Internal motivation goes a long way in professional sports, and it sounds like the Cleveland Browns have plenty of it entering the Week 11 matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday at Cleveland Browns Stadium.
The last time the two teams met the Steelers emerged with an improbable 26-22 win on Monday Night Football in Week Two. They scored two defensive touchdowns thanks to a pick-six from outside linebacker Alex Highsmith on the first play of the game, and a fumble return for touchdown from outside linebacker T.J. Watt thanks to a Highsmith strip sack. Not only that, the Browns lost star running back Nick Chubb in the game after a tackle near the goal line from Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, tossing Cleveland’s season into question.
To the Browns’ credit, they regrouped after the Chubb injury and have leaned on an elite defense, getting to 6-3 to match the Steelers ahead of the pivotal showdown Sunday.
For Browns cornerback Greg Newsome II, the Steelers game is a big one as it’s the next game on the schedule. It’s also part of the Browns’ “revenge tour,” which they are apparently on in the AFC North after beating the Baltimore Ravens last week.
“We kind of keep the same approach. Obviously, we know the division games are way more important obviously for the long run of things, but we kind of keep the same approach, you know, one week at a time. And this is the most important game in our season. Why? Because it’s the next game, right? That’s just kind of how we’ve been taught, and it has been instilled in us,” Newsome said regarding the matchup with the Steelers while appearing on The Return with Josh Cribbs Wednesday, according to video via the show’s YouTube page. “But nah, it’s a huge game. Obviously two teams, 6-3, it can get us tied for first in the, in the division, everything like that.
“But we kind of just gonna approach the same thing, and right now we’re on a revenge tour. That’s what we said. We lost to Baltimore? Revenge tour. And now it’s Pittsburgh’s turn.”
Well, there you have it.
It’s as simple as that with a revenge tour for the Browns, too. Avenging a loss earlier in the season to their AFC North rivals. That very much may be true inside the Browns’ locker room, that mentality, but there’s no real need to provide that bulletin board material.
In their last matchup, the Browns should have beaten the Steelers realistically. They dominated the time of possession, total yards, everything. Everything, except taking care of the football. The Steelers took advantage and earned the win. But Cleveland wasn’t exactly wrong to feel like the better team coming out of the game.
That revenge tour is heightened now with quarterback Deshaun Watson out for the season and many doubting the Browns moving forward. It’s a tall task for the Browns to remain in the playoff picture after turning to third-string rookie fifth-round quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson. It starts on Sunday against the Steelers as the Browns look to finish off the “revenge tour” in AFC North play on the season.