The Cleveland Browns dropped a heartbreaker on Halloween to the Pittsburgh Steelers by a score of 15-10.
The loss gives both the Browns and Steelers four wins and further tightens up the AFC West standings even more.
While the Browns are allegedly the more talented team between the two, that did not stop the Steelers from marching into FirstEnergy Stadium and beating this team on its home turf.
Ben Roethlisberger was a better QB than Baker Mayfield today.
Najee Harris was a better RB than Nick Chubb today.
Diontae Johnson was a better WR than Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr today.
— TJWattBurner (@TJWattSuperFan) October 31, 2021
Here are the three things we learned in the loss.
1. Fundamentals Matter
The Cleveland #Browns are last in the AFC North (and that’s honestly where they deserve to be at the season’s halfway point)
— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) October 31, 2021
I believe Coach Stefanski emphasizes fundamentals in practice, but during the game, the discipline to keep performing the fundamentals fades.
What are the fundamentals?
Solid tackling, well executed plays without needless and stupid penalties, and taking care of the ball.
Veteran players made errors in fundamentals today that cost the team the game.
At some point, the question must turn to whether it is a talent issue or a discipline issue.
That’s not clear yet, but if there are more losses like this during the season, I will conclude that the Browns are not as talented as everyone believed.
2. The Browns Are Far From A Sure Bet Late In The Game
There are crazy and well-executed plays that may be low percentage but somehow work.
The Browns have none of this mojo at all.
They need to be ahead by a lot and not lose the lead to secure a win.
The defense cannot hold, and the offense cannot score in the late stages of the game.
3. We Don’t Know Who The Browns Are
I hate saying this because I want them to be great, but right now the Browns are a very talented football team that isn’t good. Currently in the basement of the AFC North. They have the horses to turn their season around, but it’s been rough sledding so far.
— Anand Nanduri ↗️ (@NanduriNFL) November 1, 2021
This team lacks identity and direction.
Who are they?
So far, they do not seem like the 2020 Browns who supposedly had lesser talent on defense but found a way to pull out big wins.
Are they a .500 team who will just win the games they are supposed to this season?
Or are they a contender?
This team has the talent to be much better than .500, but it really looks like this is their identity this year.
Instead of determining their own fate, they will either get lucky breaks from other teams or just play spoilers to playoff bound teams.
The Steelers were able to overcome a really bad decision of allowing their kicker to throw the football.
He got a concussion and was not available for scoring conversions.
This would be detrimental to many teams, but the Steelers, who don’t appear to have the depth of talent the Browns do, overcame it and won the game.
The way I see it, next week Bengals’ game tells the tale for the season.
If this team wins, they are still in it.
Losing is pretty much sealing their fate for 2021.
It is almost as though they should shut down Baker and spend the rest of the season figuring out what to do about contract extensions, trades, etc. if they lose to the Bengals.