveland Browns v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

Knee-jerk Reactions are immediate responses to a situation without taking the time to analyze the situation. That’s something as sports fans that we typically do. Especially if you are a full blood Yinzer, or even just a part Yinzer, who am I fooling it’s more like if you are a Steeler fan in general. As is the custom, I compile my knee-jerk thoughts and publish them immediately after each Steelers game (my son Kyle might have a few things to say as well). It’s my version of running my mouth first and apologizing later. So with that being said, I’m going to employ that philosophy here during Week 17 of the 2021 NFL Season. Let’s get this going, HERE......WE......GO!!!

1st Quarter

  • Finally... Big Bro Scho... has come back... to Heinz Field! Since Rich and his Heavyweight Championship belt will be there in-person to see what is believed to be Ben Roethlisberger’s final game in Pittsburgh, you have to deal with Little Bro Scho and his measly Intercontinental belt. That’s almost the equivalent of BAD’s Arby’s Roast Beef ‘N Cheddar compared to the measly Classic Roast Beef.
  • Knowing it it’s Ben Roethlisberger‘s last time stepping on the field at Heinz field has me feeling quite sad.
  • Browns win the toss and defer. Steelers offense takes the field.
  • After a decent run by Harris, Ben Roethlisberger‘s first pass goes for a first down to Chase Claypool.
  • The Steelers have to play in front of the sticks. Third and 14 is a recipe for disaster.
  • A week snap gets wrangled by Roethlisberger but the completion comes up short.
  • A nice punt with nice coverage pins the Browns deep before the face mask penalty adds 15 yards to the Browns starting to field position.
  • After Spillane blows up Nick Chubb for a 2-yard loss, the Browns go quick and pick up 20 on a pass. Spillane giveth, Spillane taketh away.
  • Three straight incompletions and the Steelers are set to get the ball back on the punt. The Steelers don’t even put in a returner and send the house and end up getting the touchback.
  • Najee gets the first three carries on this drive for 17 yards.
  • Harris comes out of the game and things go awry. The offense needs to get something going, so the defense has to hold once again.
  • Chubb’s second run on the night is a little better as he gashes the Steelers for 32. Yikes.
  • The Browns go for it on 4th & 7 just outside of field goal range.
  • Cam Heyward knocks down the pass! Oh captain, my captain.
  • Steelers getting to the line quickly on this drive. Use that tempo!
  • Ben takes a deep shot on what they thought was a free play, but the officials don’t throw the flag.
  • Now the Steelers offense stays on the field on 4th and less than a yard.
  • Derek Watt with the first down!
  • Sending too many on 3rd down makes Roethlisberger get rid of it quick. Now it’s 4th & 5 and the offense stays on again!
  • The ball gets knocked down before it gets to Freiermuth and the Steelers turn it over on downs.
  • First Watt bats the ball down, and on the next play he gets the sack!
  • A Browns punt is upcoming as the first quarter comes to an end. No score at Heinz field.

2nd Quarter

  • The Steelers ate the team sticking with the run game more at this point. Who would’ve thought?
  • I don’t know what’s more impressive, Ben Roethlisberger’s pump fakes or Najee Harris‘ yards after contact.
  • Wow. Diontae Johnson suddenly can’t catch the football again. He had been doing so well until recent weeks.
  • Come on! Who throws a shoe?
  • I was able to do an Austin Powers reference. My night is finished.
  • The Clowney penalty puts the Steelers in the red zone. Time to cash in!
  • Ben goes back to Diontae Johnson for the touchdown! Boz adds the extra points and the Steelers get a first half touchdown. 7–0 good guys.
  • Loudermilk with another batted pass.
  • Browns drop the screen on third down and actually save yardage by doing so. Steelers follow up the touchdown with a three and out on defense.
  • I like that punt return. Squirt through the defense and get any yardage you can. 15 yards is a nice return and you don’t have to run around like crazy to get them.
  • Najee was not down, but the officials whistle the play dead. It’s the Steelers first three and out.
  • Playing Renegade on the television coming out of commercial break has me ready to jump through a wall.
  • Ahkello Witherspoon gets it right back for the Steelers with the INT! Baker Mayfield now has his many completions to the Steelers as he does his own team.
  • Apparently playing Renegade on the TV broadcast works as well.
  • Points off of turnovers! Let’s do it!
  • Rock to the Naj! That’s 14 yards after the Steelers don’t connect on the deep shot on first down.
  • Ray-Ray takes a big hit but gets the first 3rd-down conversion by either team on the night. First and goal!
  • Ben just can’t get enough on the throw as he’s retreating and Boswell comes out for the FG to put the Steelers up 10–0.
  • The Steelers stats so far this game look like their opponents usually are in the first half, especially with the time of possession. Got to finish it off these last three minutes.
  • The Steelers defense had a chance to get off the field with another three and out, but instead Mayfield completes his second pass of the night for a first down. Two minute warning.
  • The Browns do nothing for two plays and then convert a long pass on third down. The Steelers pass rush is just a half a second too late again.
  • Watt gets another sack! And it was on 3rd & 2. Punt coming.
  • Freiermuth gets the first down on what might have ended the first half, but with another 15 yards for the late hit out of bounds, what are the Steelers going to do?
  • The Browns get an interception to end a half, but it makes no difference as no points were going to be scored. Steelers 10, Browns 0.

3rd Quarter

  • What the defense does on this first drive of the second half is going to set the tone for the rest of the game.
  • Heyward gets in on the sack party! That’s a three and out to start the half.
  • Najee Harris with a huge run and adds the stiff arm at the end. Congratulations to Najee on the Steelers rookie rushing record.
  • Steelers into the red zone on their first drive of the second half.
  • If Ben hands that ball to Najee, he probably gets it into the touchdown zone. Instead it sails over Ray-Ray’s head.
  • The Steelers run the ball down the field but after three passes in the red zone Boswell gets the field goal. 13-0 good guys.
  • It feels like it’s Nick Chubb versus the Pittsburgh Steelers. So far he’s all they got when they use him.
  • T.J. Watt with another batted pass.
  • Mayfield slides down for no gain which will go with another sack for the Steelers. No idea who’s going to get it. More importantly, a punt is coming.
  • That was almost a disaster. Even on the fair catch, Ray-Ray McCloud doesn’t feel the punt cleanly but gets on the ball.
  • That sack goes to T.J. Watt which gives him 20.5 for the season and three in the game.
  • After two runs by Harris for 7 yards, the Steelers decide to pass and give up a sack. I would have been fine with another Najee run that deep in their ow territory.
  • With not much room to work, the punt barely gets out. Almost a disaster, but now Cleveland has their best field position as they start in Steelers territory.
  • The first play is a long catch and run and the Browns are inside the 10-yard line.
  • After keeping Chubb out of the end zone the next two plays, the Steelers give up a TD pass on third down. Back to one score. 13–7 Steelers.
  • Steelers burn a time out right before the end of the quarter. I hope that doesn’t come back to hurt them.
  • On 3rd & 9 the ball gets skipped to the receiver only one yard past the line of scrimmage. They called a timeout for that? It’s starting to look a little too familiar.
  • And the third quarter comes to a close with Alex Highsmith getting the Steelers 5th sack of the game. Steelers 13, Browns 7.

4th Quarter

  • After the Browns get a long pass on the first play the quarter, the next set of downs is pushed back with a hold and the Steelers force another punt.
  • Colquitt kicks the ground before he hits the ball and the Steelers have a good field position after the 21-yard punt.
  • The Steelers need another score here. I don’t like Cleveland getting the ball within striking distance. Why can’t they be respectful of my nerves?
  • Everyone keeps wondering why Nick Chubb isn’t getting the ball more. Why aren’t the Steelers giving the ball to Najee Harris more? I’ll take it every play.
  • After Najee gets from the first down, it goes incomplete, Benny Snell run, incomplete. It’s supposed to go Najee, Najee, Najee.
  • Boswell bangs it through from 50 yards! 16–7 Steelers.
  • Renegade time?
  • Even the TV broadcast wanted to show part of Renegade!
  • I’m sorry, but Steelers fans don’t always see how well Alex Highsmith has defended the run this season. That’s a 2-yard loss on Chubb.
  • Watt isn’t in the game? No big deal. Derrek Tuszka gets the sack!
  • I was wondering if the Steelers would decline that holding penalty and leave it as 4th down but the Browns might have gone for it. Instead it’s 3rd & 26 before the false start. Now it’s even more.
  • Now that’s how you have a drive coming out of Renegade! That’s -17 yards.
  • I love it when the Steelers start a drive almost in field goal range. Finish them!
  • News flash: It’s okay to run the ball on 3rd & 3 when you are up in the 4th quarter.
  • Boswell adds another field goal from 48 yards this time. 19–7 good guys.
  • There is sack #4 on the game for T.J. Watt! He’s only one sack away from tying the single-season NFL record!
  • Watt almost got it on the next play, but Highsmith beat him to it!
  • And on 4th & 19 the Browns get a pass interference call with very little contact. That play was all about drawing a penalty and not actually converting. Plus the ball wasn’t catchable.
  • And there is sack #9 for the team on the night. Mondeaux joins the party.
  • The Browns get enough help with ticky-tack penalties to get all the way down to score an easy touchdown. 19-14 Steelers. Now it’s all about the onside kick.
  • Minkah gets the recovery of the on-side attempt.
  • Ben Roethlisberger’s final snaps at Heinz Field upcoming.
  • And in what looks to be Ben Roethlisberger’s final snap is a handoff to Najee Harris for a 37-yard touchdown. 26–14 Roethlisberger’s team.
  • I had Najee Harris in my fantasy football championship this week. The touchdown is nice, but I already won the game before kickoff.
  • Tre Norwood gets the interception with 0:10 left and gives Ben Roethlisberger the chance to take one last knee at Heinz Field.
  • That’s the game. The Steelers are alive. Steelers 26, Browns 14.
  • The legend has played his last game at Heinz Field.
  • I’m not crying, you’re crying!
  • Okay, we’re all crying.

There you have it, my knee jerks. What were your thoughts? Be sure to get your opinions heard in the comment section below. Now time for me to process it, do some quick analyzing for the Scho Bro Show, and then put it behind me as the Steelers move on to Week 18 in Baltimore to close out the season against that ugly purple team. CAN’T WAIT!!!