Home > Steeler Articles > Steelers-Browns Recap, Week 6

Steelers-Browns Recap, Week 6

The Steelers pull away after a surprisingly (or not surprisingly depending on your point of view) close game in the 4th quarter to beat the hapless Browns, 28-10. The big news was the return of Big Ben. He did not disappoint. The guy at this point is pretty much automatic in his gameday performances.

– Ben, as to be expected, started off a little rusty. On the opening drive, deep in Browns territory, Ben throws simply a bad pass that is intercepted. After that he settled down and most of his passes the rest of the way were on the money. On the first TD drive of the game, Ben bailed out some conservative playcalling with a clutch 1st down pass to rookie Manny Sanders on a 3rd and 13. On the TD pass to Wallace, Ben throws a perfect pass right before being hit. Towards the end of the game a couple of Ben’s balls were off target and seemed to sail high. But overall, Ben looked great for his first game back and finished 16/27 for 257 yards, 3 TD’s and 1 INT. Not too shabby.

– Rashard had another strong game picking up 84 yards on 27 carries, hitting some seams with real nice quickness. In a game like this, Tomlin and Arians might think about giving Redman (who had 31 yards on 6 carries) some more carries. We dont’t want Mendenhall wearing down prematurely as the season progresses. Mendy has played great thus far this year, but my one minor gripe about his performance continues to be his penchant for going down a little too easy at times. There were a couple plays today that Mendy was barely grabbed by the jersey with one arm by Brown defenders but couldn’t break away. Mendy also made a great catch on a flare pattern out of the backfield that lead to a TD. Why the Steelers don’t call more plays like that is beyond me.

– Manny Sanders made his debut for the Steelers today and had two great clutch grabs for 37 yards. Wallace had a couple nice deep grabs, which looks to be the norm with this kid. No one can cover him deep! Steelers should continue to exploit that more. Ward had another solid game, leading the team with 5 grabs and a great effort on a TD grab at the GL, where he broke through a tackle for the 6. Randel El had 1 grab but looked solid. Still, with Sanders performance today, the coaching staff might want to start playing him more. Miller had two big grabs, 1 for a TD and another that lead to a TD. I still don’t understand why Miller isn’t thrown to in games. 2 or 3 times isn’t getting the most out of one of your better players.

– The O-line overall had another solid effort. On a few pass plays defenders got to Ben a little early, but overall they did a good job in pass protection. The run game was up and down, on a number of plays Mendy and Redman were forced to cut back when no holes were opened up, on some other plays nice holes and seams were created.

– Harrison and Woodley continue to be some of the most consistent defenders on the team. Both racked up 11 tackles today, Harrison had constant pressure in the pass game and against the run, knocking out Browns players left and right. He finished with 1.5 sacks while Timmons had 2 sacks and an INT. That’s pretty good! Lamar Woodley had a nice sack when Colt McCoy basically walked right into him early in the game. Woodley had some good pressure throughout the game but needs to work on his tackling. People talked about Timmon’s perceived weakness as a tackler last year but Woodley continually makes poor efforts at tackling the ball carrier in the run game. Farrior had another fairly quiet game, helping out in the run game here and there. For some reason, Larry Foote was once again given playing time over Fox and the rookie LB’s.

– Rookie Colt McCoy in his first start completed 23 out of 33 passes for 281 yards! Yikes. Yes, some of those yards were at the end of the game when the Steelers were in the dreaded prevent defense but even before that McCoy had a pretty high completion percentage. Which, honestly, makes sense since before today the Steeler defense was giving up a 66% completion percentage to opposing QB’s this year. I’m done totally criticizing Steeler CB’s who are obviously coached to play it safe in pass defense. How can you truly evaluate a CB’s cover skills when they are repeatedly asked to give up cushions on plays? I’ve said it before, some of Lebeau’s passing schemes are simply outdated in today’s NFL.

– Ryan Clark played another sloppy and invisible game in pass coverage, although he did nab an INT on a poorly thrown pass by McCoy early on in the game into what looked like quadruple coverage.  Troy was fairly quiet but did help disrupt some plays at the LOS and managed to wrangle up a nice number of tackles. The Steelers might be overusing Troy at the LOS at times, maybe not, hard to say.

– Arians, throughout the 1st half, played it conservative (as was predicted on here) and put Ben in some 3rd and longs. There was a bizarre combination of obvious runs due to formation early on, mixed in with a good number of empty sets. Just bizarre. No rhythm of course was established with this kind of obvious playcall by formation. Arians did take the shackles off later in the game and allowed Ben to do what Ben does best, throw the damn ball when the defense isn’t necessarily expecting it and it paid off. The Steelers coaching staff seems to be hung up on running the ball on early downs but a nice mix of playcalls is obviously the best route to take and that is when the offense really clicks.

– Overall, a solid win by the Steelers against a fairly poor opponent. The real test starts next week as the Steelers head down to Miami.

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