Steelers Versus Browns – Week 12 – Second Half Notes And Observations

By Matthew Marczi

  • Much of the third quarter was owned by Will Allen. He ended the Browns’ first drive with a tackle on Greg Lloyd a yard shy of the first down.
  • Antonio Brown may have saved Ben Roethlisberger an interception on his deep pass that fluttered toward the sideline. Brown got a hand on Joe Haden as he tried to adjust to the ball.
  • I’m really not sure Jonathan Dwyer could have done much more than he did on his two carries on third and fourth and one. I do think the officials were right that neither were enough for the first.
  • Great job, again, by Allen, jumping on a screen pass to Davone Bess and holding it to a gain of three. More importantly, he nearly stripped the ball out.
  • Instead, William Gay did it two plays later, slapping Jason Campbell inadvertently in the face. Of course, it was Allen, who knocked Chris Ogbonnya off-balance on the blitz, who was there to return the ball 49 yards.
  • Great pick play for the four-yard touchdown with Brown and Emmanuel Sanders. The Browns did something similar later on their two-point conversion, only to the outside instead of the inside.
  • The Browns finally had some success driving, but kicking into the wind, Billy Cundiff’s field goal attempt was ripped violently wide right. Shaun Suisham’s 47-yarder in the first half was ripped wide left…and good.
  • I think the only time Jerricho Cotchery was targeted was on a badly underthrown ball that may have also been dragged down to the earth by the wind.
  • Really the one time the Browns got pressure all day it ended up being a jailbreak, even when it shouldn’t have been, on third and 10, forcing a throwaway. Other than that, the short passes had helped keep the pocket clean all day, as evidenced by the zero sacks allowed figure.
  • Another pressure by Jason Worilds against a backup tight end.
  • Not to be a party pooper.
  • On a positive note, at least the Steelers were able to run the ball some in the fourth quarter in clock-draining mode. Three successive carries by Bell result in a first down, with the stout Browns knowing they’re going to run.
  • Sanders made great catch on a ball thrown badly behind him on third and seven on that same drive to keep the clock running down.
  • On the next play, Mike Adams carried the Bell, who carried the Ball, for four yards. That’s what happens when you’re a lineman and you’re left with nobody to block, apparently. You just start picking people up.
  • Heath Miller with a nice seal for a five-yard gain on the next play, and then Bell converts on third and one.
  • Bell had been successful in short-yardage situations all game, while Dwyer’s two attempts failed.
  • Speaking of Dwyer, he was dropped for no gain on the next play. Then Brown was tackle for a loss of eight on a poorly blocked end around.
  • That basically cost them a field goal, especially after Dwyer dropped the pass on third down.
  • On the plus side, it did allow us to see the pooch punt get dusted off from Ben Roethlisberger.
  • I advocated for the Steelers just running plays on fourth down and allowing Roethlisberger to punt if there was no play available early in the game given how Mat McBriar was punting at the time. Jokingly, of course—I think.
  • And there’s Josh Gordon beating Ike Taylor down the right sideline for 47 yards.
  • The best part about Troy Polamalu’s strip sack, of course, was watching Cameron Heyward with the ball in his hands. He stiff-armed  Little into Ogbonnya, knocking Little to the ground, over which Ogbonnya then tripped.
  • Does anybody know why Felix Jones ran out of bounds on third and nine after the turnover?
  • Gay saw that pass coming the entire way and beautifully jumped the route. He’s a smart football player.
  • Taylor missed another tackle on Gordon, allowing chunks of yardage after the catch.
  • Then he beat Taylor over the middle.
  • Then up the seam in the middle of the field.
  • Then fading to the far left corner of the end zone for a touchdown.
  • Then Gordon pushed him into Gay’s path on the two-point conversion for the successful pick play.
  • At least the Steelers’ inability to run out the clock gave Hebron Fangupo a few snaps and allowed Al Woods to record a pair of soft sacks.
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