Column: Smith-Schuster fires up foes through jigs and digs
(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)Say this about Ju-Ju Smith-Schuster: he sure knows how to fire up foes through jigs and digs alike. He said he thought “they’re still the same Browns teams I play every year” and while they had talent, “the Browns is the Browns." The Browns snapped their 17-game losing streak at Heinz Field with their first road playoff win since 1969. “That turns you up a little bit,” Buffalo safety Jordan Power said after the Bills’ 26-15 win over Pittsburgh in Week 14. “For the betterment of myself and my teammates, I’m going to stop dancing on the logos,” Smith-Schuster declared after that loss to Cincinnati.
Mahomes leads champion Chiefs to 14-2 mark in stacked AFC
While the Chiefs get another week’s rest, the six other AFC playoff teams get going this weekend. For just the second time since the 1970 league merger, every team in the AFC playoffs has at least 11 wins. Last Lombardi: Super Bowl 54, 31-20 over the San Francisco 49ers on Feb. 2, 2020, at Miami. Last Lombardi: Super Bowl 43, 27-23 win over the Arizona Cardinals on Feb. 1, 2009, at Tampa, Florida. Their pass rush is nearly nonexistent with 19 sacks, the fewest by a playoff team since Denver had 19 in 1979.
The Latest: Another postponement for No. 25 FSU men's hoops
Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski looks on from the sidelines during an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, in Pittsburgh. Positive COVID-19 tests have knocked Stefanski out of Cleveland's wild-card game at Pittsburgh on Sunday night the Browns' first playoff appearance since the 2002 season. 25 Florida State’s visit to Pittsburgh scheduled for Saturday has been postponed due to following COVID-19 testing issues within the Seminoles program. The Creighton women have paused team activities and postponed three games because of a recent positive COVID-19 test result. ___The Tulsa-Central Florida men’s basketball game scheduled for Saturday at Tulsa has been postponed because of positive COVID-19 tests and subsequent contact tracing among UCF athletes.
Browns end long playoff drought, survive late Steelers rally
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield celebrates after the Browns defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Cleveland. The Browns, winless just three seasons ago and so bad for so long, are in the playoffs. The Browns and their passionate fan base endured 197 losses, 14 double-digit-loss seasons and seven coaches since the last playoff appearance. For the moment he got to Cleveland in 2018, Landry's goal was to get the Browns back to the postseason. Steelers: Will be back at full strength for their first playoff appearance since the 2017 season.
No preseason, no problem: NFL rookies shine in strange year
Young and Jefferson made the Pro Bowl, and surely more rookies would have joined them as alternates at the league’s now-canceled all-star game. “It’s crazy unusual for a rookie, I think, to have the type of leadership that Chase has, genuine leadership,” Washington quarterback Alex Smith said. “I think a lot of young guys, especially high picks, I think you feel pressure to do it some way or somehow. “Talk about a rookie coming in, starting every game and just being focused,” Browns Pro Bowl guard Joel Bitonio said of Wills. “We’re growing and we’re starting to get a hang of the game,” said Dolphins right tackle Robert Hunt, a second-round pick and one of six Miami rookies starting on offense.
Steelers stay unbeaten with 28-24 comeback win over Ravens
Baltimore Ravens defensive end Yannick Ngakoue (91) applies pressure on Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, in Baltimore. Ben Roethlisberger threw two second-half touchdowns, and the Steelers beat error-prone Lamar Jackson and the Ravens 28-24 Sunday to match the best start in franchise history. “I put that on me.”Beyond losing ground in the division, Baltimore lost All-Pro left tackle Ronnie Stanley for the season with a severe ankle injury. The Steelers led 28-24 when the Ravens (5-2) faced a fourth-and-3 at the Pittsburgh 8 with 2 minutes left. That left Pittsburgh thin up front after DE Chris Wormley went on IR Saturday.
Steelers stay perfect, blow out Mayfield, Browns 38-7
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) pulls off his helmet on the sideline after being sacked by the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, in Pittsburgh. The passing game came next, quickly followed by the optimism that somehow things would be different for the Cleveland Browns. The result when the Steelers host the Browns does not. James Conner ran for 101 yards and a touchdown, Ben Roethlisberger passed for 169 yards and a score and Pittsburgh's defense chased aching Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield in the third quarter. Pittsburgh sacked Mayfield four times and picked him off twice — including Minkah Fitzpatrick's 33-yard sprint to the end zone on Cleveland's first possession.
The Latest: Cowboys edge Giants with field goal on last play
Prescott was playing the Giants in the first visit of his former coach, Jason Garrett, now New York’s offensive coordinator. A week after giving up a franchise-record 307 yards rushing, the Cowboys allowed Devonta Freeman 20 yards on three carries. The Giants extended the lead to 14-3 when Kyler Fackrell returned an interception by Dak Prescott 46 yards for a touchdown. Atlanta cornerback Kendall Sheffield suffered a right ankle injury in the second quarter and was listed as questionable to return. Smith is one injury to Allen away from completing his remarkable comeback to play in an NFL game again.
Steelers knock out Lock, hold off Driskel, Broncos 26-21
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool (11) crosses the goal line for a touchdown on an 84-yard play during the first half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Steelers knock out Lock, hold off Driskel, Broncos 26-21
(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)PITTSBURGH – A game seemingly in hand suddenly on the cusp of slipping away, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin didn't overthink things. Needing a stop to turn back the surprisingly resilient Denver Broncos, the Steelers dialed up one final blitz in an afternoon filled with them. So the Broncos (0-2) hung around despite losing starting quarterback Drew Lock (right shoulder) in the first quarter. The Steelers recovered and went downfield for a touchdown while Lock was in the blue medical tent getting evaluated. Still, he wasn't exactly thrilled on a day the Steelers never trailed but struggled to put the Broncos away.
Elbow room: Roethlisberger confident in return from surgery
PITTSBURGH Ben Roethlisberger is pretty sure there isn't a technical term for what doctors did to his shredded right elbow last fall. The Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback is pretty sure about one thing though: no one who has ever played his position has ever recovered from it well enough to continue throwing a football for a living. Roethlisberger admitted he'd been dealing what he described as minor elbow discomfort for a while heading into Week 2 against Seattle. The two-time Super Bowl winner underwent surgery shortly thereafter that anchored the torn tendons to his elbow. I still want to win Lombardys," Roethlisberger said, referencing the trophy that goes to the Super Bowl champions.