Wednesday, January 2, 2013

We Must Face The Long Dark of Moria: Steelers Win

This was the Steelers first meaningless home game since 2003 and the first meaningless game they had played since 2006. Not much was at stake aside from preserving an 8-year stretch of non-losing seasons and not having been swept by the Browns since 1988.

Game Recap

Rather than coming out with the run-run-pass motif offense, Haley changes it up and goes pass-run-run but it still results in a punt after the Steelers can't move the chains from 2nd and 2.

Thaddeus Lewis, he of no NFL experience, comes out and hits two passes but misses on a deep ball on 3rd down.

The Steelers go back to the motif on 3rd and 1 and Ben makes a horrible throw that's almost picked off. Yikes. No clue why we're throwing on 3rd and 1. Butler booms one to pin the Browns deep.

The Steelers forget to cover Greg Little on 3rd down and Lewis moves the chains. Lewis goes back to Little who is wide open over the middle and he turns it upfield and takes it all the way to midfield. The Steelers continue not to cover the Browns receivers and give up another completion down to the 20. Lewis finally redeems himself and telegraphs a pass that Troy undercuts for his first pick of the year.

Right off the pick, Ben goes play-action and hits AB on a deep post but a holding penalty nullifies the huge gain. Haley tries to get cute back in our own end and Brown gets taken down on a reverse for a big loss in the backfield. A bad punt gives the Browns the ball on our side of midfield.

Lewis hits another pass over the middle and moves the Browns into field goal range.

Second Quarter

The defense finally makes a play and stops the Browns on third down. Dawson shanks a 39-yard field goal.

The Steelers move the sticks for the first time when Ben hits Plax on a slant. Mendenhall gets to the outside and moves us across midfield. Ben finds Cotch over the middle to convert a 3rd down and move us to the fringe of field goal range. The Steelers run a give-up play on 3rd and 3 and Redman goes nowhere. Suisham nails it from 41.


Lewis hits a few more passes and get another first down near midfield. The Browns keep moving the ball into Steelers territory with the defense playing on their heels. The defense locks it down and the Browns send Dawson back out who drills one from 51.

Wow. Big kick at the closed end.


Ben hits AB to get things moving but the drive doesn't go anywhere. Tomlin inexplicably uses a timeout with just over 2 minutes left before a 3rd down play rather than letting the clock wind down. Strange.

On the second play the Browns try a quick pass to Gordon that Cortez Allen strips out and Lawrence Timmons falls on it to set up the Steelers at the Cleveland 24. That's the kind of play we were missing all year.

Redman takes one right up the gut and inside the 15. Ben tries to find Sanders over the middle and he gets dragged down drawing the flag. With the ball on the 1 Ben goes play-action and hits Pope over the middle for the score.

Points off turnovers.


The Browns run it out.

Third Quarter

The defense locks it down but Cleveland runs a fake punt and takes it up the middle for a huge gain before AB makes a tackle.
The Browns go deep right away and draw an Pass Interference call on Victorian inside the 5. Two plays later, Lewis finds Little open in the back of the end zone.


Kelvin Beachum gets blindsided on an outside run by Dwyer and the Steelers are literally out of linemen. John Malecki comes in at RG and Foster moves to RT. Bad times on the line. The Browns do a very Browns thing and commit two penalties on a 3rd down, giving the Steelers a first down. The offense starts rolling with Dwyer moving the sticks again then Sanders taking a WR screen for 12 more. AB takes an end-around inside the 15 then Dwyer pounds forward with a great second effort to move the chains again. On 3rd and goal Ben does his Ben thing and steps up in the pocket and hits AB right across the middle at the goal line for the score.

Ben being Ben


The Browns come back and drive the ball down the field. The Steelers finally get their first sack of the game when the whole D-line destroys the Browns line and sacks Lewis.

Fourth Quarter

With the Browns backed up in 3rd and forever, the defense comes up with a stop.

Pinned back in their own end, it's motif offense time and Ben gets sacked on 3rd down. Another bad punt from Butler gives the Browns the ball across midfield.

The defense comes up huge and forces a 3-and-out.

The offense picks up a few first downs but stalls out near midfield.

In a strange play, the Browns complete a pass to the sideline. Cortez Allen runs past the receiver as he falls to the ground but doesn't touch him. Once the receiver gets up Allen swats the ball out of the receiver's hand and scoops it up and takes it down the sideline, all the way inside the 30.

Replay holds it up. Crazy play.

That's 5 turnovers that Cortez Allen has created in the last two weeks.

Redman converts a 3rd and 1 to get us inside the 15. On 3rd down, Ben rockets one and Plax climbs the ladder on the post route and snags it for the score.



The Browns get it back and the Steelers go into their prevent defense leaving a lot open underneath. The Browns move the ball into Steelers territory before a well-timed blitz from Timmons absolutely buries Lewis on 3rd down. On 4th down, LeBeau calls the exact same blitz and Timmons comes free again and knocks the ball out. Ziggy falls on it for the recovery to seal up the win.



Sadly, that ends the season too.

Thanks everyone who followed the blog or talked on Twitter this season.

Stick with us through the offseason. We'll be diving in to draft coverage pretty soon here and looking back over the season that was and where things went wrong.

Now, the offseason.

To paraphrase Gandalf, "We must face the Long Dark of Moria. It is a three month journey to the draft. We must be cautious."

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