While the Cleveland Browns have shown that they can lose games in spectacular fashion, they were about as safe as could possibly be on Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Cleveland led 23-17 with only nine seconds left. Pittsburgh did have the ball but was on its own four-yard line and didn’t have a time out. Scoring would have required the Stanford band and several miracles. That didn’t happen.
What did happen, though, was of interest to some people watching the game. Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky completed a pass to Diontae Johnson, who immediately lateraled the ball. Things quickly went awry for the Steelers and the ball was fumbled just short of their goal line and eventually knocked into the end zone. With no time on the clock, Cleveland’s Denzel Ward pounced on the ball for a touchdown. That gave the Browns a 29-17 win.
"That's gonna be a touchdown. There's no extra point. But that may be meaningful to some of you. And you know who I mean." – Al Michaels pic.twitter.com/Ah9lHmWEKt
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) September 23, 2022
Cleveland was favored by 4.5 and the game had an over/under of only 38. So, from both of those perspectives, nothing changed. The Browns would have covered with or without the touchdown and the teams had already gone over.
But, as Pat McAfee reminded us with colorful language, there are other things to consider. For instance, live bets might have been altered. The same thing can be said for teasers and individual player props. Furthermore, if you had Cleveland’s defense in fantasy, you got a nice eight points to cap off your night. Or, if you were playing against them, you now have an extra eight points that you have to overcome heading into the weekend.
So, in other words, the touchdown was simultaneously meaningless and very meaningful. People who found themselves in the latter group had a lot to say about it.
National treasure. Whew…meaningful or painful. Yikes. https://t.co/KuBPs66bY5
— Brett Thackara (@BrettThackABC27) September 23, 2022
Denzel Ward recovering the ball for the TD is further proof the Football Gods have a helluva sense of humor
— Nick Wilson (@NickWilsonSays) September 23, 2022
Good for anyone who played the Browns defense in fantasy 🤣
— BetMGM 🦁 (@BetMGM) September 23, 2022
That last play in the Steelers vs. Browns was CRIMINAL:
-Busted Steelers +10.5 Teaser 🚫
-Busted Under 44.5 Under 🚫
-Busted Najee No Fumble 🚫
-Busted Claypool O35.5 Receiving Yards (counted the lateral as -6 yards) 🚫
— WetBetz (@WetBetz) September 23, 2022
This play will definitely end up in both the good and bad bet Halls of Fame.