Pittsburgh Steelers fans spent time debating whether their loss to the Cleveland Browns was Ben Roethlisberger’s or JuJu Smith-Schuster’s fault.
At points this season, the Pittsburgh Steelers looked destined to go 16-0 and hoist the Lombardi Trophy at Super Bowl 55. That all changed following their devastating first loss of the season to the Washington Football Team. After going 11-0, the Steelers went 1-4 in their final five games of the season. But with the third-seed, they matched up against an undermanned Cleveland Browns team that barely got any practice in throughout the week. It surely would’ve been an easy win for the Steelers.
That wasn’t the case, as the Browns defeated the Steelers 48-37 in the Wild Card Round to win their first playoff win since 1995. Seething at the end result of the playoff contest, Steelers fans debated who was to blame for the loss. Well, whether it was the quarterback Ben Roethlisberger or wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster’s fault.
@steelers This better be our last game with Big Ben fr 🤬💯
— Williams Jr 🎈 (@ROD2RAW) January 11, 2021
People tweeting corvette corvette like juju doesn’t have 150+ yards and a touchdown lmao. Go after the most selfless and nice person in all of football. It’s the Steelers and big Ben’s fault frfr they beat themselves and ben put them in a whole early not jujus lmao
— Swifty (@vSwiftyx) January 11, 2021
47/68 501 passing on the game….its definitely not big ben. Claypool and juju cant be the offense
— Zay (@ZayJymariee) January 11, 2021
If this was Big Ben and Juju last game as a Steeler I wish them both the best of luck👋🏽👋🏽👋🏽👋🏽
— Earl Humes (@yaboiiiiearl) January 11, 2021
Juju is not a WR1 and Big Ben needs to retire after that performance. Those 4 interceptions erases tho stats.
— therealtonyochoa (@therealtonyocho) January 11, 2021
Juju gotta go man. Send him and big ben to the moon
— C.J. Floyd (@CJ_getsBusy) January 11, 2021
Can’t wait for the media to blame JuJu’s “Dancing Antics” for the Steelers early playoff exit this whole week. They’ll deflect Big Ben’s statline of 4 picks, along with the poor defense and blame it solely on JuJu. Even if he put up 13 catches for 160 yards & a TD to go with it.
— Connor Barry (@CBarry_1) January 11, 2021
— John C (@johnfoundead) January 11, 2021
Just remember Steeler fans. Big Ben ain’t retiring. 42 million dollar cap hit. Goodbye Bud and Juju. Plus no cap space to sign legitimate free agents. God bless!
— Jack (@Jack_1616) January 11, 2021
How are yall gonna blame juju this game when Big ben is making throws like that?
— Merrin Thomas (@mjt0822) January 11, 2021
Steelers put up an underwhelming performance in playoffs
Roethlisberger didn’t get off to the greatest of starts, as evidenced by center Maurkice Pouncey’s high snap over the quarterback’s head, resulting in a fumble recovery touchdown by the Browns. Afterwards, Roethlisberger managed to throw three interceptions in the middle of the field in the first half! While he did redeem himself a bit in the second half, with the Steelers seemingly having the momentum, Roethlisberger iced the game with his fourth quarter pick thrown to Browns linebacker Sione Takitaki.
Overall, Roethlisberger completed 47-of-68 pass attempts for 501 yards, four touchdowns and four interceptions.
As for Smith-Schuster, he had a solid performance for the Steelers. The wideout recorded 13 receptions for 157 yards and a touchdown in the loss to Cleveland. What really got Steelers fans fed up with Smith-Schuster was his comments ahead of the playoff game. The young receiver called the Browns “nameless gray faces” while also pushing the team aside, saying “the Browns is the Browns.” Well, quarterback Baker Mayfield and his teammates were extremely motivated by Smith-Schuster’s comments.
Sure, Smith-Schuster had a great game, but this was his first 100-yard performance of the year. For some Steelers fans, enough’s enough.
It’ll be back to the drawing board for the Steelers, as they have to navigate through a tough offseason. Will they bring Roethlisberger back despite his obvious regressed play and $41 million cap hit for the 2021 season? Will the Steelers re-sign Smith-Schuster, who becomes an unrestricted free agent at the end of the playoffs? A lot of questions that’ll have to be answered soon by general manager Kevin Colbert.