Browns Vs. Steelers: An Emotional Recap
Today’s Cleveland Browns versus Pittsburgh Steelers game had a little of everything. We will have coverage, analysis and everything else from this game Monday and Tuesday. We will then turn our eyes toward Week 2 starting Wednesday. For now I bring you my emotional recap from Browns Vs. Steelers:
Before the game started it was a unique blend of hope and concern. “The Steelers are aging and the Browns defense and run game can keep them in the game” mixed with “I’ve gotten excited before at the start of the season and been let down.” I walked through all that I expected to happen. Worried about an injury to Brian Hoyer. Allowed myself a few minutes of what might have been if Josh Gordon was still allowed to play. I spend a few minutes lamenting the Browns not getting Ryan Shazier, who I loved before the draft at ILB but who went far higher than I expected him to. Then it was kickoff time.
Very quickly I was angry, frustrated and felt a sense of betrayal. How could this so called vaunted defense forget how to tackle? How could Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell, the two big offensive players outside of the QB, be allowed to have such a big impact so quickly. The defense hurt but holding them to a field goal was solace. “Okay, they are going to settle in. Now let us hope the offense can do something.”
Nope. Just like all the doomsdayers and naysayers said, the offense is terrible. “Should they have drafted Sammy Watkins?” “I thought we were going to run the ball!” “How will any of these tiny receivers ever get open over the middle?” And just like that the Browns first game seemed to be over at half. I’m getting laughed at by my wife’s grandparents, grandpa has roots in Pennsylvania so we give them a pass.
I get a text “I’m turning it off.” That just isn’t me. If I am able to watch or listen to the game I do. I feel like I am going to be in for a long one. “Man, I hope they don’t think Johnny Manziel is the answer to this mess!!!”
“NOOO!!!! They have Manziel warming up.” I can’t believe they think that will help the defense or that Manziel will do much better against a defense that seemed to have found the fountain of youth. “Oh good, he was just warming up like every other normal backup QB does.”
Touchdown drive. “Well at least they are going to make this respectable a little.” Isaiah Crowell was my favorite small school back in the draft, he along with Jeff Janis were my two small school guys. A perfect Browns draft for me included Blake Bortles, Shazier, Crowell and Janis. We got one of them. The other 3, whether in pre-season or opening game have all looked good. “Well at least Crowell gets a chance to shine and maybe prove me right.”
Touchdown drive. “I’m guessing that will wake up the Steelers and they go for the throat on their next series.”
Hold the Steelers to 24 yards on their next series. “Wow the defense has figured out how to tackle.”
“And what is this adjustments thing at halftime.” Been a long time since the Browns have looked coming out of the locker room. “Do we have actual coaches this year?”
Field goal drive. “Well it is closer but Hoyer needed to get that one in.”
Another stop, holding them to -5 yards. “Alright I believe. Something is different about this team.
Touchdown drive. “I don’t care how this ends this team has something about them that I believe in.”
We all know how it ends. Close but no cigar. Most Browns fans knew how it ended before the Steelers got the ball back. Many assumed how it ended when the Browns got the ball with just less than 2 minutes left.
I don’t care. I feel good about what I saw. I saw a coaching staff make adjustments. I saw the Steelers never be able to impose their will once the Browns found a rhythm. I saw a swarming defense and an effective offense that will only get better with all the youth on each side of the ball.
The final score, a 3 point margin, tells me the Browns are equal to the Steelers. Vegas, who makes a living on these things, gives 3 points to the home team.
“I’m drained. From the lowest of lows to the highest of highs. Then to end somewhere in the middle.” I am glad we are not playing for draft picks. I am grateful that Manziel wasn’t seen as the answer to the coaching staff, even if they had given it some thought. I am excited. The wins and losses may not be there but for the first time in a long time the hope is real, evident and right in front of us.
I may have gotten my prediction wrong but my 8 – 8 season prediction is still in play, and I feel darn good about it.
What is your emotional level right now?