The Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns are long shots and it takes a lot to break the AFC playoff field.
By the time two AFC North rivals meet in Pittsburgh on Monday night, the loser will definitely be out of the mix and the winner will land in one of the conference’s seven playoff spots in the face of slight odds. It will be an elimination game.
The Steelers (7-7-1) entered the weekend with a record of 11th in the AFC, while the Browns (7-8) remained in 12th. In AFC North, Cincinnati Bengals (9-6) is in the lead, with Baltimore Ravens (8-7) in second place.
What makes the situation dire is that six AFC teams have already won at least nine times and the other four teams have won eight times.
Adding to the mood is the possibility that Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will start the final home game of his career.
The two-time Super Bowl Champion is in his 18-season home stretch and you can feel the clock ticking at his time in Pittsburgh.
“If you look at the big picture, you can say that all the signs show this,” a 39-year-old veteran said Thursday. “I know there’s still the possibility of winning a playoff game there in the regular season, that is-if things go wrong, take care of the business, and things have to happen.”
Roethlisberger was fifth in NFL history, passing 63,721 yards and eighth in 416 touchdowns. This season he passed 3,373 yards with 20 touchdowns and 8 passcuts.
With an important match imminent, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, arriving in 2007, wasn’t ready to travel the memorable path completely.
“To be honest with you, we don’t have enough time,” Tomlin said. “That is, I’ve had 15 years of Hall of Fame play related to Ben. My focus this week and his focus are on this game, the preparation for this game and the performance in this game.
“I am confident that I will have the opportunity to sing his praise in the future, and I am happy to do so.”
Tomlin’s focus is on getting out of the funk that the Steelers have seen to be 2-4-1 in the last seven games. Browns can be involved because he dropped two consecutive contests and three of the last four contests.
Cleveland’s last two defeats were two points each. The 15th week of the Las Vegas Raiders and last week’s Green Bay Packers.
The three-time Pro Bowl defensive end Myles Garrett (15 career best sack) has greatly exacerbated the plight of his team.
“If you’re a Browns fan, you’re frustrated,” Garrett said. “If you’re a Browns player, you’re frustrated. If you have a relationship with us, you know it. We had a chance, we’re just conversion and capitalization. If not. I can’t tell you how frustrated. We are or I. “
Cleveland quarterback Baker Mayfield ignited a sub-par season with 15 touchdown passes for 11 passcuts. Mayfield was picked off four times after being defeated in Green Bay, and his wife Emily said her husband was threatened with murder after the contest.
Baker Mayfield was also booed at home for the first time in his four-year NFL career.
“There was a lot of the first thing for me this year, but it’s with the realm of the position I’m in,” Mayfield said Thursday. “I have to handle it as best as possible.”
Mayfield passed 225 yards to the Steelers on October 31 with a loss of 15-10 when Pittsburgh scored the final 12 points. Roethlisberger passed 266 yards and a Goahead touchdown.
Cleveland rejuvenated four players from the COVID-19 protocol on Thursday, including the Center JC Tretter. Garrett (groin) was a limited practice participant, but Kareem Hunt (ankle) was in the browns sitting down.
For Pittsburgh, tight-end Pat Freiermuth was a full-practice participant on Thursday, while defensive-end Chris Wormley missed the session. Both players sat down on a 36-10 road loss to the Kansas City Chiefs last week.
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Steelers fight Browns at Ben Roethlisberger’s home finale
Source link Steelers fight Browns at Ben Roethlisberger’s home finale