While the Pittsburgh Steelers are still kicking themselves for dropping Thursday’s game against the Cleveland Browns, and they understand that they have another game to prepare for in between, they also know in the back of their minds what is on the horizon. That is, another game against the Browns.
It should be a bit easier, as they will be at home, and Cleveland won’t have Myles Garrett to smash any of their players on the head, so that is a bit of an advantage that they didn’t have the luxury to possess the last time around.
But they want their revenge, and they also know that it’s a prerequisite for them to move forward. With six games left and sitting at 5-5, on the outside looking in for even the second wildcard spot, they know their revenge has to coincide with mistake-free, winning football. That the two can come together is just a bonus.
“I like the fact that we lost to them, so we get another shot to play them”, Cameron Heyward told Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I don’t care who we lose to, if they’re in our division, we get our shot” to seek revenge, he said.
“We’ve got to right the ship. I know we get them at home, and we’re thinking we have this great aura at Heinz Field, but we’ve got to put in the work. Only way that game means anything is if we win this game, so our focus has got to be on Cincinnati right now”.
It may be hard to juggle those emotions a bit, of the desire to get even with the Browns while at the same time preparing for the Cincinnati Bengals, all the while undermanned due to injuries sustained in that last game—though a list that fortunately does not include Mason Rudolph.
“We lost the game. We’ve got to come out this week, come out practice harder, because we’ve got another divisional opponent coming up”, Terrell Edmunds said. “We can’t slip up again. They got the best of us this past week, but we see them in two weeks and we get to play them again”.
Though it’s the offense that was literally assaulted, the defense has taken the loss to the Browns even harder, it seems, because they had been playing to a certain standard that they did not live up to on Thursday.
Not only did they allow the Browns to get multiple big plays against them—they had not had any since Week Two—they also failed to take the ball away at all, something that they had not had to deal with since the season opener.
They can work to correct those things against the Bengals, all the while biding their time to prove to the Browns that they are no different than so many of the Steelers’ other opponents whom they’ve taken down during this stretch.