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Podcast: Steelers season ends in an absolute embarrassment

Behind the Steel Curtain - Mon, 01/11/2021 - 5:00am

Join BTSC for immediate reaction after the Steelers disastrous Wild Card performance against the Browns.

The Pittsburgh Steelers season is over and it, more or less, ended on the first play of scrimmage when Maurkice Pouncey’s snap sailed over Ben Roethlisberger’s head and the Browns recovered in the end zone. After that, Ben threw a trio of picks in the first half and the Browns capitalized like crazy scoring 28 points in the first quarter of play. The Steelers were done before they got started. Jeff Hartman, Dave Schofield and Bryan Anthony Davis break down the game like no one else does on the latest podcast, The Steelers Post-Game Show.

If you haven’t heard, we have a YouTube channel, and the main reason for this is to increase the sound quality on our shows. But if you’re a visual learner you can watch the show below. Be sure to subscribe to our channel.

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Part 1:

Part 2:

Knee Jerk Reactions to the Steelers’ 48-37 playoff loss to the Browns

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 01/10/2021 - 10:45pm
Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Everything went wrong early and it was just too much for the Steelers to overcome.

Wild Card Weekend! The Steelers are back in the post season! Now all the Steelers have to do is avoid a loss to the Browns in back-to-back weeks. It feels like the Steelers will have about half the team they didn’t have last week in a close 22-24 loss (I know it wasn’t half, but it was a lot). Between resting players, players coming off the COVID list and a couple off of IR, the Browns have a lot more to contend with this week. The Browns on the other hand will be missing a couple key players and several coaches, including their head coach, due to COVID. I want to see the 2nd half versus the Colts type of Steeler team show up from the start and get this game out of hand early. Only one way to find out, so let’s get to the game.

A simple reminder, a knee jerk reaction is an immediate and unthinking, emotional reaction. It’s basically shooting first and apologizing later (forget that, I apologize for none of my emotion I may not actually be from Pittsburgh, but grew up close enough to be a Yinzer). I can safely say that’s a true definition of yours truly and a good lot of Steelers’ Nation. Here’s my real-time (and possibly a little bit of my son Kyle’s) reactions during the Steelers’ effort to secure their seventh Lombardi trophy.

Quarter 1
  • I hope I can survive having to listen to Chris Collinsworth for this entire game.
  • Cleveland won the toss and deferred to the second half. Steelers to receive the football.
  • You want to talk about a wild start. Pouncey snaps at 6 ft over Ben's head and the Browns recover for a touchdown. If the night's going to go like this, this article is ending early because I'm going to bed. Steelers 0, Browns 7, less than 15 seconds into the game.
  • Wow, James Conner with a run for nine yards.
  • On third down, the Steelers actually handed the ball to Derek Watt and he picks up the first down.
  • Ben now throws an interception. Kyle just said he was going to bed. He has seen enough already. Okay, he changed his mind. He instead just switched to his lucky socks.
  • Jarvis Landry scores a long touchdown on third and four. Can we go ahead and stick a fork in the Steelers? Steelers 0, Cleveland 14.
  • Two Steelers turnovers quickly turned into 14 Cleveland points. I'm at a loss for words right now.
  • So on 3rd and less than a yard Randyland got extra creative and ran exactly the same play we ran on the last third and one and it got stuffed.
  • Cleveland gets the ball back and the first thing the defense does is give up a 17-yard run to Nick Chubb.
  • Very next play Chubb runs for 20 yards.
  • Kareem Hunt scores a touchdown for the Browns. If I didn't have to write this article I would be going to bed. This is pathetic. Steelers 0, Browns 21. Kyle actually gave up and went to bed now.
  • How about a couple of high passes from Ben, the second of which is tipped and picked off. This is an embarrassment to the city of Pittsburgh.
  • The Steelers have had the ball four times. There was one three and out, and three turnovers.
  • Kareem Hunt runs it in again. You're probably not going to see me writing near as much until I see something that the Steelers do worth writing about. Steelers 0, Cleveland 28 and we're not even out of the first quarter yet.
  • End of the first quarter, Cleveland 28, the sucky Steelers 0.
Quarter 2
  • Steelers are able to pick up a couple first downs, but then between a drop and Ben looking awful they end up punting it back to the Browns.
  • I thought I saw the worst start to a playoff game when I saw the Steelers live in January of 2018. This is potentially worse than that one. Back-to-back playoff games with absolutely horrid starts.
  • Ben has the ball batted straight up in the air at the line of scrimmage and picked off by the Browns. How about four turnovers less than 20 minutes into the game. Bring on Mason. He couldn't do any worse.
  • Chub just runs for another 12 yards. The offense can't do anything and the defense can't stop anything.
  • The Steelers are constantly using three plays just to gain 10 yards. They can't get back in a game that way.
  • Instead of calling a timeout with 2 minutes and 10 seconds left in the second quarter, Ben hurries a play on 3rd and 1 that ends up incomplete Steelers now faced with a 4th and 1. They still have all three timeouts. I don't get it.
  • Second effort from Conner gets the Steelers the first down. Next play he goes untouched into the end zone. Steelers 7, Browns 28.
  • Cleveland goes right back down the field on the defense and scores on a touchdown pass to Austin Hooper. Ugly game continues to get it even uglier. Steeler 7, Browns 35.
  • Last week when the Browns were fighting for their playoff lives they could only score 24 against our second stringers. This week is 35 in the first half against our first team. Pretty pathetic if you ask me.
  • Boswell hits a 49-yard field goal on the last play of the first half. It was an ugly one. Steelers 10, Browns 35..
Quarter 3
  • Cleveland gets the ball to start the second half. They've made a couple of first downs and have already drained almost 4 minutes off the third quarter clock.
  • Steelers get the ball back and march it right down the field, scoring a touchdown on a pass from Ben to Ebron. Steelers choose to go for two and do not complete. Steelers 16, Browns 35.
  • The defense actually holds to a quick three and out. The offense will get to go back on the field.
  • The Steelers have hit a couple plays on this drive, but they've missed a couple as well that they could have had. They're now faced with a third and 10 on the Cleveland 20. Ben completes it to JuJu, down to the 5 yard line.
  • Steelers miss badly on their first three passes and are now faced with a fourth and goal on the five. Failure to complete here pretty much could wrap this game up. Luckily Ben was able to get one to JuJu. Steelers are inching their way back in slowly. Steelers 23, Browns 35.
  • The Steelers hold the Browns to another three and out. The offense is going to get it back again.
  • End of the third quarter. Steelers 23, Browns 35.
Quarter 4
  • Steelers come up short on 3rd down and are faced with 4th and 1. The Steelers chose not to go for it and are putting it away. I'm not sure if that was the right call there, if you go and complete it you really keep the momentum.
  • Defense gets them to a third and two, but the Browns complete a pass to Landry who gains a bunch of extra yards down the sideline. Choosing not to go for it on 4th and 1 might have been a huge mistake.
  • The defense gets burned on a screenplay to Nick Chubb and he takes it to the house. Not going for it on 4th and 1 is now shown to be a huge call blown by Mike Tomlin. Steelers 23, Browns 42. I think this one's now over. Back-to-back playoff games giving up 40 plus points.
  • Ben hits Claypool for a touchdown. Just think what this game would be if the defense wouldn't have given up that last touchdown.
  • Steelers going for two. Attempt fails. It really wasn't even that close. Steelers 29, Browns 42.
  • Nick Chubb rushes for nine yards on first down for the Browns. If the defense can't get it back quickly it's going to be tough.
  • The defense just can't stop them at all. They were just talking about not having mentioned Heyward, Alualu, or Tuitt all night. And they're right the d-line has been invisible.
  • The defense is just getting picked apart right now. It's pathetic.
  • Cleveland now has a first and goal. We're down to 6 minutes to play. I haven't had much hope most of the game anyway, because the team just can't give me anything to be all that hopeful for.
  • Browns hit a field goal to extend the lead. Pittsburgh 29, Browns 45.
  • 3-yard passes when you are down 16 points with less than 5 minutes to play is not going to get it done.
  • Hey but instead of changing it up they just do it again.
  • Ben throws his fourth interception of the game. It's over. I am almost to the point where I'm starting to wonder about Ben as well.
  • The Steelers go minus 5 in turnovers.
  • If you would have told me yesterday that the Steelers offense would score 29 points. I would have told you that they win the game easily.
  • Browns tackle on another field goal. Steelers 29, Browns 48. The Steelers have given up 48 points to the Browns, Don't forget we beat them 38 to 7 earlier in the year.
  • Steelers do go down the field, but ate up most of what was left of the clock. Ben hits Chase Claypool for the touchdown, but too little too late.
  • Steelers go for two. it wasn't pretty but Ben eventually gets it to Connor who gets it in for the conversion. Steelers 37, Browns 48.
  • Ben has completed 47 of 68 passes for 501 yards. With four touchdowns, but four ugly interceptions.
  • Steelers trying on sidekick recovered by the Browns who line up in victory formation.
  • Game over. Season over. And worst of all we lost this playoff game to the Cleveland Browns.
  • The Steelers have a lot of personnel decisions to make both on the field and on the sideline for next season. Stay tuned.

Once again, I just fired off what was going through my head at the time. All reactions were in real time. Basically, it is the equivalent of watching the game with me (and Kyle), you just don’t have to go to another room because I am screaming at the television (sometimes Kyle has to leave). Now time to process it, some quick analyzing for the Scho Bro Show, and then put it behind me. It was so ugly that I have to just put it behind me. I enjoyed writing these articles for you all season, and hopefully I will be invited back to do it again next season. Go Steelers. Make sure you get your voice heard in the comments below.

Turnovers lead to 48-37 loss, and demise of the 2020 Steelers

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 01/10/2021 - 10:38pm
Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers 2020 season ended in deflating home playoff loss to the Cleveland Browns in the AFC Wild Card round.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns know each other well. Not only are they division foes in the AFC North, but their meeting in the Wild Card round of the AFC Playoffs was their second straight game after their Week 17 game in Cleveland.

But this game wasn’t played in FirstEnergy Stadium, it was at Heinz Field. And Mason Rudolph wasn’t the quarterback of the Steelers, it was Ben Roethlisberger. One final meeting between these two hated rivals, their respective seasons on the line.

The Browns won the opening coin toss, and decided to put their defense on the field to square off with Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh offense to start the game. After the Ray-Ray McCloud return, the first snap from scrimmage sailed over Roethlisberger’s head and was recovered in the end zone for the Browns touchdown. In the blink of an eye it was 7-0 Cleveland.

The Steelers’ offense took to the field again, and put together a nice drive with James Conner doing all of the heavy lifting. However, at midfield, when Roethlisberger faced pressure up the middle, his pass intended for Conner and was intercepted at midfield. With 10:44 left in the first quarter, the Steelers had already committed two turnovers.

Baker Mayfield got onto the field for the first time, and it didn’t take him long to make a play. Facing a key 3rd and 4, Mayfield hit Jarvis Landry over the middle, and it was Landry making several Steelers miss en route to the end zone. Just like that, it was 14-0 Browns with 9:46 left in the opening quarter.

Desperate for something resembling an answer, the Steelers were stoned on 3rd and 1 and Jordan Berry had to punt the ball away to the Browns offense. After two huge Nick Chubb runs, it was Kareem Hunt who abused several defenders on his way to the end zone. With just 4:40 left in the first quarter, the Steelers were staring up at a 21-0 deficit.

It was more of the same for the Steelers’ offense on their next drive. After a holding penalty on Matt Feiler, Roethlisberger’s pass was high and tipped off Diontae Johnson’s hands and was intercepted. The Steelers’ third turnover in the first quarter.

The Browns wasted no time adding to their lead, running it right down the Steelers’ throats in the process. It was Hunt, again, who plunged into the end zone to make the score 28-0 with 1:56 left in the opening quarter.

The Steelers started the second quarter with the football, but instead of the fireworks of the first quarter, the second quarter saw both teams exchange punts to begin the quarter. On Pittsburgh’s second drive of the quarter, Ben Roethlisberger had his pass tipped, and intercepted.

It was the third interception, and fourth turnover, of the game.

The Browns weren’t able to turn the takeaway into points, and the Steelers put together their best drive of the game right after. Starting at their own 11, Roethlisberger connected with James Washington on multiple occasions to move the ball into Cleveland territory. But the drive didn’t stop there. Facing a critical 4th and 1 at the 2-yard line, James Conner barely got the yardage necessary for the first down. The next play was a Conner touchdown, making the score 28-7 with 1:44 left in the first half.

Right when you thought the Steelers could scratch and claw their way back into the game, the Browns drove right down the field with ease. Mayfield made plays when necessary, sometimes with his legs, and the final play was a pass to Austin Hooper, making the score 35-7 with 34 seconds left in the half.

Pittsburgh’s offense was able to get into Chris Boswell’s field goal range, and Boswell nailed a 49-yard field goal to make the score 35-10 at halftime.

The Browns received the football to start the second half, but their first drive of the third quarter resulted in a rare punt. Ben Roethlisberger and company picked up where they left off in the second quarter, and put together another impressive drive.

Roethlisberger had big passes to Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool, but the best pass was the touchdown pass to Eric Ebron.

Roethlisberger finds Ebron for a 17-yard touchdown

NBC https://t.co/tI5aUTu7te pic.twitter.com/7hSz2zwB8I

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) January 11, 2021

The Steelers decided to go for two, but the pass intended for James Conner fell incomplete, and the score was 35-16 with 7:22 left in the third quarter.

Conversions to Dionate Johnson, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Eric Ebron moved the Steelers into a first and goal situation. After three passes which didn’t invoke much confidence, the Steelers went for it on 4th and goal and Roethlisberger hit Smith-Schuster for the touchdown.

.@_BigBen7 ➡️ @TeamJuJu

NBC https://t.co/tI5aUTu7te pic.twitter.com/OCnpNv0QKK

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) January 11, 2021

Chris Boswell made the extra point, making the score 35-23 with 2:57 left in the third quarter.

Pittsburgh’s defense forced a quick three and out, but when the Steelers’ offense faced a 4th and 1 near midfield, Mike Tomlin opted to punt the ball instead of going for it. Following the Jordan Berry touchback, the Cleveland offense finally woke up after halftime. Mayfield delivered big pass completions on third down, and it was a screen pass to Nick Chubb which equated in the Browns’ touchdown. Following the point-after, the score was 42-23 with 12:32 remaining in regulation.

Ben Roethlisberger and the offense took under two minutes to put up more points. After a big completion to Diontae Johnson moved the ball into Cleveland territory, it was a bullet to Chase Claypool for the latest Steelers’ touchdown.

Roethlisberger finds Claypool for a 29-yard TD

NBC https://t.co/tI5aUTu7te pic.twitter.com/jXaSdYccIo

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) January 11, 2021

The Steelers went for the two-point conversion, again, and failed, again. That made the score 42-29 with 11:08 left in the 4th quarter.

When it looked like the tides had turned, and the Steelers’ defense would get one of their patented stops and the ball right back to the offense, the Browns put together a drive which ended in a Parkey field goal. The kick made the score 45-29 with 4:28 left in the fourth quarter.

Needing two touchdowns, two two-point conversions and defensive stops, Roethlisberger was picked off for the fourth time of the game, sealing the win for the Cleveland Browns. The turnover resulted in another Parkey field goal, making the score 48-29.

In garbage time, Roethlisberger continued to chuck the football, and he was able to put up another touchdown before all was said and done. The touchdown pass from Roethlisberger to Claypool, and the two-point conversion to James Conner, made the score 48-37 with 1:09 left in regulation.

The Steelers’ onside kick attempt failed, and the 48-37 score would hold as the final score.

The loss ends the Steelers’ season, and leads to a long offseason where many tough decisions await. In the meantime, the Steelers haven’t won a playoff game since the 2016 season. Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold throughout the offseason.

Steelers vs. Browns, Wild Card: Fourth-quarter live updates, injury news and open thread

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 01/10/2021 - 9:49pm
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Steelers are back on the gridiron! The 2020 playoffs begins with the Steelers and Browns locking horns in the Wild Card round. Keep tabs on all things Black-and-gold with our updates and open thread.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back on the field, and this time for the first time in the 2020 AFC Playoffs as they prepare to face off against the Cleveland Browns in the Wild Card round at Heinz Field.

Throughout the game, be sure to check back here for score updates, injury news and any breaking news from those on the sidelines following the team live. You can also follow along in the Twitter feed below.

For those wondering, you can enjoy some lively commentary with the best Steelers fans across the globe in the open thread for all BTSC members in the comment section below. Let’s remember to keep it clean, respect everyone’s thoughts and ideas, and ultimately remember we’re all here for the same reason—to root on the Steelers!

In case you haven’t seen it yet, this is a message here from NFL Manager Jeanna Thomas about the new Coral commenting system:

Here are a few features that you might want to include in game day thread articles, to help your community enjoy the game day threads more:

If you change the ‘Sort By’ option to “Oldest,” you can read all the comments in chronological order, and the comment box moves to the bottom. If you leave it as “Newest”, the latest comments will appear at the top.

If you’re using a computer, you can move down the comments using C, and move back up using shift-C by clicking once inside the comments area. This can also be used to ‘load more’ comments.

Under the ‘My Profile’ tab, you can keep track of replies to your comments, and also sign up for email notifications of replies

If you want to auto-show all images/GIFs/Tweets, you can opt into this under My Profile - Preferences

As always, we’re continuing to improve the system, and will be watching how everyone is using it on game days – and if you or your community have suggestions on how we can further improve the game day thread experience, we’d love for you/them to join our commenting feedback group: https://forms.gle/2FTSCHRgnggxH6SR6 or you can email support@coralproject.net.

So enjoy the game and be sure to follow BTSC for all the latest news surrounding the team throughout the game and afterwards!

HERE WE GO STEELERS!

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Steelers vs. Browns, Wild Card: 3rd quarter in-game update

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 01/10/2021 - 9:47pm
Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back, and we keep you up to date with those who aren’t able to watch the game live.

1st Quarter In-Game Update

2nd Quarter In-Game Update

The Browns received the football to start the second half, but their first drive of the third quarter resulted in a rare punt. Ben Roethlisberger and company picked up where they left off in the second quarter, and put together another impressive drive.

Roethlisberger had big passes to Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool, but the best pass was the touchdown pass to Eric Ebron.

Roethlisberger finds Ebron for a 17-yard touchdown

NBC https://t.co/tI5aUTu7te pic.twitter.com/7hSz2zwB8I

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) January 11, 2021

The Steelers decided to go for two, but the pass intended for James Conner fell incomplete, and the score was 35-16 with 7:22 left in the third quarter.

After a quick three-and-out for Baker Mayfield and the Browns’ offense, and the Steelers’ offense continued to remain red-hot. Roethlisberger went into the all-pass no huddle offense, and converted on several huge third down situations.

Conversions to Dionate Johnson, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Eric Ebron moved the Steelers into a first and goal situation. After three passes which didn’t invoke much confidence, the Steelers went for it on 4th and goal and Roethlisberger hit Smith-Schuster for the touchdown.

Chris Boswell made the extra point, making the score 35-23 with 2:57 left in the third quarter.

The Steelers have the ball near midfield with a tough 4th and 1 decision coming up to end the 3rd quarter.

Steelers vs. Browns, Wild Card: Third-quarter live updates, injury news and open thread

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 01/10/2021 - 9:00pm
Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The Steelers are back on the gridiron! The 2020 playoffs begins with the Steelers and Browns locking horns in the Wild Card round. Keep tabs on all things Black-and-gold with our updates and open thread.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back on the field, and this time for the first time in the 2020 AFC Playoffs as they prepare to face off against the Cleveland Browns in the Wild Card round at Heinz Field.

Throughout the game, be sure to check back here for score updates, injury news and any breaking news from those on the sidelines following the team live. You can also follow along in the Twitter feed below.

For those wondering, you can enjoy some lively commentary with the best Steelers fans across the globe in the open thread for all BTSC members in the comment section below. Let’s remember to keep it clean, respect everyone’s thoughts and ideas, and ultimately remember we’re all here for the same reason—to root on the Steelers!

In case you haven’t seen it yet, this is a message here from NFL Manager Jeanna Thomas about the new Coral commenting system:

Here are a few features that you might want to include in game day thread articles, to help your community enjoy the game day threads more:

If you change the ‘Sort By’ option to “Oldest,” you can read all the comments in chronological order, and the comment box moves to the bottom. If you leave it as “Newest”, the latest comments will appear at the top.

If you’re using a computer, you can move down the comments using C, and move back up using shift-C by clicking once inside the comments area. This can also be used to ‘load more’ comments.

Under the ‘My Profile’ tab, you can keep track of replies to your comments, and also sign up for email notifications of replies

If you want to auto-show all images/GIFs/Tweets, you can opt into this under My Profile - Preferences

As always, we’re continuing to improve the system, and will be watching how everyone is using it on game days – and if you or your community have suggestions on how we can further improve the game day thread experience, we’d love for you/them to join our commenting feedback group: https://forms.gle/2FTSCHRgnggxH6SR6 or you can email support@coralproject.net.

So enjoy the game and be sure to follow BTSC for all the latest news surrounding the team throughout the game and afterwards!

HERE WE GO STEELERS!

!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Steelers vs. Browns, Wild Card: 2nd quarter in-game update

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 01/10/2021 - 8:53pm
Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back, and we keep you up to date with those who aren’t able to watch the game live.

1st Quarter In-Game Update

The Steelers started the second quarter with the football, but instead of the fireworks of the first quarter, the second quarter saw both teams exchange punts to begin the quarter. On Pittsburgh’s second drive of the quarter, Ben Roethlisberger had his pass tipped, and intercepted.

It was the third interception, and fourth turnover, of the game.

The Browns weren’t able to turn the takeaway into points, and the Steelers put together their best drive of the game right after. Starting at their own 11, Roethlisberger connected with James Washington on multiple occasions to move the ball into Cleveland territory. But the drive didn’t stop there. Facing a critical 4th and 1 at the 2-yard line, James Conner barely got the yardage necessary for the first down. The next play was a Conner touchdown, making the score 28-7 with 1:44 left in the first half.

Right when you thought the Steelers could scratch and claw their way back into the game, the Browns drove right down the field with ease. Mayfield made plays when necessary, sometimes with his legs, and the final play was a pass to Austin Hooper, making the score 35-7 with 34 seconds left in the half.

Pittsburgh’s offense was able to get into Chris Boswell’s field goal range, and Boswell nailed a 49-yard field goal to make the score 35-10 at halftime.

Steelers vs. Browns, Wild Card: Second-quarter live updates, injury news and open thread

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 01/10/2021 - 7:59pm
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Steelers are back on the gridiron! The 2020 playoffs begins with the Steelers and Browns locking horns in the Wild Card round. Keep tabs on all things Black-and-gold with our updates and open thread.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back on the field, and this time for the first time in the 2020 AFC Playoffs as they prepare to face off against the Cleveland Browns in the Wild Card round at Heinz Field.

Throughout the game, be sure to check back here for score updates, injury news and any breaking news from those on the sidelines following the team live. You can also follow along in the Twitter feed below.

For those wondering, you can enjoy some lively commentary with the best Steelers fans across the globe in the open thread for all BTSC members in the comment section below. Let’s remember to keep it clean, respect everyone’s thoughts and ideas, and ultimately remember we’re all here for the same reason—to root on the Steelers!

In case you haven’t seen it yet, this is a message here from NFL Manager Jeanna Thomas about the new Coral commenting system:

Here are a few features that you might want to include in game day thread articles, to help your community enjoy the game day threads more:

If you change the ‘Sort By’ option to “Oldest,” you can read all the comments in chronological order, and the comment box moves to the bottom. If you leave it as “Newest”, the latest comments will appear at the top.

If you’re using a computer, you can move down the comments using C, and move back up using shift-C by clicking once inside the comments area. This can also be used to ‘load more’ comments.

Under the ‘My Profile’ tab, you can keep track of replies to your comments, and also sign up for email notifications of replies

If you want to auto-show all images/GIFs/Tweets, you can opt into this under My Profile - Preferences

As always, we’re continuing to improve the system, and will be watching how everyone is using it on game days – and if you or your community have suggestions on how we can further improve the game day thread experience, we’d love for you/them to join our commenting feedback group: https://forms.gle/2FTSCHRgnggxH6SR6 or you can email support@coralproject.net.

So enjoy the game and be sure to follow BTSC for all the latest news surrounding the team throughout the game and afterwards!

HERE WE GO STEELERS!

!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Steelers vs. Browns, Wild Card: 1st quarter in-game update

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 01/10/2021 - 7:58pm
Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back, and we keep you up to date with those who aren’t able to watch the game live.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns know each other well. Not only are they division foes in the AFC North, but their meeting in the Wild Card round of the AFC Playoffs was their second straight game after their Week 17 game in Cleveland.

But this game wasn’t played in FirstEnergy Stadium, it was at Heinz Field. And Mason Rudolph wasn’t the quarterback of the Steelers, it was Ben Roethlisberger. One final meeting between these two hated rivals, their respective seasons on the line.

The Browns won the opening coin toss, and decided to put their defense on the field to square off with Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh offense to start the game. After the Ray-Ray McCloud return, the first snap from scrimmage sailed over Roethlisberger’s head and was recovered in the end zone for the Browns touchdown. In the blink of an eye it was 7-0 Cleveland.

The Steelers’ offense took to the field again, and put together a nice drive with James Conner doing all of the heavy lifting. However, at midfield, when Roethlisberger faced pressure up the middle, his pass intended for Conner and was intercepted at midfield. With 10:44 left in the first quarter, the Steelers had already committed two turnovers.

Baker Mayfield got onto the field for the first time, and it didn’t take him long to make a play. Facing a key 3rd and 4, Mayfield hit Jarvis Landry over the middle, and it was Landry making several Steelers miss en route to the end zone. Just like that, it was 14-0 Browns with 9:46 left in the opening quarter.

Desperate for something resembling an answer, the Steelers were stoned on 3rd and 1 and Jordan Berry had to punt the ball away to the Browns offense. After two huge Nick Chubb runs, it was Kareem Hunt who abused several defenders on his way to the end zone. With just 4:40 left in the first quarter, the Steelers were staring up at a 21-0 deficit.

It was more of the same for the Steelers’ offense on their next drive. After a holding penalty on Matt Feiler, Roethlisberger’s pass was high and tipped off Diontae Johnson’s hands and was intercepted. The Steelers’ third turnover in the first quarter.

The Browns wasted no time adding to their lead, running it right down the Steelers’ throats in the process. It was Hunt, again, who plunged into the end zone to make the score 28-0 with 1:56 left in the opening quarter.

The Steelers had the ball at the end of the first quarter.

Steelers vs. Browns, Wild Card: First-quarter live updates, injury news and open thread

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 01/10/2021 - 7:00pm
Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The Steelers are back on the gridiron! The 2020 playoffs begins with the Steelers and Browns locking horns in the Wild Card round. Keep tabs on all things Black-and-gold with our updates and open thread.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back on the field, and this time for the first time in the 2020 AFC Playoffs as they prepare to face off against the Cleveland Browns in the Wild Card round at Heinz Field.

Throughout the game, be sure to check back here for score updates, injury news and any breaking news from those on the sidelines following the team live. You can also follow along in the Twitter feed below.

For those wondering, you can enjoy some lively commentary with the best Steelers fans across the globe in the open thread for all BTSC members in the comment section below. Let’s remember to keep it clean, respect everyone’s thoughts and ideas, and ultimately remember we’re all here for the same reason—to root on the Steelers!

In case you haven’t seen it yet, this is a message here from NFL Manager Jeanna Thomas about the new Coral commenting system:

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So enjoy the game and be sure to follow BTSC for all the latest news surrounding the team throughout the game and afterwards!

HERE WE GO STEELERS!

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Josh Dobbs inactive for Steelers for their Wild Card game against the Browns

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 01/10/2021 - 5:46pm
Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

While head coach Mike Tomlin hinted at possibly using the third quarterback much like in Week 17, Dobbs is one of 6 Steelers inactive for their postseason game.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are ready for their playoff matchup against the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field. The final step in setting their roster for the game is the announcement of the inactive list. After elevating tight end Kevin Rader from the practice squad on Saturday, the inactive list is made up of six players. With no players with an injury status for the game, the Steelers list is comprised completely of healthy scratches.

Inactives for the #Steelers tonight vs. the Browns: QB Dobbs, SS Antoine Brooks, RB McFarland, OLB Elliott, OL Isidora, DL Buggs.

— Bob Labriola (@BobLabriola) January 10, 2021

While some wanted to see the Steelers use quarterback Joshua Dobbs as a change of pace quarterback much like he was in Week 17 when Ben Roethlisberger was held out of the lineup, Dobbs returned to his normal spot on the inactive list. Although head coach Mike Tomlin hinted that the Steelers may have Dobbs active for this reason, the Steelers went with their standard two quarterbacks active on game day.

With offensive lineman Matt Feiler officially activated off the Reserve/Injured List on Saturday, the Steelers had an extra offensive lineman than what needed to be dressed on game day. With four guards on the roster, Danny Isidora is the bottom man on the depth chart and therefore inactive.

With the Steelers run game continuing to struggle, dressing four running backs is not a luxury the team can afford. Therefore, rookie Anthony McFarland is inactive as the other two reserve running backs offer special teams contributions were McFarland does not.

Rounding out the Steelers inactive list are defensive lineman Isaiah Buggs, linebacker Jayrone Elliott, and safety Antoine Brooks Jr. All three players have been active at various times during the season, but have also been inactive whenever the Steelers are not dealing with injury.

As for the Browns inactive list, it can be seen here courtesy of ESPN’s Jake Trotter. Linemen Wyatt Teller and Jack Conklin as well as wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones are all active.

#Browns inactives:
WR Marvin Hall
CB Brian Allen
S Jovante Moffatt
S Tedric Thompson
T Alex Taylor
WR Ja'Marcus Bradley

— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) January 10, 2021

The on-field matchups should dictate the scheme for Steelers vs. Browns

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 01/10/2021 - 4:30pm
Photo by Benjamin Solomon/Getty Images

The Steelers are in good shape against a depleted Browns roster.

Scheme matters, but when that scheme hits the field, it’s up to the players involved to execute the game plan and make the plays on the field. This week the Steelers face the Browns in an elimination match, and the Browns are not at 100%.

Throw the ball deep

Last week Mason Rudolph hit Chase Claypool deep on a route where the defensive back didn’t even touch him. I mean, look at this:

That’s Terrance Mitchell, a good slot corner who will again be the Browns #1 CB. You have to attack that. All day.

And not just with Chase Claypool. JuJu Smith-Schuster has been the Steelers most effective receiver on downfield throws since 2018 (when healthy). He catches over 50% of those routes. Get JuJu Smith-Schuster and Chase Claypool going.

Of course if you are going to do that, you need to . . .

Keep the pocket clean for Ben Roethlisberger

Olivier Vernon is out, the Browns have Myles Garrett (12 sacks) and Sheldon Richardson 4.5 sacks) left to attack Ben Roethlisberger. Richardson is a problem. He is a beast to deal with, not as a skilled technique rusher, but a brute force pocket collapser. Meet that with David DeCastro who is starting to look more like himself again, and Kevin Dotson, the perfect counter for that brute force. Don’t rely on Matt Feiler coming off an upper body muscle injury, let the big man do his thing against the Browns nastiest interior pressure creator.

Dotson and DeCastro did fantastic against Deforest Buckner in week 16, shutting him down in a month he earned defensive player of the month honors. In week 17 J.C. Hassenauer was a weak spot, but the guards did their job. With Pouncey back, the Steelers can slide help to Myles Garrett’s side and keep the interior pocket clean for Ben Roethlisberger to step up and make throws.

Interior line play has been the #1 correlation to Ben Roethlisberger playing well. The 4 game stretch where Ben Roethlisberger looked terrible happened to completely coincide with J.C. Hassenauer playing significant snaps. Ben isn’t the young man throwing defensive lineman around and extending plays, he needs that pocket.

Attack the Browns with your best blitzes

The Browns beat the Steelers by 2 points with Cam Heyward and T.J. Watt out. This week they are back and the Browns are down Joel Bitonio and most of their offensive line was on the injury report this week. Add to that the game Alex Highsmith had against the Browns in week 17, and the Steelers hold a huge advantage up front.

For me, that means the Steelers need to blitz Mike Hilton more. Stay with me here, Mike Hilton’s blitzes sometimes work, he’s a fantastic pass and run blitzer. But even when they don’t fool the opposition, when he blitzes he pulls a blocker, leaving a lot of one on ones for T.J. Watt, Stephon Tuitt, whoever is on that side.

And with Robert Spillane back, the counter punch to those blitzes won’t be as effective. If teams keep a running back in to block, Robert Spillane is a fantastic Green Dog Blitzer, and if they go to their screen game, Robert Spillane is great against screens too. Spillane should be a big boost to this game specifically because of his skillset and how the Browns operate.

Put the pressure on, because the Browns can’t convert long downs against the Steelers. If this game becomes Baker Mayfield and his receivers against the Steelers secondary the Steelers will be in fantastic shape, Minkah Fitzpatrick and company will eat this team for dinner.

This all goes a whole lot better if the Steelers succeed at key #3.

Get an early lead

I’m looking at the defense, especially early. Ben Roethlisberger tends to start slow, and with a week off, we’ll likely see a slow start again. The best way to get the Steelers quarterback going early is to give him great field position. get an early turnover and either score, or set the offense up with a short field.

With a lead the Steelers have less to worry about from Nick Chubb, partly because the Steelers don’t give up big runs. I know Nick Chubb had a huge run in week 17, but that was without Terrell Edmunds and Robert Spillane. When those two are on the field the Steelers have given up one run longer than 20 yards, they have played over 1⁄3 of defensive snaps together and given up one. the Steelers have 7 on the year, meaning roughly 6 runs in 10 games with at least one out, and only one in the 6 games worth of snaps Spillane and Edmunds were together. The Browns beat the Steelers in large part because they got two long runs in week 17. With both Edmunds and Spillane returning, that should be fixed.

Attack the Browns weakened offensive line, get Ben Roethlisberger going with some deep throws against a depleted secondary, take the lead and make Baker Mayfield attack the Steelers secondary, something he doesn’t have much success doing.

In the Steelers wild card game, the scheme doesn’t need to be complicated, just take advantage of the mismatches on the field.

Wild Card Weekend Sunday Open Thread: Keep tabs on all the playoff action

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 01/10/2021 - 3:40pm
Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The Steelers don’t play until Sunday night, so time to keep tabs on the other games going on Sunday.

It is hard to believe, and some might still struggle with it, but NFL football is in the postseason!

It wasn’t always certain there would be a return of America’s favorite game, but here we are, preparing for an awesome slate of games in the NFL’s Wild Card weekend. Yes, it’s the playoffs so the NFL season is now in the home stretch.

Here is the schedule for the day:

Bears at Saints - 4:40 p.m. ET
Browns at Steelers - 8:15 p.m. ET

This obviously isn’t the first NFL Sunday of the 2020 season, but our new commenting system remains an issue for some. While improvements have been made, and they aren’t done with those improvements, just wanted to put a message here from NFL Manager Jeanna Thomas about the system:

Here are a few features that you might want to include in game day thread articles, to help your community enjoy the game day threads more:

If you change the ‘Sort By’ option to “Oldest,” you can read all the comments in chronological order, and the comment box moves to the bottom. If you leave it as “Newest”, the latest comments will appear at the top.

If you’re using a computer, you can move down the comments using C, and move back up using shift-C by clicking once inside the comments area. This can also be used to ‘load more’ comments.

Under the ‘My Profile’ tab, you can keep track of replies to your comments, and also sign up for email notifications of replies

If you want to auto-show all images/GIFs/Tweets, you can opt into this under My Profile - Preferences

As always, we’re continuing to improve the system, and will be watching how everyone is using it on game days – and if you or your community have suggestions on how we can further improve the game day thread experience, we’d love for you/them to join our commenting feedback group: https://forms.gle/2FTSCHRgnggxH6SR6 or you can email support@coralproject.net.

For those wondering, you can enjoy some lively commentary with the best Steelers fans across the globe in the open thread for all BTSC members in the comment section below. Let’s remember to keep it clean, respect everyone’s thoughts and ideas, and ultimately remember we’re all here for the same reason—to root for the Steelers!

If you don’t want to listen to the talking heads during games, you can always watch the games on mute and listen to some of our great Steelers podcasts. Check out the playlist below:

So enjoy the games as you wait for the Steelers to play the Cleveland Browns on Sunday night in the Wild Card round of the AFC Playoffs, and be sure to follow BTSC for all the latest news surrounding the team throughout the game and afterwards!

HERE WE GO STEELERS!

Who is the Steelers’ X-Factor in vs. the Browns in the Wild Card round?

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 01/10/2021 - 3:30pm
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Who is the X-Factor for the Steelers in their Week 17 game vs. Cleveland?

The Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing for the Cleveland Browns in the Wild Card round of the AFC Playoffs. It is the Steelers’ latest game after losing four of their last five games heading into the postseason.

When looking at the matchup between division foes, there are players who can be viewed as ‘X-Factors’.

What is an ‘X-Factor’?

I would describe an ‘X-Factor’ as a player who can truly alter the outcome of the game, single-handedly. Not just a plug and play type player, but a player who always has to be accounted for, no matter what.

As a clear-cut example of what an ‘X-Factor’ player would look like, think Troy Polamalu. Polamalu’s skill set made him a force to be reckoned with on every play. So, who are the ‘X-Factors’ for the Steelers’ playoff game vs. Cleveland?

Let’s take a look...

Jeff Hartman

X-Factor: Ben Roethlisberger

Why: The obvious answer here is Roethlisberger. It always has been, and always will be as long as he is wearing No. 7 in the black and gold. However, it seems this season, especially the way the offense has played the final month of the season, it seems even more appropriate to have Roethlisberger be the X-Factor for the AFC North champions.

Roethlisberger has shown flashes of brilliance vs. the Colts, and moments of sheer incompetence vs. the Bengals. Either way, if the Steelers are going to do any damage in the playoffs, they need Roethlisberger at his best.

Sure, gun slinger Ben is fun, and back yard Ben is a joy to watch. But the true form of Ben fans need to see is a happy median of all those combined. The Steelers don’t need play-it-safe Ben, but a Roethlisberger who is willing to take educated chances and use his decade-plus of experience in the playoffs to help get his team over the hump against the Browns. If he can’t do that, the Steelers won’t win. Period.

Dave Schofield

X-Factor: Cam Heyward

Why: The Steelers were able to get to Baker Mayfield four times in a Week 17 without their two defensive captains playing. With the return of T.J. Watt and Cam Heyward to the lineup, both slowing down the Browns running game and putting pressure on the quarterback will be even more important in the postseason. Add in the fact Pro Bowl guard Joel Bitonio will not play in the game due to being on the Reserve/COVID-19 List, slowing down Heyward will be a big task for the Browns offense. Heyward either needs to have a really big day himself, or command so much attention that the other Steelers defenders come through in a big way.

Chris Pokorny, Editor, Dawgs By Nature

X-Factor: Jack Conklin

Why: Conklin was just named to the AP All-Pro team, but I remember back in Week 6, he couldn’t stop T.J. Watt at all, as Pro Football Focus highlights here. Watt was so good that game (as he often is) as getting a jump as the snap is happening, so Cleveland really needs to hope that Conklin finds some way to hold his own against Watt better; and then as a team, the Browns need to mix their snap count up or run the hurry up to prevent Watt from getting that first step every time.

Who do you think will be the Steelers’ X-Factor at Heinz Field in the playoffs? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for Browns in the AFC Playoffs.

How the Browns plan on attacking the Steelers in the AFC Wild Card game

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 01/10/2021 - 2:30pm
Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

The Steelers and Browns are playing for the second straight week, and we give you a glimpse into how the Browns plan on attacking the Steelers at Heinz Field.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns know each other well, maybe a little too well after the two teams are preparing to face off for the second time in two weeks. With these two teams getting ready to play for the third time this 2020-2021 season, this time in the Wild Card of the AFC Playoffs, it is important to take a look at how the Browns might be changing their approach before the Sunday night game.

To get the low down on the Browns’ approach, I was able to ask Dawgs by Nature, SB Nation’s Cleveland Browns website, a few questions leading up to the game. I wanted to ask him how the Browns might be preparing for the Steelers.

Check out his answers below:

If you are the Browns’ offensive coordinator, how are you scheming to beat the Steelers’ defense, this time with Heyward and Watt in the lineup?

Run the ball early and often, and utilize the quick passing game. I thought Cleveland’s offense last week got off to the right game plan with the ground game and ensuring Mayfield was getting rid of the ball within a few seconds. They got into trouble when they tried to utilize the longer-developing play action passing game. Those play action passes have worked brilliantly against every other opponent this season, but they have failed against Pittsburgh because the Steelers don’t fall for it and get around the edge quickly to blow up the play. I think Cleveland could try to utilize it a few times if they deploy a max protection scheme, though. Everything has to be structured around reducing the negative plays. If Cleveland can play the field position game, it’s a positive. If they take sacks like they did last week (and in the first matchup), it kills the drive instantly.

Also, if you are the defensive coordinator, how are you scheming to stop the Steelers’ offense, this time with Roethlisberger and Pouncey playing?

I don’t trust our defense, I’ve made that clear to opponents we’ve faced for much of the season. If Cleveland gets Denzel Ward back in time for Sunday, that will be a big lift to the defense, as he can defend those deep/jump ball situations well. Besides that, I hope Cleveland tries to drop their linebackers into zone coverage to see if Ben Roethlisberger struggles seeing the field like he had been for a couple of weeks there. That is really the Browns’ best chance of winning this week — hoping that Roethlisberger is still in that bit of a funk he was in, and doing everything to try capitalizing on it.

Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for their first postseason run since the 2017 season.

Bold and Bizarre predictions for Steelers vs. Browns, Wild Card round

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 01/10/2021 - 1:30pm
Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

Much to the chagrin of most, BTSC’s Nostradumbass predicts the Steelers’ Wild Card clash with the Browns.

The decimated roster that the Pittsburgh Steelers took to Cleveland last week is almost back in tact and the Cleveland Browns are dealing with holes in key places, like at Head Coach and Left Guard for the Wild Card game in Pittsburgh. I’ve compiled a list of predictions (some basic, and some utterly idiotic) to look for in this contest.

Last week, I came close, but ultimately whiffed on most of my predictions. Let’s see if I can rebound this week.

  • Boujee Smith-Schuster, still upset about the fact that there were no actual skanky female hounds hanging out in the Dog Pound to sniff, creates his own dog pound featuring the furriest and finest of Pittsburgh pooches in the closed end of the field.
  • A man sporting a custom Steelers Kylo Ren mask, is caught installing a software program at Heinz Field to block all cell service from an Ohio area code to ensure that there is no cheating. When Steelers officials become aware of the plot they ask the perpetrator to do the same with Randy Fichtner’s headset.
  • The Steelers score in the first drive against Cleveland.
  • Ray-Ray McCloud, used less and less on offense as of late, takes a jet sweep for 25 yards.
  • The services of Joshua Dobbs are not used on the field of play at all in this contest.
  • Chase Claypool has a touchdown on the night, and Diontae Johnson gets one as well.
  • Matt Feiler does not get the start at left guard.
  • Robert Spillane does start and makes an impact with a key sack of Baker Mayfield.
  • Mayfield is sacked 5 times by the Steelers defense. Alex Highsmith gets two of them, while Mike Hilton, T.J. Watt, Cam Heyward and Spillane record the others.
  • Mayfield celebrates like a butthole after a first down run of six yards in the first quarter.
  • JuJu Smith-Schuster does catch one of Ben Roethlisberger’s TD passes and celebrates the score by grilling square hamburgers on a small machine that reduces fat and passes them out to the friends and family in attendance. The gesture is to celebrate both the 72nd birthday of George Foreman and the 37th anniversary of the debut of Clara Peller in the “Where’s the Beef?” Wendy’s commercials.
  • The offense is somewhat revitalized by a 90-plus yard effort in total yardage by James Conner.
  • Minkah Fitzpatrick get a Steelers interception and returns it for a score.
  • The Steelers win 29-24, and shuffle off to Buffalo.

Will any of this actually happen? I’ll bet at least one or two. Heck, maybe every one of them. Be sure to post your predictions — basic or bizarre — below.

What are we thinking? BTSC predicts the winner of Steelers vs. Browns, Wild Card

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 01/10/2021 - 12:30pm
Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

The staff at BTSC share their thoughts and predict the outcome of Steelers vs. Browns in the AFC Wild Card game.

Who will it be with bragging rights this week against the Browns?

Michael Beck, Deputy Editor, The Live Mike, Know Your Enemy, The Mike Tomlin Post-Game Press Conference Recap

The field is tilted in the Steelers favor. Just think the Browns have barely practiced, have a list of players on the COVID-19 list, will be without their head coach and multiple assistants, and have a ton of injury issues. The Steelers doing anything but winning this game handedly would be a shocker.

Steelers 27, Browns 10

Geoffrey Benedict, Know Your Enemy

Baker Mayfield has yet to convert a set of downs against Pittsburgh this year when the Steelers get a second OR third down longer than 10 yards. The Browns are no threat to the Steelers secondary. T.J. Watt has only one payoff game to his name, and didn’t have a tackle for loss or a sack in that game. Oh, and the Browns are in awful shape to play this game? Yeah.

Steelers 31, Browns 13

Bryan Anthony Davis, Podcast Producer, The Hangover, Steelers Preview, Steelers Post-Game Show, The Steelers Retro Show, Fact or Fiction, The Rooting Guide, BTSC Radio Wire, Here We Go Steelers Pre-Game Show

Here’s the deal, I don’t think that the Steelers are back completely and absolutely on offense, but I truly feel if Randy cedes the play calling to one Benjamin Todd Roethlisberger...they could be closer to fine. The defense may need to score some points here, but poking a hole in the confidence of Baker Mayfield and stopping Nick Chubb is paramount. I think losing Kevin Stefanski is huge, but I was picking the Steelers before his name was placed on the COVID list. I look for the Steelers to get as right as they can be, but it is going to be tight.

Steelers 29, Browns 24

Mark Davison, Steelers Touchdown Under

This is the first time in my Steelers fandom seeing the Cleveland Browns in the Playoffs. The last time the Browns played a NFL playoff game was in 2003. Eighteen years have passed by and If your a Browns fan I bet you are excited!

I would have loved nothing more seeing the Browns fall short and continue the streak without making the playoffs. Luckily enough we here at Behind The Steel Curtin are not Browns fans. We are diehard black and gold Pittsburgh Steeler fans from all around the globe. This is the moment to show our true colors and support our team.

Steelers 37, Browns 13

Anthony Defeo, Steelers Friday Night Six Pack with Tony, The Hangover and The Steelers Retro Show

It will be a good night for the Steelers as they exact their "revenge" for Cleveland's victory in Week 17.

Steelers 30, Browns 17

Jeff Hartman, BTSC Co-Editor, Let’s Ride, Steelers Preview, Steelers Post-Game Show, Steelers Injury Report Podcast, Mike Tomlin Press Conference Recap

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns split their season series, but it is hard to think the COVID ravaged Browns will be able to win this game. However, there is something to a team with its backs against the wall. With nothing to lose. I wouldn’t be shocked if this game was close to start, but eventually the Steelers’ defense will overcome the Browns and be the deciding factor in this contest.

Steelers 31, Browns 17

Matty Peverell, Steelers Touchdown Under

Last week’s 22-24 said more about the strength of this Steelers team with 7+ starters either out due to rest, injury or COVID-19, in which they showed they could keep up with the best the 11-5 Browns could offer. Like other BTSC contributors, let’s hope Ben can throw it deep this week after seeing various WRs step up for Mason Rudolph last week.

Ultimately, this team’s success rises on our great defense, so I’m keen to see how Heyward, Alualu and Tuitt can pressure the Brown’s o-linemen who will be preoccupied blocking Highsmith & Watt. We need James Conner to run hard and fast, soaking up the clock if we are holding a lead.

Steelers 27, Browns 17

Big Bro Scho, The Scho Bro Show

This will be a very different looking Steelers team from the team that played in Cleveland last week. All the players who stayed in Pittsburgh to rest last week will be back, plus we bring Matt Feiler, Eric Ebron, Cassius Marsh, and Robert Spillane back to the lineup. The biggest difference here might be Spillane. Ben learns from what he saw Mason do last week, and the offense gets rolling. Even missing Joe Haden, the defense plays a spectacular game and Robert Spillane helps slow down the Cleveland running game. In the end, I don't think this game ends up being anywhere as close as the game last week. Steelers win and move on to go to Buffalo next weekend.

Steelers 31, Browns 17

Dave Schofield, BTSC Co-Editor, The Scho Bro Show, Steelers Preview, Steelers Post-Game podcast, Steelers Stat Geek

When it comes to the postseason, defense seems to rule the day when it comes to the Pittsburgh Steelers. In the Steelers 13 postseason wins in the Ben Roethlisberger era, they have not given up more than 24 points and only surrendered more than 18 on three occasions. I think the defense rules the day again and the offense doesn’t have to do much to secure the victory.

Steelers 27, Browns 10

K.T. Smith, Here We Go Steelers Pre-Game Show

The Browns are a franchise on the rise. Their best days are ahead of them. Sunday may not be one of them, however. A Pittsburgh team resting key veterans, including quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, nearly won at Cleveland last week in a game they had nothing to play for and in which the Browns needed to win to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in 18 years. I don’t see Cleveland beating the Steelers for a second consecutive week against a rested Pittsburgh squad at nearly full strength.

Pittsburgh 26, Cleveland 17

Shannon White, Editorial Contributor

This is the moment that Ben Roethlisberger has been thinking about since he went under the knife to have his elbow surgically repaired in the early stages of last season. It served as constant motivation through all the pain and mental anxiety. The overwhelming desire to return to the field and lead the Steelers back to the playoffs were they belong, and the chance to compete for another Lombardi Trophy. He admirably altered his playing style through the regular season to avoid unnecessary punishment, and his strategic adjustments proved successful. Now that the playoffs are upon us, I believe we will see a more traditional Big Ben looking to drive the ball deeper down the field. The Steelers defense is as close to full strength as it has been since mid season, and the team as a whole seems on the verge of hitting their stride. It's now or never for the Black and Gold.

Steelers 30, Browns 17

Chris Pokorny, editor, Dawgs by Nature

The odds are against Cleveland. I think the reasonable thing to say is that Pittsburgh wins this week, but I don’t think it is a clear cut lock by any stretch. Two quarters aside, Roethlisberger is coming off of a bad month of football. If that’s the quarterback who shows up on Sunday, the Browns could definitely advance to the second round. However, if he is on the money and confident like we saw earlier this season, then he should have time to throw and time to find his receivers much of the day — and while I expect Cleveland’s offense to throw some creative looks at Pittsburgh’s defense, they won’t be able to rely on that all afternoon to where they can get in a shootout.

What is your prediction? Which BTSC contributor is most on the money? Let us know in the poll and the comment section below!!

Wild Card Weekend Sunday Open Thread: Keep tabs on all the playoff action

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 01/10/2021 - 12:00pm
Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The Steelers don’t play until Sunday night, so time to keep tabs on the other games going on Sunday.

It is hard to believe, and some might still struggle with it, but NFL football is in the postseason!

It wasn’t always certain there would be a return of America’s favorite game, but here we are, preparing for an awesome slate of games in the NFL’s Wild Card weekend. Yes, it’s the playoffs so the NFL season is now in the home stretch.

Here is the schedule for the day:

Ravens at Titans - 1:05 p.m. ET
Bears at Saints - 4:40 p.m. ET
Browns at Steelers - 8:15 p.m. ET

This obviously isn’t the first NFL Sunday of the 2020 season, but our new commenting system remains an issue for some. While improvements have been made, and they aren’t done with those improvements, just wanted to put a message here from NFL Manager Jeanna Thomas about the system:

Here are a few features that you might want to include in game day thread articles, to help your community enjoy the game day threads more:

If you change the ‘Sort By’ option to “Oldest,” you can read all the comments in chronological order, and the comment box moves to the bottom. If you leave it as “Newest”, the latest comments will appear at the top.

If you’re using a computer, you can move down the comments using C, and move back up using shift-C by clicking once inside the comments area. This can also be used to ‘load more’ comments.

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As always, we’re continuing to improve the system, and will be watching how everyone is using it on game days – and if you or your community have suggestions on how we can further improve the game day thread experience, we’d love for you/them to join our commenting feedback group: https://forms.gle/2FTSCHRgnggxH6SR6 or you can email support@coralproject.net.

For those wondering, you can enjoy some lively commentary with the best Steelers fans across the globe in the open thread for all BTSC members in the comment section below. Let’s remember to keep it clean, respect everyone’s thoughts and ideas, and ultimately remember we’re all here for the same reason—to root for the Steelers!

If you don’t want to listen to the talking heads during games, you can always watch the games on mute and listen to some of our great Steelers podcasts. Check out the playlist below:

So enjoy the games as you wait for the Steelers to play the Cleveland Browns on Sunday night in the Wild Card round of the AFC Playoffs, and be sure to follow BTSC for all the latest news surrounding the team throughout the game and afterwards!

HERE WE GO STEELERS!

Steelers Fact or Fiction: Get Smart edition

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 01/10/2021 - 11:30am
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

BTSC takes five burning questions regarding the 2020 Pittsburgh Steelers and labels them as fact or fiction.

There’s always so much to talk about when it comes to the Pittsburgh Steelers. But the inquiries surrounding the black-and-gold are definitely ever-evolving, especially this week with the Steelers getting ready to host the Cleveland Browns at home. There is surely a lot to wonder about. BTSC tries to answer some of the poignant wonderings ahead of time. Take a gander at some bold statements on this and more as we label them as fact or fiction.

Are we on point? Only time will tell.

Putting Matt Feiler in the starting lineup over Kevin Dotson would be a mistake Fact

It is great to have Matt Feiler back and it’s true that the Steelers need to have all blocking hands on deck. But Kevin Dotson has been consistent and very valuable on the offensive line for the Steelers. The rookie from Louisiana-Lafayette was not invited to the combine before the 2020 draft, but Kevin Colbert found him and he has played brilliantly. Known as a run blocker, Dotson has a high PFF ranking as a pass blocker. In fact, No. 69 made Pro Football Focus’ All Rookie Team. While Feiler is an incumbent starter, he’s not an upgrade over Dotson. Incumbent’s typically get there jobs back when returning from injury, but benching a hot Dotson might not be best at this particular juncture.

Reports of Chase Claypool hitting the rookie wall have been greatly exaggerated Fact

A lot of people have been speculating that the rookie from Notre Dame hit the proverbial rookie wall about six weeks ago or so. Even Mike Tomlin hinted that they were cognizant of the possibility. The Steelers reduced his opportunities and No. 11 only had 220 yards in the previous five games, before gaining 209 in has past three games. Claypool is a very valuable weapon and the Steelers really need to lean on him in the tournament.

If Chris Boswell doesn’t return for Round 1, it’s not that big of a deal Fiction

It is, indeed, a really big deal. Matthew Wright has kicked well for the Steelers, going 4/4 with his longest field goal going for 46 yards. The Central Florida kicker is also perfect in all seven point-after chances in the games that he has subbed for Chris Boswell. In the playoffs, however, you need a kicker that has a leg that can get distance on the ball and we’re not just talking field goals. Boswell does have a bigger leg and he gets touchbacks and had 26 on the year. His 35.1% rate is low for him, but he has been hurt. But his 63.2 yard average on kickoffs is the second highest since his rookie season when he was at 63.3. Wright, in turn, has a 57.9-yard kickoff average and has only one touchback out of 15. That’s only 6.7%. Giving opponents good field position is dangerous. As far as field goals go, the Steelers went for a first down on fourth instead of going for a game-tying field goal against Washington. Those are decisions that will get you ousted in the playoffs. So despite the admirable job that Wright has done, Boswell is needed....stat!

However, Kevin Stefanski being out for Cleveland is a big deal than if Mike Tomlin would be out for the Steelers Fact

Stefanski’s absence for Cleveland could be absolutely devastating since he is the offensive play caller for the Browns. In fact, the first-year Head Coach is very innovative on the fly. Offensive Coordinator Alex Van Pelt was originally slated to call plays in exhibition action, but with those games cancelled, Stefanski continued to do so in the regular season. But he knows the system and it was not previously in place. Again, if the Steelers would lose Mike Tomlin from the sidelines, it would not be favorable. But he isn’t the primary play caller. In a regular season game, this would not be as critical...but with a one-and-done situation, it could be really bad.

The Steelers best chance for success on offense is to stick with Randy Fichtner’s plan Fiction

I’d like to change the name of this post to “Sure, Why Not or Hell No!”. This would be the latter of the two options. Randy’s offense is like my mother-in-law’s cooking...bland, unimaginative and disappointing. When Ben Roethlisberger called his own plays and opened it up, that being the offense, the Steelers looked really good. That needs to happen from the get-go against Cleveland and going forward. Every series counts. The Steelers surely can not wait until the second half to get going.

Check out the Fact or Fiction podcast to learn even more about these topics, and their status, heading into this week’s game...check out BTSC’s family of podcasts and listen for more on the player below.

Podcast: Steelers start climbing this latest stairway to 7

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 01/10/2021 - 11:00am

Check out our latest weekly venture with an international flavor. Put another shrimp on the barbie and check out Steelers Touchdown Under with two blokes from Australia, Matty Peverell and Mark Davison.

It’s Week 1 of the 2020 NFL Playoffs, unlike last week the Pittsburgh Steelers have EVERYTHING to play for on Sunday - it’s win or go home (and stay home in what will be a long, long, long offseason). This week the Steelers continue their march up their latest stairway to seven Super Bowls, where they’d sit nicely alone again on top of the New England Patriots. Join the two Aussie blokes, two mates, Matty Peverell & Mark Davison from Steelers Nation Australia - and the future - as they bring an international perspective to the Steelers current state of play and this week’s upcoming game. This is just some what will be discussed on the latest episode of Touchdown Under, the Australian sensation from the BTSC family of podcasts that’s now moved over to its live YouTube home.

Check out the rundown of the show:

  • Overall preview to Week 1 of the playoffs against the Cleveland Browns
  • The draw-like feeling of losing narrowly to the Browns with key players out
  • Reactions to an interesting week in the NFL
  • Latest COVID-19 impacts on the game, from players to coaching staff.
  • ‘Slingin’ the Slang’
  • Punts of the Week

and MUCH MUCH MORE!

If you missed the live show, be sure to check out the YouTube clip here, and be sure to subscribe to our channel by clicking HERE:

Be sure to check out all episodes on the following platforms:

Apple Users: CLICK HERE

Spotify: CLICK HERE

Google Play: CLICK HERE

If you’re old-school and just want the audio, you can listen to it in the player below.

Part 1:

Part 2:

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