The pregame show on KDKA was like gouging your eyes out. I guess it was a good prelude to the game. Ron Cook's "on site" report got jacked by some drunk Steelers fan on the street running up yelling "WOOO STEELERS!" and jumping in front of the camera.
Thursday night games are stupid. We're just saying that from the start. Really, besides Thanksgiving, the NFL shouldn't play games on Thursdays.
Apparently it was cold in Cleveland.
The Steelers kick deep to Cribbs and make a tackle. Quinn comes out to lead the turds, picking up a first down on a screen pass. The Steelers hold on 3rd and long, forcing a punt.
The Steelers come out pounding the rock with Mendenhall getting into a 3rd and 1. Rather than keeping Ben under center, Arians puts him in the shotgun in -12 degree wind chill and on 3rd and 1 and calls a pass. Terrible situational play call. Ben gets sacked. Punt.
The Steelers force a 3rd and 10, but Quinn hits a tight end down the seam between Timmons and Carter for the first down. The defense buckles down and forces a punt that gets downed inside the 5.
We come back with the same game plan. Mendenhall runs twice and gets us into a 3rd and 3. Rather than attempting a run deep in their zone, they try another pass. Ben gets sacked again by former Steeler Hank Poteat. Sepulveda punts and Cribbs brings it back inside the 10.
Superman makes the tackle to save the touchdown.
The Steelers catch a break with the first holding call, setting the Turds back. First holding call on someone trying to block Harrison since the reign of Nero. The Steelers give 5 back on an offsides on 3rd and goal. Quinn's pass bounces off of Deshea's helmet. Field goal.
The Steelers come out throwing. Hines "I'm tougher than a pulled hamstring" Ward pulls in an out-route to get to 3rd and 1. Mendenhall gets the call and gets a bad spot, leaving them inches short. Ben falls forward and moves the chains for the Steelers first first down of the game. Ben goes deep for Tone but can't connect on an under-thrown ball. The Steelers stay with the air attack, but the receivers can't get open but Ben is able to scramble for 11 yards to move the chains again. Tone gets a WR screen and moves the chains again, taking the Steelers across the 50. After Parker gets 6 on first down, Arians goes back to the WR screen, this time to Ward, and it gets blown up.
3rd and 7, surprise surprise, Ben is sacked again. Punt
The Browns pick up two big gains on the ground, then Woodley takes things over. First down: sack. Second down: blows up a screen pass, Third down: deflects a pass. That makes 7 sacks in the last 5 games for Woodley, who is close to overtaking Harrison for the team lead. Cleveland punts, pinning us back inside the 10.
Mendenhall gets stacked up twice, and Holmes can't hang on on a slant route. No matter, it would have been short anyways. Punt.
The defense forces a 3rd and 8, but Quinn hits Massaquoi in front of Taylor, who cuts it inside. With no safety help, Massaquoi gets down to the 15. The Steelers hold to another 3rd and 8 and this time Quinn air mails it out of the end zone. Field goal.
With the offense in trouble, who do you go to? Heath Miller, damn straight. Mendenhall tears through the line on 2nd and 1 to move the chains.
Ben gets sacked on a 4-man and a 3-man rush.
The Steelers seemingly get a turnover on a fumbled punt, but it gets called back on holding on Carter. Cleveland gets called for a personal foul on the next punt, pushing them back inside their own 30. On 3rd and 3, Cribbs runs the wildcat and breaks a few tackles and takes it all the way down to the 30. Cleveland runs the ball twice to get down to the 20.
Two Minute Warning
Quinn falls forward to convert 3rd and inches. Cleveland keeps pounding the rock, and Jennings takes it around the edge for the first Browns rushing TD by a running back this season. Really Defense? Did that just happen?
With 33 seconds left in the game, the Steelers go to the air, trying to get something before halftime. Ben buys some time and slings it to Holmes on the sidelines. The Steelers get a bonus on a roughing the passer penalty that takes them down to the 20. Hines can't hold on on first down over the middle, then Tone snags an out-route to get inside the 10 with 7 seconds to play. Ben goes for Heath short of the end zone, but the ball is on the back shoulder and Heath can't make the catch. Reed drills it for our only points of the half.
John and I talk about potential draft choices. We're in agreement that the Steelers need to/likely will go defense in the first round of the draft. They obviously have a lot of holes right now. With Casey Hampton in the last year of his contract, it's likely the Steelers won't re-sign him. This will probably have the Steelers looking at DTs Gerald McCoy from Texas and Terrence Cody from Alabama.
Moore drops the kickoff and gets tackled at the 12. Mendenhall gets stacked up on first down. Ben stands in the pocket and hits Holmes who gets us into 3rd and short. Mendenhall takes a draw for 5 yards to move the chains. Ben goes play-action and Tone makes a great leaping catch downfield for the Steelers biggest gain of the night. Parker gets 6 yards on 2 carries, but Ben underthrows Tone deep over the middle, forcing the punt.
With a 10-point lead, Cleveland just runs the ball. The run D finally buckles down after allowing two first downs. Quinn throws a duck on 3rd down but Ty Carter can't come down with the interception. Punt.
Mendenhall makes something out of nothing on 2nd down to get us to 3rd and medium.
Ben gets sacked again on a 4-man rush.
With a 10-point lead, Cleveland is just interested in milking clock. Run-run-pass-punt.
After Mendenhall gets 6, Ben goes 5-wide and hits Heath over the middle who rumbles into Browns territory. Mendenhall gets another first on a check-down, then Wallace makes his first catch of the night. Ben gets sacked then can't find Hines on 3rd down. Reed nails it to get us within a TD.
Anthony Madison takes down Cribbs at the 15.
The Browns come out throwing and can't convert. Punt.
Ben comes out 5-wide and hits Tone over the middle. The Steelers get stuck in a 3rd and long as the Steelers keep trying to buy flags rather than make plays. Ben almost gets sacked and the Steelers get set back on a holding penalty, giving them another shot. Mendenhall can't hang on to a check-down. Punt.
The turds go to the wildcat and are able to pick up a first down. The Steelers force a 3rd and long, and Cribbs runs it for 11 yards and a first down out of the wildcat.
The Steelers force another 3rd and long and the Browns inexplicably go to the air and Quinn can't hit a tight end down the seam. Punt.
On second down, Ben finds Heath out of the backfield who rumbles for a first down. Wallace gets a WR screen to get us into a 3rd and 1. Mendenhall picks it up behind a good surge from the O-line. The Steelers finally convert a 3rd down longer than a yard as Ben hits Hines over the middle on 3rd and 6. The Steelers take a timeout then Ben gets sacked again. Ben almost throws a pick as the clock hits two.
Two Minute Warning
Heath gets 13 on 3rd down to set up a 4th and 6. Ben throws into traffic and that's all she wrote.
The Steelers used two stupid timeouts on that drive, leaving them with only one. They take it after Cleveland runs on first down, and Cleveland can just run the clock out.
- This was the worst game they've played in years.
- Did they really lose to the Raiders and Browns in back-to-back games?
- This game was like having someone take a shit on your chest.