Steelers (2-0) 10, Browns (0-2)6
The Steelers defied the effect of wind from the lake and an improved Cleveland team on Saturday night to move into sole possession of first place in the AFC North.
Willie Parker rushed for 100-plus yards (28-of-105) for the second straight game, and Ben Roethlisberger turned in another efficient performance as he completed 12-of-19 passes for 186 yards and a touchdown to Hines Ward.
The Steelers’ defense held the Browns to 53 rushing yards on 25 attempts. Cleveland’s offense was only able to amass 208 total yards.
It may not have been the 49-12 apocalypse I predicted, bad weather has a way of leveling the playing field, I don’t think these teams are as close as the score indicates.
The Browns Again defense couldn’t find a save when it needed one late in the game. Derek Anderson didn’t make the clutch plays his team needed.
Not that I agree with the decision, but I see the logic behind Crennel taking the 3 points when they were in range with three timeouts and more than three minutes remaining. However, the poor time-out and clock management displayed in the final moments of both halves was disconcerting.
When the Browns got the ball back with 26 seconds remaining, needing two deep completions, Kellen Winslow wasn’t on the field, interesting.
Ben Roethlisberger reportedly played with a separated shoulder. What a show of faith in an untested offensive line that has put up solid if unspectacular play for two weeks. I don’t know for sure, but it has to be his non-throwing shoulder that is supposedly separated.
I’m not a fan of the term “statement game”. The logic behind this doesn’t satisfy me in the least, inferring that only certain games allow “statements”, whereas one could argue that all games tell us something, therefore all games are “statement games”, so the cliché should be abolished. However, if the Browns were trying to “make a statement” about their final position in the AFC North standings this season, I’d say “second place.”
The offense should benefit from playing in calm conditions against a defensively-challenged Philadelphia team next week.
If I were a Browns fan:
I’d be asking for Crennel’s head and Brady Quinn’s. Who needs stability at QB and head coach anyway? There’s no justification for the play call late in the first half that resulted in Troy Polamalu’s second interception in two games, and the coach played scared by kicking a field goal for seven late in the game.
Mission Impossible: The 2008 Steelers Schedule Much has been said about the overwhelming schedule for the Steelers team this year. How much of that is guaranteed? Let’s take a look at how the Steelers’ opponents fared this week.
PHILLY (1-1) 37, DALLAS (2-0) 41 BCS says the Browns are eighteen points worse than the Cowboys, therefore the Cowboys are 14 points better than Pittsburgh (BCS does not take weather into account) , so the Eagles are 10 points better than Pittsburgh? Fooey! This is how the Big Ten send teams to national title games. Next week will be a fantastic game to watch. When he’s not playing the Steelers, I’m a McNabb supporter; I remember when Philly fans booed him when they drafted him instead of Ricky Williams. Neither of these teams seem to play defense at all, the Steelers pay very well for defense. I bet the Eagles are a slight favorite at home for next week. I can’t stand 99% of Philly fans, they know nothing about everything and are not afraid of letting everyone know.
BALTIMORE (1-0): AMAZING HURRICANE GOODBYE WEEK As if the Gulf Coast hadn’t had enough problems. The Texans should be glad they weren’t forced to play a home game in Baltimore, or scheduled to play the Giants or Jets this week, and that the home game was moved to the visiting team’s home field. so the league could make more money.
JACKSONVILLE 16 (0-2) BUFFALO 20 The Jaguars’ offensive line looks like it did the Steelers last season, and suddenly Garrard looks average, good thing they have a capable backup in Byron Left… It looks like the Bills they’re the team in the AFC East no one wants to play right now, it doesn’t bother me that they’re not on the Steelers’ schedule.
I THINK SOMEONE PICKED THE STEELERS TO LOSE DURING THEIR BYE WEEK.
CINCY (0-2) 7, TENNESEE (2-0) 24 The Bengals remain irrelevant. The Titans defense is fantastic, and I’m a fan of Kerry Collins (he needs some). The Titans are still stuck with chronic underachievement that may or may not be a head case, and back up over the hill. Too bad the Steelers Titans game on December 21 won’t take place in a blizzard in Pittsburgh. The Steelers defense has a bigger advantage over the Titans defense than the Titans defense can have over Pittsburgh’s offense.
GIANTS (2-0) 41, RAMOS 13
If the Rams can score 13 against the Giants, NY is in trouble.
WASHINGTON (1-1) 29, Saints 24. Campbell will lose more games with his arm than he wins, this was an exception. He could be wrong. Randel El, he deserves better. The Redskins are tough, but they still allowed 24 points to a team with David Patten en route to WR.
COLTS (1-1) 18, VIKINGS 15 Indy’s is battling it out with the Jags to see who can win the most games before their offensive line picks up. Peyton Manning is good, the Colts’ defense is unlikely to compare to the ’76 Steelers.
SAN DIEGO (0-2) 38, DENVER 39. What a game this was. I’m glad I was forced to watch the end of the Pats Jets game (which consisted of Matt Cassell taking a knee three times) instead of watching more of what will probably be known as the most exciting game of this season. . The Chargers really got harassed by the umpires, but the Broncos still made the plays to score and take the lead on the double. SD is probably the best 0-2 team in the league, losing two games by a total of three points. However, their defense has allowed 64 points in two games.
NE (2-0) 19, NY Jest 10. New York not so good, Pats are now a boring team, running first without a superstar quarterback. The Patriots’ defense is still solid, but it’s getting old. I say make a play for Randy Moss at the deadline. Buffalo wins this division.
Opponent Record: 12-11 Win %: .522
Still hard and very soon, but four wins vs. the Bengals and Ravens are chickens worth counting now; a low estimate of .500 balls the rest of the way would result in 11-5 and a division crown. The Steelers would be battle-tested and ready for the playoffs. Staying healthy.