Browns vs. Steelers 2

Heck Yes.

Jim Rome
November 27, 2019 - 12:01 pm
Browns vs. Steelers 2

USA Today


By now you know what happened on Sunday with the Pittsburgh Steelers; Mason Rudolph chased a four interception game against the Browns—with a 17 QBR disaster against the Bengals. Only this time Mike Tomlin wasn’t about to let Rudolph finish his version of the football Razzie. So he yanked him in the second half and threw in a surprise stick of dynamite named Duck Hodges—who saved the game and quite possibly the most duct-taped season of any NFL team in the year 2019.

That was Sunday. And that was all Mike Tomlin needed to see from both guys to make the only decision any dude with a functioning brain was gonna make. So he did. Duck in. Rudolph out. And when Tomlin was asked yesterday what he liked about Duck Hodges—the head coach finally delivered on the straight fire he promised us all on Twitter way back in 2013. 

“He does not kill us.” 

Saying Duck Hodges doesn’t kill us is the sort of fire we’ve been on waiting from Tomlin for years. Like, what do I like about Duck? It’s pretty apparent isn’t it? Dude doesn’t kill us, like the guy we had under center before him. You know, the guy Myles Garrett could have killed when he ripped his helmet off his head and tried to beat him senseless with it.  Then again, saying Mason Rudolph kills the Steelers, really isn’t straight fire: its straight fact. With their season hanging in the balance, he has been killing them; five picks, and a fumble in the last two games, and he couldn’t move the chains against one of the worst teams ever, Cincinnati. Mike Tomlin wasn’t about to let the other 52 guys in the locker room see a potential playoff berth slip away because one dude was single-handedly killing the team.

The only thing crazier than Tomlin finally getting loose years after he promised he would, is the fact that Steelers are 6-5 and still control their playoff destiny. This is a team without Big Ben, without Le’Veon Bell and without Antonio Brown. That’s enough to kill any squad before Mason Rudolph got around to doing it on his own. Now throw in that James Connor has missed three of the last four games with a busted wing and Juju Smith-Schuster is questionable for Sunday’s pivotal matchup with the Browns because of a bad knee that kept him on the shelf against Bengals. Good thing they’re killing it on dee. It may not be the best thing long term, but making that deal for Minkah Fitzpatrick is an amazing thing right now. 

All of that set-ups a showdown in the Burg with the Browns. And here comes Cleveland on a three-game heater rolling into the Steel City on Sunday. Again…The last time these two teams met, helmets were ripped off and weaponized. Players were suspended. A half a million dollars was handed down in fines. And two weeks later they’re gonna line it up again with the hate dialed to infinity and the stakes even higher.

If Cleveland wins they square up at. 500 and keep their playoff hopes alive. If the Steelers rip the dub, they remain in control of the final Wild Card spot down the stretch. Neither of these squads are catching the Ravens for the division and the Bills are two games out in front of the 6 seed. So this it. This is huge.

Duck Hodges is about to play in the biggest game of his life. And if you’re a Browns fan, here’s hoping Baker Mayfield wakes up feeling dangerous because, well…not dead can’t quit; and the Browns are still very much alive. And one of the reasons they are is because Baker has stepped up. Now, they just have to make sure they eliminate all the dumb penalties, and play with some composure and discipline. Do that, and they’re fine.

Hell Freaking Yes.

Meaningful December AFC North ball.