It is easy for fans of an individual team to feel like their team gets more bogus calls, has more injuries, makes more mistakes or is disrespected by the national media. It is easy but sometimes it is accurate.
Fans of the Cleveland Browns have often felt that their team was making enough mistakes that it felt like overkill that the league seemed to pile on through the referees or league decisions. For example, in one game RB Duke Johnson Jr. came out of the pile, immediately, with the football but the opposing team was awarded possession:
(2016) Refs say Redskins recover a Duke Johnson fumble even though Johnson is standing up holding the ball as they make the call. pic.twitter.com/JVvr4MD5vV— Bad Sports Refs (@BadSportsRefs) May 16, 2020
In Week 3’s Thursday Night Football matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Browns faced off against one of the team’s many fans think the league favors. During the game, Steelers OL Chukuwama Okorafor jumped on top of Browns LB Anthony Walker Jr. after he was already down face first on the ground, injured:
No idea how the refs missed this obvious penalty on a defenseless and injured Anthony Walker. He carted off with a right knee injury moments later.— John Sabol (@John_Sabol) September 23, 2022
Dirty, bush league play by #Steelers’ Chukwuma Okorafor. Awful look. Smh.#Browns @fox8newspic.twitter.com/2cWs8jeEsM
As usual, the following Saturday came the announcement of fines handed out for the previous week’s games. Not only was Okorafor not fined for the above play but Cleveland’s DE Myles Garrett was fined for roughing Pittsburgh’s QB Mitchell Trubisky:
Two other fines from last week:#Browns DE Myles Garrett was fined $15,914 for roughing #Steelers QB Mitch Trubisky last week. No flag was thrown.#Jets S Lamarcus Joyner was fined $14,608 for unnecessary roughness – a headshot on #Bengals WR Tee Higgins last week.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) October 1, 2022
In attempting to find which play would have led to the fine, it is possible that it occurred in one of the three plays discussed by former player Emmanuel Acho in the below video. On the three plays in this clip, Garrett gets close to or hits Trubisky but none seems fine worthy:
Mitch Trubisky is not the problem for the #Steelers… #AchoAnswers @SteelersUnite @SteelersDepot pic.twitter.com/8UiFnpIvK0— Emmanuel Acho (@EmmanuelAcho) September 23, 2022
(Side note from Acho’s video: Trubisky might not be the problem but we know he isn’t the solution in Pittsburgh either.)
There may not be a conspiracy against the Browns or for the Steelers but, once again, it seems like there are differing ways Cleveland gets treated by the league compared to other teams.