Home > Steeler Articles > Week 17 Steelers-Browns Recap

Week 17 Steelers-Browns Recap

Steelers play another fairly unimpressive (and in the end, meaningless) game, beating the Browns, 13-9 to close out the regular season.

Offensive Thoughts

Ben was definitely off on a number of throws and it’s clear he’s not 100% healthy right now, nor will he be next week. He did make some nice throws here and there but will need to play better in the playoffs.

Mendenhall got off to a decent start before suffering a knee injury. That’s not good. Redman stepped in and gave a really inspired effort, racking up almost 100 yards on the ground and making some nice grabs as well. He did, however, lose two fumbles while the offense was sort of driving.

Antonio Brown continues to kick ass. Catching virtually every pass that comes his way. Whether it’s sliding on the ground, catching a ball with his helmet (on an errant throw) or catching a pass that is behind him. Just another stellar effort.

On the flipside, it’s time for Wallace to put on his big boy pants and quit playing like a, yes I’m going to say it, bitch. There were a number of short crossers where Wallace didn’t even look back for the ball. There was another deep errant pass by Ben that Wallace once again failed to fight for. A catch probably wasn’t happening on the play but try to at least break up a possible INT, Wallace!

It was great to see Manny Sanders back in action. He caught a couple passes and looked good. Having him back could be HUGE in the playoffs.

Last but not least, congratulations go out to Hines Ward for his 1,oooth catch!!! What a milestone for one of the greatest WR’s in Steeler history. Probably my favorite Steeler of all time. So underrated and clutch. You won’t find too many WR’s that have been more clutch than Hines. What a player.

The O-line continues to play sloppy. Not a reliable unit at all heading into the playoffs. Sometimes you’ll get good pass protection, other times it’s “Are you fucking kidding me?” Same goes for the run game. Pouncey has been hurt but even when he has played it seems like he’s taken a step back from last year. Starks is a complete buttplug when it comes to pass protection.

Bruce Arians – Another sloppy game courtesy of everyone’s favorite OC. Luckily the Browns run defense is horrible, which helped to cover up some inadequate scheming and playcalling.

The Steelers might be one of the worst teams in the NFL in running pass routes and that was on display against the Browns. Again and again players were running routes yards apart from one another, not looking back at passes, missing reads, etc. Basically playing like it’s preseason and the players still not familiar with the offense. Except this is WEEK 17, the final game of the regular season. It’s when a playoff team should be running on all cylinders, looking like a well-oiled machine, but that sure isn’t the case.

The same goes for the overall offensive execution and preparation. This offense continually makes dumb mistakes, makes things overly predictable, snaps the ball with barely a second left, etc. All clear signs that they are being coached very poorly.

Defensive Thoughts

The front seven seemed to be fairly active in tonight’s game. Hood and Kiesel got some batted balls. Hampton created some havoc on some run plays. They also got some pressure on Browns QB Seneca Wallace.

Worilds got ran over by Peyton Hillis on one play. That was ugly to see. Hopefully Worilds improves. He sure seemed pissed off.

The secondary continues to impress, albeit once again B-level competition, but it’s still nice to see headed into the playoffs. Gay, Taylor, Lewis and Troy have all looked real good for most of the year. Even Clark has been getting some nice hits in pass coverage of late. Still not sure how well they will play up against the elite QB’s but they did a pretty good job against Brady earlier this year.

Speaking of Troy, what about that tackle on Wallace where Troy knifed right through the O-line at the snap? Incredible. I’ve never seen a player do that (Except for Troy against the Titans a couple seasons ago). Troy also had a nice INT.

Timmons had a real solid game, solid pass coverage and a coverage sack.

Dick Lebeau – Lebeau seemed to have his defense ready to go against a pretty mediocre offense today. Not much to go on. There were some plays where the defense had problems containing Seneca Wallace which better not happen next week against TImmy Tebow.

Mike Tomlin – Another win filled with some coaching gaffes by Tomlin and company. Like, for example, why was Ben still in the game at the end? It seemed like he re-aggravated his injury towards the end of the game. Don’t they have scoreboards in Cleveland? His decision to decline a holding penalty on 3rd down led to a 48 yard FG for the Browns. To be fair, that was a tough call. For him to allow Arians to run what is one of the sloppiest and under performing offenses in the NFL continues to be frustrating to watch.

Overall, a fairly unimpressive win that turns out to be meaningless, except it was against the Browns which is always nice (especially since their fans seemed to be treating the game like their Super Bowl). Going into the playoffs this team does not seem to be riding high even with their 12-4 record. The good news is the Steelers get to play another team that isn’t playing very well, the Broncos, and a fairly inept offense. The bad news is the Steelers own offense has been fairly inept themselves (scoring less than 20 points in 4 of the last 6 games) and the Broncos defense is actually pretty damn good. Not a good combination. The Steelers will probably be (and should be) favored to win but don’t count on a comfortable win. I’ll be pleasantly surprised if it happens but I’m counting on another nailbiter, filled with coaching gaffes, poor officiating, some wacky balls by Ben and company and undisciplined play but hopefully the overall talent comes through for a playoff victory.

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