A major highlight of last season’s playoffs was the JuJu Smith Schuster’s dig at the Cleveland Browns. Days before the wild card playoff game came the infamous phrase “Browns is Browns.” And JuJu thinks it definitely added an extra level of motivation for the Dawg Pound.
The Browns made the playoffs after almost 18 years in 2020, which came as a surprise to everyone, but especially to division rival Steelers. The Steelers and the Browns both won 1 game each against each other. And amazingly, the rivals pitted against each other in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.
Dec. 29, 2002: the last time the Cleveland Browns clinched a playoff spot.
Until today. pic.twitter.com/d6A53VnQtq
— Sunday Night Football on NBC (@SNFonNBC) January 3, 2021
In the days leading to the 3rd encounter, Steelers receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster was asked whether the 2020 Browns are a different team than what they’ve been in the past. His response: “The Browns is the Browns.”
— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) January 8, 2021
JuJu Smith Schuster believes the comment added extra motivation
In a recent appearance on PFT PM, Smith-Schuster was asked how much that comment motivated the opponent.
“Probably a lot, honestly,” Smith-Schuster said. “I’m not going to lie to you. It got to a point where the Cleveland Browns had a billboard up in Cleveland that said, ‘The Browns is the Browns.’ I think by me saying that, it says that a lot of people care about what I say. . . . At the end of the day, I said what I said. I don’t take anything back. “
“They did come out there, they did whoop our ass. It is what it is. We lost that game. We lost early in that game in the first five, 10 minutes. We still fought. I’ll tell you one thing about our team, we still fought to the end. It wasn’t good enough. I just know the AFC North [is] just probably the hardest . . . division right now to win in. Guys like Joe Burrow, Lamar Jackson, Baker Mayfield, and Ben. I think every team is getting to the point where it’s like, ‘Man, they’re really good.’ It is what it is.”
The Cleveland Browns beat their division-winning Pittsburgh Steelers 48-37 in a game that was a lot less close than the score entails. It was also the first time the Browns beat the Steelers at Heinz Field for the first time since 2002.
48-37 #Cleveland wins playoff game vs. Steelers
MOOD 😎👇#Browns https://t.co/OgPKWybJ33
— Scott Mastic (@smastic) January 11, 2021
Credit to JuJu though, he owned up to the comment. The Pittsburgh Steelers played big brother for a large majority of the history between the 2 teams. But they could in for a real battle in 2021. The Browns look loaded and set to contend amongst the best team in the AFC. It will be very interesting to see who comes out on top in 2021.