Steelers stumble in Cleveland

November 19th, 2023
by admin

It was a hard-fought old fashion AFC North fist fight with Cleveland getting the upper hand in the final minute. The clock struck midnight as the Steelers “magic” finally ran out Sunday, dropping a tough loss to the Cleveland Browns 13-10. The loss puts the Steelers playoff hopes in jeopardy and further calls the offensive play calling into question.

The superlatives for lousy will be on full display this week in talking about how bad this offense is. It is a combination of so many factors. The offensive line’s protection was downright frightening. Kenny Pickett almost was decapitated by Myles Garret on the first play from scrimmage that should have been a safety. The refs missed the call and the Steelers benefitted from the Browns not challenging. Pickett had no time to pass and when he did pass, he missed wide open receivers or was completely inaccurate.

His field vision is awful right now and his stat line reflects that, finishing with just 106 yards and completing only 15 passes. The Browns defense deserves some of the credit, but his play was awful at best. The running game was okay and despite a somewhat gaudy stat line was not that effective. The Steelers finished with 172 yards but gained 74 of it on a busted run play that Jaylen Warren put together. Najee Harris grinded but didn’t find much room to run. The receivers were non-existent in the game with George Pickens roping in only four catches to lead the team.

The play calling was horrendous especially on the last drive. For whatever reason the Steelers opted for three pass plays on what would have been the go ahead drive. Pickett missed wildly and they took a paltry 14 second off the clock. It was inexplicable why they didn’t try and run or do anything remotely close to a safer pass option.

The defense had a solid effort despite playing with a patchwork secondary. The Browns found very little room to run after the first half and finished under 100 yards. Elandon Roberts led the way with a great effort and the team plays fundamentally better with Cam Heyward in the middle. The pass rush was mostly non-existent, part of that was based on the Browns not wanting rookie quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson to make a mistake so everything was quick passes and they tried to run. T.J. Watt had the only sack of the day. Chandon Sullivan had an interception.

The special teams is basically the same story every week, although Calvin Austin III looked good on returns. Pressley Harvin III was inconsistent, he punted NINE times and had a few stinkers including a 20-yarder and Chris Boswell drilled his only opportunity a “pedestrian” 28-yarder by his standards. The coverage was leaky but tolerable.

The refs are just downright bad and once again were too involved in the outcome of the game. First and foremost, they missed a clear safety to the Steelers benefit, then overturned a questionable call on the Browns only touchdown. It wasn’t a great day for the officiating crew.

At what point does the Matt Canada experiment come to an end. The offense has tools and playmakers, but the play calling is suspect and predictable. This will be a classic overreaction week in Pittsburgh!


My “GAME BEER” goes to: Jaylen Warren, who absolutely delivered with 129 yards on the ground and the longest play of the season. Also Considered: Elandon Roberts who led the team in tackles with 15 while also playing special teams.

Beer of the Game: Yuengling Oktoberfest for KGB and myself, we do not often drink the same beer. The beer was awesome, but Yuengling has been struggling this season.

“Steel the Snacks”: KGB went with a Cleveland staple with a New York twist, Corned Beef Sliders on Pretzel Rolls and Pierogies fried. They came out just as Warren broke his big run.

My Stat of the week: Choosing to stay positive here. The Steelers once again won the turnover battle but what is the biggest thing of note, they have now held their last six opponents to 20 points or less. The defense didn’t have gaudy numbers but that is why the Steelers have a winning record, with this horrendous offense.

My Thoughts on next week: The Steelers stay in the division and battle the Burrow-less Bengals. This will be a bounce back week and look for the Steelers to dominate up front and pull out a squeaker.

Jersey of the Week: Franco Harris #32, Salute to Service, had to switch weeks, normally I would have worn this last weekend because of Veterans Day, but had to go with my gamer. So switched weeks.

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