Losing a game at home is never an easy pill to swallow, especially when it’s a game that was very much winnable. However, labeling the offense as stagnant yesterday would be an understatement, as the team suffered an ugly 17-14 loss to the Patriots. There’s no time to really stir over it either, as the team has a quick turnaround this week with the Cleveland Browns up next on Thursday night.
For a player like Larry Ogunjobi, he knows all too well about the pitfalls that can come if the team isn’t mentally prepared and focused on its next opponent.
“We watched the film yesterday, but I know all the guys took the time to reflect and get ready for the next challenge,” Ogunjobi said on Steelers.com. “You never let a win get to your head, you never let a loss get to your heart, so just reflecting on how to be better, how to make more splash, plays, how to make the impact that you want to make in the game.”
The Browns will be the ultimate Litmus test for the team’s run defense, as it features an impressive offensive line and arguably the top 1-2 punch in the league at running back, with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. Ogunjobi knows this perhaps better than anyone, considering he was drafted by the Browns in 2017 and spent his first few years with the team. He was also obviously involved in the melee that went down with Mason Rudolph and Myles Garrett back in 2019, when he blindsided Rudolph, knocking him to the ground after Garrett swung his helmet at Rudolph.
The loss may come back to haunt the team later if they’re in contention for a playoff berth, but the divisional games are a must, especially considering the Browns obviously won’t have the services of Deshaun Watson as he serves his suspension.
One aspect the team definitely needs to work on this week in practice is providing some sort of pass rush, as it was nonexistent for the entirety of the game Sunday. In fact, the team registered zero sacks on Mac Jones, as they’re obviously feeling the sting of the reigning DPOY T.J. Watt being shelved for several weeks due to a pectoral injury. As I stated earlier, the Browns feature an imposing line, and their bookend tackles, Jedrick Wills and Jack Conklin, are one of the best pairs in the league. Also worth noting that Cleveland has only surrendered two sacks on the short season, so the pass rush for Pittsburgh will need to bring it’s A-game if they want to have any type of success Thursday night, and Ogunjobi knows this.
“You have to shake it off or you’re going to get beat again. You don’t understand how important division games are, they count for two. So for me personally, I understand the challenge and I’m looking forward to it. Can’t wait.”