Steelers vs Browns II Second Half Notes And Observations

Below are my notes and observations upon reviewing the first half of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ loss to the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

  • Half of the Browns’ completions and the majority of their passing yards came against Cortez Allen. He was beaten for 31 yards by Travis Benjamin early in the second half.
  • The defense shut down after that play, however, including strong individual efforts from Troy Polamalu and Brett Keisel.
  • Count Heath Miller among Ben Roethlisberger’s targets that did not make his day any easier, joining Lance Moore and Markus Wheaton on that front.
  • The Steelers have no problem leaving in Le’Veon Bell for short yardage carries, and he showed why on second and one, carrying a defender first the first-down marker from behind the line of scrimmage.
  • David DeCastro let Jerry Hughes roll off his block, letting him get to Roethlisberger for the sack.
  • He was beaten by Desmond Bryant on second down for another sack. Bad series of plays.
  • Antwon Blake needs to have better awareness, touching the ball after stepping on the goal line. Ross Ventrone should have realized that Blake wasn’t eligible to touch the ball first either, but Blake should have yelled to Ventrone that he had to make a play to down the ball before it went into the end zone.
  • Cameron Heyward did not have a good game against the run. On the first play of the Browns’ drive after the aforementioned punt, he got caught too far down the line, allowing Isaiah Crowell to run inside him for 24 yards.
  • Sean Spence was slow to get back in coverage on the tight end on the next play off a bootleg, resulting in another long completion.
  • Roethlisberger’s first interception since game two came on a deflected pass by Hughes.
  • Cam Thomas is a nose tackle moved to defensive end, who plays nose tackle like a defensive end. He gets moved around too easily for somebody his size.
  • First and goal from the two saw the Steelers play a 4-5-2 defense, with Polamalu and Will Allen representing the secondary. It worked for one running play, but not two. And it barely worked on the first one.
  • The Steelers’ response to falling behind 31-3 was to go three-and-out on offense. On the bright side, they didn’t let the Browns score for the remaining 12 minutes.
  • Thomas driven out of another hole for a long gain. Fortunately, this one ended in a fumble recovered by the Steelers.
  • Wheaton did come down with an impressive sideline grab down to the two-yard line after the fumble recovery.
  • After a penalty, the Steelers managed to turn the ball over on downs with first and goal on the one. The first play drew an unnecessary roughness penalty that made it second and goal from the 16.
  • Roethlisberger again overthrew Wheaton deep, this time in the end zone, though Wheaton had a chance of grabbing that one by his fingertips. The fourth and goal play was a miscommunication-induced incompletion to Wheaton.
  • The Browns kept the ball on the ground and punted.
  • Roethlisberger did find Moore open in between three defenders from 26 yards out. Moore bounced off two of them into the end zone for the Steelers’ only touchdown of the game.
  • The Steelers failed to recover an onside kick, but they did force a punt. That punt pinned them inside their own five, leaving them with no choice but to just run out the clock for the most part, though Roethlisberger did try to throw on third down, even though it would have accomplished nothing.
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