Steelers vs Browns Second Half Notes And Observations

Below are some notes and observations from the second half of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 30-27 victory over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

  • The second half is not nearly as fun to review as the first half.
  • I have to keep writing? Fine.
  • On first down, the Browns ran play action and found Andrew Hawkins open for 17 yards. Let the games begin.
  • On the next play, Lawrence Timmons overran it yet again, while Cortez Allen whiffed on the tackle, as Terrance West recorded an explosive run just outside the 25.
  • Then Miles Austin was left open crossing the field for 17 yards. The hurry up had the defense not in communication.
  • The right side of the defense was awful accommodating of Isaiah Crowell on second and goal for the touchdown, with Cam Thomas at nose tackle.
  • Dri Archer’s kick return out to the 40 shows that he does have the potential to be a weapon there, even if it didn’t count.
  • David DeCastro slipped off his block on a pull to the left on second and nine that got Le’Veon Bell tackled after just a short gain.
  • The second punt for Brad Wing only traveled 39 yards, but was fair caught. A penalty on the Browns gave him a 49-yard net.
  • More overpursuit from Timmons on first down. On second down, Ryan Shazier came in unblocked and hit West hard, but he stayed on his feet. Others had to come in and finish him off.
  • On third and three, the Steelers were penalized twice on an incomplete pass that extended the drive and led to a touchdown.
  • After finding the soft spot in the zone for a couple plays, Crowell found the seam through the base defense for a 15-yard touchdown run. It looked to be Timmons’ play to make, but he was blocked.
  • The Steelers’ following drive was promising, stringing together a few first downs and driving inside the Browns’ 40-yard line until Ben Roethlisberger was sacked. Ramon Foster let the free rusher slip in to the backfield. The quarterback wasn’t ready for the snap on third down, and it led to yet another sack.
  • Steve McLendon beat Alex Mack for a run stuff in the backfield. A small victory in an ugly third quarter.
  • William Gay got a hand on the second-down pass, but was beaten by Hawkins on third down for the conversion.
  • Sean Spence replaced Shazier for a few snaps on the rest of that drive, possibly as a result of the rookie’s confusion leading to problems.
  • The Steelers caught a break on third and one when the Browns ran a busted play that turned into a pitiful quarterback carry. Cleveland had to settle for a field goal.
  • I just watched Will Johnson run a wheel route when Roethlisberger was expecting something else. The point is I just realized that Johnson barely played at all in this game.
  • Marcus Gilbert beaten once again for a sack, this time on third and 10 from the 10-yard line.
  • Wing got off a 47-yard punt that was fair caught to help flip the field, but the Browns still started on their own 49.
  • Ike Taylor dropped an interception at the goal line. Story of his life.
  • Cameron Heyward got buried playing on the left side that led to a long run. Apparently he needs some reps on that side.
  • Back on defense, Shazier ripped through a gap for a tackle four yards in the backfield.
  • Then he let Hawkins in behind him for a 17-yard reception.
  • And Travis Benjamin beat Taylor to the far left corner of the end zone to tie the game with over 11 minutes to play.
  • After risking a three-and-out, Mike Tomlin called for the fake punt that saw the elusive Robert Golden to Antwon Blake connection go for 25 yards.
  • But it was spoiled a few plays later when Justin Brown couldn’t hang on to a third-down pass in traffic. The safety came in from behind to knock the ball out once Brown failed to secure it.
  • Allen missed another tackle on a long West run that saw the Browns travel 50 yards inside the Steelers’ 40 before the drive finally stalled. Allen nearly picked off a pass to make up for it, and Gay broke up the third-down pass.
  • The Browns punted on an opportunity for a field goal from the 36. They nearly downed the punt at the one.
  • The Steelers were moving nicely once again, aided by two impressive plays from Bell, but on third and one, the Browns smothered LeGarrette Blount in the backfield. Blount played five snaps, carrying four times and being targeted through the air once.
  • Punting from the 45, Wing had a chance to pin the Browns deep, but like Cleveland, the opportunity was squandered with a touchback.
  • Heyward pushed the right tackle into the quarterback for a sack. Gay came up with another big play with a pass deflection on second down. He smothered Hawkins in the backfield on a screen on third down. Great timing to put your best defensive foot forward.
  • The Browns’ punt bounced at their own 47, and Brown let it bounce all the way to the Steelers’ 43. That’s an extra 10 yards.
  • Ben to Wheaton. First down. Ben to Wheaton. First down. 31 yards in two plays and into field goal range. Shaun Suisham, the preseason goat, becomes the hero to close the season opener.
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