Last week I said I wasn't really sure what to say about the game because it was the Lions and they were not a very good ball team, not like the Steelers that is. Well I also had in the back of my mind that the Lions were a team that was 100 times better than last year. This is not the story for the Cleveland Browns. They are bad. Real bad. Last weeks game against the Bills was an embarrassment to the NFL. Just click the stats below to see what I am talking about.
Passing: Roethlisberger: 23/30, 277 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Mendenhall: 15 car, 77 yards, 1 TD
Receiving: Ward: 7 rec, 85 yards, 1 TD
Passing: Anderson: 2/17, 23 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT, 15.1 passer rating
Rushing: Lewis: 31 carries 117 yards
Receiving: Massaquoi: 1 rec, 16 yards
(what a joke)
Offense (rank in NFL)
Pittsburgh: 375.8 yards/game (7th)
Cleveland: 248.4 yards/game (31st)
Pittsburgh: 275.4 yards/game (4th)
Cleveland: 142.2 yards/game (31st)
Pittsburgh: 100.4 yards/game (21st)
Cleveland: 106.2 yards/game (t-16th)
Pittsburgh: 22.6 points/game (14th)
Cleveland: 11.0 points/game (30th)
Pittsburgh: 290.8 yards/game (4th)
Cleveland: 380.2 yards/game (29th)
Pittsburgh: 71.2 yards/game (2nd)
Cleveland: 170.4 yards/game (32nd)
Pittsburgh: 219.6 yards/game (14th)
Cleveland: 209.8 yards/game (10th)
Pittsburgh: 19.6 points/game (t-14th)
Cleveland: 24.2 points/game (23rd)
Looking at the Browns it is hard to not look at the quarterback situation and wonder wtf is going on with this organization. People in masses will tell you that Derek Anderson is their guy and that he was a pro bowler and the Browns almost made the playoffs a few years ago with him. Lets put that into perspective. Almost making the playoff and making the playoff are two totally different things. Pro Bowl? You played half of a good year DA. You didn't play a whole good year because once film got out you were throwing picks like they were going out of style. You are not a good quarterback and you team was not a playoff team, hence you not making the playoffs. Currently DA has a league low 39.0 passer rating and has thrown only one touchdown and five picks. His completion percentage of 46.4 is just above JaMarcus Russell on the charts. Congrats, you and everyone else in the NFL.
Now Brady Quinn was the Browns starter at the beginning of the year. He did not do very well as he could not pick up a win. He lost his spot. He now is selling his house. Awesome. He has throw one touchdown and three picks. Together the Browns QB tandem has been sacked 14 times, Quinn 10 times and DA four times. What a mess it is to be part of the Browns organization. I guess the good thing is that if you are a QB and you are in the Browns roster you will play, you just may not live very long.
The receiving corp is nothing to write home about this season. They traded their best WR to the Jets last week after Mr. Edwards thought he was Mike Tyson on LeBron James' friend. Here is what the depth cart looks like for the Browns:
Starters: Mohamed Massaquoi, Mike Furrey
Depth: Brian Robiskie, Josh Cribbs, Chansi Stuckey, Paul Hubbard
Really? That's what you got to play with? Mike Furrey is one of your top two receivers and you have two rookies as part of your top three. Josh Cribbs is not a WR and Chansi Stucky is a good four guy who can be a possession guy. What a mess.
There are actually two different bright spots for the Browns, their running game and their special teams. The running game gets going now and then. Really when you go 2/17 for 23 yards as the passing game did you have to do SOMETHING right. Jamal Lewis is probably past him time but he can still churn out 100 yard games so the Steelers will have to prep for that. Jamal Lewis has played a lot against the Steelers and the Steelers have played Jamal a lot. They know each other, but I don't see 100 yards from Jamal, or the Browns for that matter, in the game on Sunday.
The special teams is easily the best part of this Browns team. It doesn't matter if its the punter (who gets a ton or work) or Josh Cribbs they can get the job done. The FG team has not missed a kick yet this year so that is pretty good omen for them. Right? Cribbs kills the Steelers. He seems to always take one back to the house for a touchdown but I have a feeling the Steelers will put a lot of time this week on stopping that.
Now, for the Steelers. Troy is back. If he is back healthy this team has a chance to have a great defense again (not that it isn't good already). He changes the entire game when he is in there and he most certainly the most important player to that defense.
Big Ben has just been cash money all year. He is putting up gaudy numbers this year and really controlling the offense and making this team tick. He is almost to the Troy level of what he means to this team. He has a lot of control over this offense and he finds his receivers.
Talking about receivers. The Steelers have a really solid receiving group. Hines, Tone, Heath, Wallace. Talk about players that you have options getting. Heath and Hines are money when you throw them the football, if Heath drops a pass then you need to check if you are still alive. Tone has been complaining a little bit about not getting the ball but he has been saying all the right things when talking to the media. That seems to be a problem that might start to come up. Getting Hines and Tone their balls and trying to also get the ball to Wallace and Heath. Who cares, we are winning and that's what it's all about.
The offensive line has been churnin so hopefully they continue to keep Ben upright.
The defense will be on better legs when Troy gets back. They will be missing Aaron Smith who is done for the year, but I believe that a committee of players will be able to come in and at least patch it enough to where the Steelers will be good against the run. The defense has been giving up some big plays at the end of games but they are still, statistically, one of the best in the game. I don't know, they are near the top in sacks and once they start getting turnovers they will be a great defense again.
James Harrison was the NFL Defensive Player of the Week honor last week for his three sack performance. He is a beast and I hope he gets three more Sunday. I will leave you with this:
Steelers 31, Browns 13