Pittsburgh-Tears streamed from Ben Roethlisberger’s face. One of his best friend and longtime teammates, Maurkice Pouncey, was sitting on the bench next to him, and he cried as the emotions spread.
The scoreboard facing them showed the unimaginable: their season is over-their career may also be over.
After trailing by four points in the first half, the Pittsburgh Steelers failed to make a comeback on Sunday night and fell to the Cleveland Browns in the 48-37 pass round of the playoffs. A promising 11-0 season reduced to 1-5, withdrawing from the first round at home-and finally felt closer than ever.
“We haven’t done enough,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said of the season-end closure. “We did not put them in a good enough environment. We did not play enough, especially at critical moments. We are a group of people who died on the vine.
Rosliberg said: “I love that guy.” “He is one of the best competitors and teammates I have ever had. It is so fun to share the football field with him. I hate it ending this way. I just want to apologize to him, I want to win for him.”
While Roethlisberger and Pouncey were sitting on the bench, some Steelers approached them and shared some time with them. Wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster is now entering the free agency market for the first time in his career, and he embraces his quarterback in tears.
In sharing his speech to Roethlisberger, Smith-Schuster said: “I am very happy to think of him as a quarterback, and I will not change.” “I told him, I don’t know your plan or your plan for you, but I’m really grateful, from the first day I walked in until Ben brought me under his wings. Ben told me, “You work hard, you are A soldier, thank you. “Just all love.”
Roethlisberger, 38, made 4 touchdowns on Sunday, making 68 pass attempts and throwing 501 yards. But his four interceptions are doomed to the Steelers, who trailed 28-0 in the first quarter.
From the beginning, the first game of the couple’s final game at Heinz Stadium did not meet their expectations. In the initial game, Pouncey’s high profile rushed through Roethlisberger’s head. Roethlisberger and James Conner scrambled to secure the loose ball, but neither took effective measures to secure it. Instead, the Browns rushed in and took a 7-0 lead with only 14 seconds left.
From there, things got worse. As Pittsburgh’s defense could not slow down Nick Chubb and Brown’s offensive speed, Brown scored 21 points for Roethlisberger’s first half three interceptions and finally achieved an insurmountable lead. The Steelers did not record a sack, nor did they force a turnover. Their record without turnovers this season is 1-4.
“We were blown up,” Stiles’ defensive captain Cameron Hayward said. “I can’t score. You have to look at the score. As a defender, we gave up too many points. As a leader, as a defender, I failed miserably; and, you know, it’s hard to lose. It’s hard to be in our locker room. Throw away those who are doing great on and off the court. And, you know, the unknown will only kill me. I wasted this opportunity and knew that we didn’t play football and it sucks.”
Roethlisberger’s frustrating first half -30 scored 20 passes for 177 yards, three interceptions-ugly echoing the first half of the regular season against the Cincinnati Bengals and Indianapolis Colts, and it looked like a future Hall of Fame defeat at the time His touch. In the game against the Colts, he found a chance to come back and win in the second half. For the Browns, it’s too late.
Rosliberg said: “It’s not good enough.” “When you lose a game like this, you can review and evaluate everything you want this season, your performance in this game, and the running of that game. , extension. I mean, at some point, we will review the whole thing.
“But if it doesn’t end the way you want, then you will always feel a certain way, as if you were walking short or it was your fault.”
After the intermission on Sunday, the Steelers began to surging and beat the Browns 13-0. But Tomlin chose his position and tied at the 46th and 1st holes, opening the fourth quarter, effectively preventing his team’s development momentum. The Browns scored in the following game, leading 42-23.
Tomlin said: “We paused a bit and wanted to stop them, maybe to provide a short distance for our offense.” “We may have stopped two or three stops in a row. I just want to maintain the momentum of on-site positioning. But this is not enough. it is good.”
Due to losses, the Steelers lost three consecutive playoff games, including a loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2017, when Pittsburgh gave up 45 points for the visitors.
When asked about the personal responsibility for losing the playoffs, Tomlin said: “That’s it.” “Our record is our record. Our performance is our performance. Don’t escape.”
Tomlin did not lose the regular season as the head coach of the Steelers, but his postseason score was only 0.500 points.
He said: “We didn’t perform well tonight.” “Don’t coach, don’t play. You can attribute it to a missed game. However, in terms of details, we are not good enough in many other areas (communication). For us In other words, this is not a good night. In the knockouts, when you don’t have a good night, you will go home.”
With the end of the season, Roethlisberger’s major decision is imminent. He has one year left on his contract, worth $41.2 million, and he has said before that if he can’t play in a way that can help his team, he will “hang up the phone.”
However, after Sunday’s game, Rosliberg said he has not yet decided on his future.
He said: “This will start between me and God, a lot of prayers. A lot of conversations, discussions and decisions with my family. My contract is still one year away.” “If that is our way, I hope The Steelers want me to come back. There will be a lot of discussions. But now is not the time.
“This loss is new. It is only temporarily in our hearts and minds. It will last for a while.”