Week 10 Steelers Vs Browns Second Half Notes And Observations

The Pittsburgh Steelers notched their first division win of the season thanks to the performance of backup quarterback Ben Roethlisberger against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. Below are my notes and observations from the first half of the game.

  • Cornerback William Gay tripped Travis Benjamin on the first play of the second half to make the tackle after originally missing his first tackle attempt. Whatever works, I say.
  • On the following play, Jarvis Jones bowled over Joe Thomas—did you ever think such a phrase would ever be written?—and with pressure coming from the back side, he and Arthur Moats combined on a sack of Johnny Manziel for a loss of seven.
  • A 15-yarder on second down helped the Browns get back on schedule, however, eventually converting on third and short.
  • After a Stephon Tuitt sack, however, Manziel could not convert on third and 18, forcing the Browns to punt.
  • Quickly facing a third and 12, Roethlisberger got a free play with a defender offside, attacking deep in Antonio Brown’s direction, who drew a 38-yard pass interference call. From midfield on the very next play, he drew a 37-yard pass interference call.
  • The second defensive drive of the half was another showing for Anthony Chickillo, who played the first 10 snaps before giving way to Jones.
  • The Browns used a nice bunch concept on the left side of the formation to stress the coverage for a 16-yard gain across midfield. Gay was stuck covering the flat route with the safety drifting back, leaving the slot receiver with no direct coverage. The play is a designed zone beater, and it worked to perfection here.
  • Manziel held on to the ball for about seven seconds a couple plays later when he was sacked by Cameron Heyward.
  • He just barely escaped another sack two plays later, as Jones had a grip on his jersey. Following a pump fake, the second-year quarterback was able to scramble up the middle for 11 yards, nearly scoring.
  • On the play, Ryan Shazier somehow ended up wiping himself out, perhaps partially due to the pump fake, taking out Moats in the process to open up the middle of the field.
  • On the next play, Isaiah Crowell scored off the right side untouched, but Heyward drew a holding call away from the play.
  • An illegal formation made it first and goal from the 16, on which Shazier made up for his wipe out with a sack for a loss of nine yards. It was a great play on which he drove the back in pass protection backwards, showing off his speed.
  • On fourth and goal from the seven, the Browns went for it, trailing by 21 to start the fourth quarter. Safety Mike Mitchell cut in front of the pass at the goal line for the interception after Manziel scrambled for about eight seconds, his second pick in the end zone this year.
  • The following drive was not the best moment for Roethlisberger. After hanging a pass on which a defender clearly had a break on to Bryant that was nearly intercepted, he made up for it by coming back on the next play to throw a pick, overthrowing his target.
  • The Browns quickly responded, with Manziel finding Gary Barnidge for the seven-yard touchdown over Allen on the second play.
  • After having abandoned the run most of the day due to ineffectiveness, the Steelers came back to it late to hope to bleed the clock. DeAngelo Williams had four carries for 20 yards on a seven-play touchdown drive.
  • That touchdown came on a 56-yard catch-and-run from Brown.
  • Despite logging 22 snaps on defense, Chickillo’s only tackle came on the ensuing kickoff.
  • The Browns started the drive with back-to-back-to-back explosive plays of 21, 20, and 22 yards, down to the 15-yard line.
  • On fourth and five, Allen looked to have the runner short at the first-down marker, but he was ruled to have gotten enough yardage, giving the Browns first and goal at the five.
  • What followed was four straight incomplete passes, but that included a drop of a touchdown on second down.
  • After Mitchell broke up the fourth-down pass, the offense took over at the five and turned it over to Williams, who ripped off runs of nine and 11 yards on the first two plays, followed by a gain of 12.
  • On third and short, Roethlisberger took a shot down the field to Brown, drawing his third pass interference of the game, this time in the end zone. It gave the Steelers first and goal and the ability to run out the clock.
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