Steelers (2-0) 10, Browns (0-2) 6
The Steelers braved the lake effect wind and a better Cleveland team Saturday night to move into sole possession of first place in the AFC North.
Willie Parker rushed for more than 100 yards (28 of 105) for the second straight game, and Ben Roethlisberger put on another efficient performance completing 12 of 19 passes for 186 yards and a touchdown to Hines Ward.
The Steelers defense held the Browns to 53 yards rushing on 25 attempts. Cleveland’s offense could only muster 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 scoreboard indicates.
The Browns Again defense couldn’t stop when they needed it late in the game. Derek Anderson didn’t make the deciding plays his team needed.
Not that I agree with the decision, but I see the logic behind Crennel taking all 3 points when they were in range with three timeouts and more than three minutes to go. However, the mismanagement of waiting time and clock that was shown in the last moments of both halves was staggering.
When the Browns recovered the ball with 26 seconds left, needing two completions, Kellen Winslow wasn’t on the field, interesting.
Ben Roethlisberger allegedly played with a separate shoulder. What a show of faith in an unproven offensive line, which has shown 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 does not satisfy me in the least, inferring that only certain games allow “statements”, while 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, it would read “second.”
The offense should benefit from playing in calm conditions against a defensively deprived Philadelphia team next week.
If you were a Browns fan:
I’d call for Crennel’s head and for Brady Quinn. Who needs stability in QB and head coach anyway? There is no justification for the play call at the end of the first half that resulted in Troy Polamalu’s second interception in two games, and the coach played scared kicking a field goal seven late in the game.
Mission Impossible: The Steelers’ 2008 Schedule. Much has been said about the overwhelming schedule for this year’s Steelers team. How much of that is justified? Let’s take a look at how the Steelers’ opponents fared this week.
PHILLY (1-1) 37, DALLAS (2-0) 41 The BCS says, the Browns are eighteen points worse than the Cowboys, therefore the Cowboys are 14 better than the Pittsburgh (BCS does not take weather into account) for what the Eagles are 10 points better than Pittsburgh? Phooey! 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 fan; I remember when Philadelphia fans booed him when he was drafted in place of Ricky Williams. Neither of these teams seem to play defense at all, the Steelers pay very well on defense. I bet the Eagles are a slight home favorite for next week. I can’t stand 99% of the Philadelphia fans, they don’t know anything about everything, and they’re not afraid of everyone knowing.
BALTIMORE (1-0): HURRICANE SURPRISE GOODBYE WEEK As if the Gulf Coast hadn’t had enough trouble. The Texans should be happy that they weren’t forced to play a home game in Baltimore, or that they weren’t scheduled to play the Giants or Jets this week, and that the home game moved to the away team’s home field. so the league could make more money.
JACKSONVILLE 16 (0-2) BUFFALO 20 The Jaguars offensive line resembles the Steelers last season, and suddenly Garrard looks average, the good thing is they have a capable back up in Byron Left ….. It seems that the Bills are the team in the AFC East, nobody wants to play right now, it doesn’t bother me that they aren’t on the Steelers’ schedule.
I think someone has chosen the steelers to lose during their goodbye week.
CINCY (0-2) 7, TENNESEE (2-0) 24 The Bengals remain irrelevant. The Titans defense is fantastic and I’m a Kerry Collins fan (needs some). The Titans are still stuck with chronic underperformance that may or may not be a head case, and a back up from the hill. Too bad the Steelers Titans game on Dec. 21 doesn’t take place in a snowstorm in Pittsburgh. The Steelers defense has a greater advantage over the Titans defense than the Titans defense over the Pittsburgh offense.
GIANTS (2-0) 41, RAMS 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. I could be wrong. Randel El, he deserves better. The Redskins are tough, but they still allowed 24 points to a team with David Patten on his way to WR.
COLTS (1-1) 18, VIKINGS 15 Indy’s is battling the Jags to see who can win the most games before their offensive line recovers. Peyton Manning is good, the Colts defense is unlikely to be compared 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 Pats Jets game finale (which consisted of Matt Cassell getting down on his knees three times) instead of watching more of what will likely be known as the most exciting game of this season. . The Chargers were really bothered by the umpires, but the Broncos still made the plays to score and take the lead with double. SD is probably the best 0-2 team in the league, losing two games by a total of three points. However, his defense has allowed 64 points in two games.
NE (2-0) 19, NY Jest 10. New York isn’t that great, the Pats are now a boring team running first without a superstar quarterback. The Patriots’ defense remains strong, but it’s getting old. I say make a play for Randy Moss on the deadline. Buffalo wins this division.
Opponent Record: 12-11% Winning: .522
Still tough and still very early, but four wins vs. Bengals and Ravens are chickens worth counting now; a low estimate of .500 ball the rest of the way would result in 11-5 and a division crown. The Steelers would be battle tested and ready to enter the playoffs. Staying healthy.
Come on Steelers!