Cleveland Browns edge rusher Myles Garrett went out of his way to attract attention to himself in recent weeks. For starters, he decorated his front yard with the tombstones of the quarterbacks on his “hit list” this season, including Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. He also told the media that he aimed to outplay Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt in Cleveland on Halloween, and that he wanted to “make sure (Roethlisberger) doesn’t leave with a win.” Finally, he showed up to Sunday’s Steelers-Browns game dressed as the “sack reaper,” a getup that included a cape with a list of the names of the quarterbacks he has sacked, including Roethlisberger.
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Ben Roethlisberger: ‘Keep My Tombstone … I’ll Take the W’
As it turns out, it was Garrett and the Browns who got, uh, chopped down on Sunday, as the Steelers escaped Cleveland with a 15-10 victory, leaving the Browns in last place in the AFC North. During a postgame interview with Tracy Wolfson of CBS, Roethlisberger took a playful jab at Garrett, saying, “He can keep my tombstone or whatever, I’ll take the W.”
Roethlisberger went on to address Browns fans, saying, “It’s so much fun to go against these guys in this city. You can say what you want but these fans are awesome. They had a lot of fun, we had fun, and I’m glad we came out on top.”
Of course, Roethlisberger’s Steelers have mostly fond memories of Cleveland, as he is 12-2-1 in the games in which he has started at FirstEnergy Stadium. That’s not quite as good as his 12-0 regular-season record against the Browns in Pittsburgh, but enough to give him more wins against the Browns (24) than any quarterback in NFL history. And good enough that he was the winningest quarterback in the history of the stadium until November 2020, when Baker Mayfield finally recorded his 12th home victory and gained that distinction.
If there was any fault in terms of Roethlisberger’s messaging, it’s that he seemed to be laying it on a little thick when singing Garrett’s praises.
“I just have so much respect for that man. He’s a great football player and I told him to keep doing it the way he has been doing it. He does it the right way,” Roethlisberger told Wolfson, a statement that Steelers backup quarterback Mason Rudolph would certainly not agree with.
Myles Garrett and T.J. Watt Compared
As for Myles Garrett’s individual performance on Sunday, he certainly made his presence felt when he was on the field, recording four tackles, with two tackles for loss, two quarterback hits and a sack of Roethlisberger. But T.J. Watt had a bigger impact on the game, recording six total tackles, 1.5 sacks, one tackle for loss and a fumble recovery.
The two teams will go at it again later this season, when the Browns travel to Pittsburgh for a game at Heinz Field on January 3, 2022.
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