Friday night, Cleveland Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens was spotted wearing a "Pittsburgh started it" shirt in reference to the brawl between his team and the Steelers. This created a commotion heading into Sunday's rematch. Now, certain members of the Steelers are making it apparent that they put this conversation to rest.
Talking with NFL Network's Aditi Kinkhabwala following Sunday's win, wide receiver James Washington was asked if Pittsburgh "finished it." In response, he said that's exactly what happened. The young receiver was responsible for a touchdown in which he fought through interference by TJ Carrie and made a difficult reception.
Washington finished his day as the team's leading receiver, tallying 111 yards and one touchdown against this Browns defense.
Following Kitchens showing up on social media in the shirt that blamed Pittsburgh for the brawl, the Steelers made it clear that they would be extra-prepared for this battle with the AFC North foes. The defense, in particular, would be particularly fired up. Cornerback Cameron Sutton even showed up wearing a sweater that showed someone in Steelers gear urinating on someone in a Browns uniform.
The Steelers defense was all over the field on Sunday, registering five sacks and forcing a game-sealing interception. Top receiver Odell Beckham Jr. only reached 29 yards on the day while teammate Jarvis Landry accounted for 76. Similarly, the rushing attack led by Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt struggled to gain much-needed yards in enemy territory.
There was considerable controversy surrounding this battle between AFC North foes, mostly due to the previous drama and subsequent clothing choices, but now the discussion should come to an end. With the two-game series over, these two teams will not face off again until the 2020 season. A third meeting could have been possible if both teams made the playoffs, but the Browns have fallen to a 5-7 record and appear to be a longshot in the crowded AFC.
Will defensive end Myles Garrett be present for next year's battle between these two teams after being suspended indefinitely for hitting Mason Rudolph over the head with his own helmet? It's entirely possible considering that the league has reportedly expressed hope that he will be reinstated prior to 2020's kickoff. Although whether or not this happens will entirely depend upon his offseason meeting with the commissioner.
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