4 takeaways from Steelers ugly playoff loss to the Browns

Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
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The Steelers were embarrassed in the Wild Card round as the Browns wiped the floor with them. Here’s what we learned from the game.

We would have thought that the Steelers would have taken care of business against the Cleveland Browns in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. Pittsburgh nearly defeated them at home in the final week of the season without the assistance of a handful of their best players and with Mason Rudolph leading the charge. However, things couldn’t have gone much worse than they did under the lights in their first playoff game since 2017.

Despite an 11-0 start to the season (the best in franchise history), Pittsburgh unraveled at the end of the year – losing 5 of their last 6 contests, including the playoffs. It was one of the most gut-wrenching and disheartening games I’ve seen the Steelers play, and it is one we would all love to soon forget. Here are my four takeaways from Pittsburgh’s 48-37 loss to the Browns:

‘Fire Fichtner’ slogan has a whole new meaning

What on earth was this man doing on Sunday night? After Ben Roethlisberger and Pittsburgh’s offense struggled to get much of anything going since Week 12, they finally gave us hope with an impressive second-half performance against the Indianapolis Colts before Ben and others got a week off for rest before the playoffs. Unfortunately, offensive Coordinator, Randy Fichtner, threw that offensive script out the window.

Instead of spreading out with four wide receivers and trying to expose a decimated Cleveland secondary, Fichtner was apparently content sticking to his predictable short passing game. If a string of six bad performances to end the season wasn’t enough cause to ‘fire Fichtner’, this certainly was. If Roethlisberger decides to return for a final season, Randy might last another year as well, but he clearly didn’t do enough to earn his job on the team next season.