Losing a game at home is never an easy pill to swallow, especially when it comes to a game that was largely winnable. However, to call the offense stagnant yesterday would be an understatement as the team suffered a nasty 17-14 loss to the Patriots. There’s no time to really fuss either, as the team has a quick turnaround this week with the Cleveland Browns on Thursday night.
For a player like Larry Ogunjobi, he knows all too well the pitfalls that can arise if the team isn’t mentally prepared and focused on their next opponent.
“We watched the movie yesterday, but I know all the guys took the time to reflect and prepare for the next challenge,” Ogunjobi told Steelers.com. “You never let a win go to your head, you never let a loss go to your heart, so just think about how to be better, how to splash more, how to play, how to have the impact you want to make in the game.”
The Browns will be the ultimate test for the team’s run defense, as they feature an impressive offensive line and arguably the league’s best 1-2 punch at running back, with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunter. Ogunjobi knows this perhaps better than anyone, considering he was drafted by the Browns in 2017 and spent his early years with the team. He was also obviously involved in the melee that unfolded with Mason Rudolph and Myles Garrett in 2019, when he blindsided Rudolph, knocking him to the ground after Garrett swung his helmet at Rudolph.
Defeat could come back to haunt the team later if they’re in contention for a playoff berth, but divisional playoffs are a must, especially since the Browns obviously won’t have the services of Deshaun Watson as he is serving his suspension.
One aspect the team definitely needs to work on this week in training is providing some kind of passing rush, as it was non-existent for the entirety of Sunday’s game. In fact, the team didn’t register any sacks on Mac Jones, as they are clearly feeling the sting of reigning DPOY TJ Watt being sidelined for several weeks with a pectoral injury. Like I said earlier, the Browns have a big line and their bookend tackles, Jedrick Wills and Jack Conklin, are one of the best pairs in the league. It’s also worth noting that Cleveland only gave up two sacks in the short season, so the pass rush for Pittsburgh will have to bring its A-game if they’re going to have any success on Thursday night, and Ogunjobi knows that.
“You have to get rid of it or you’re going to get beat up again. You don’t understand the importance of division matches, they count for two. So for me personally, I understand the challenge and I’m looking forward to it. I can not wait.