I’m not going to write a terribly long recap about Sunday’s game, partly because the Steelers play again in about 17 minutes and partly because the Steelers did what they had to do and left Cleveland with a win. We’ve all seen this script before against the Browns.
The Browns were never in the game, no matter who was playing at the quarterback position. Joe Haden was a surprising non-factor. Ben dominated the Browns the way he’s done his entire career. The feeling I have about this game is similar to how I felt about the Bills game a few weeks back—the Steelers won, and won convincingly, as they should have
A ton of positives from this game, bullet-point style:
- ZERO sacks allowed by the Steelers offensive line. When I was writing my pre-game thoughts, I was thinking about the O-line only giving up 1 sack against Detroit last week. I actually wrote the line “Wouldn’t it be nice if the O-line could improve upon that performance and not allow ANY sacks this week?” I quickly deleted it for two reasons: One, I am extremely superstitious about sports and was concerned about jinxing them. Two, no way in hell did I ever think they’d give up ZERO sacks. Seeing Ben upright all day was a thing of beauty.
- BIG PLAY WILLIE GAY! What a game by the much-maligned cornerback. Three tackles, one sack, one forced fumble, and one pick-six (the first defensive touchdown for the Steelers this season). Not too shabby.
- Troy looking like Troy. Big game from him too, including a sack, two forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery. If Troy can play like this for the rest of season, well, good luck opposing quarterbacks.
- Will Allen. Why didn’t he play for us for the first four weeks of the season again? Strong performances these last two weeks.
- Antonio Brown. Six receptions, 92 yards, one touchdown while going against Joe Haden. Just another day at the office for the AFC’s best pass catcher. And people said he couldn’t be a #1 receiver.
- Ben with a solid, if not spectacular, game. Ben looked really good on Sunday—22/34 for 217 yards, two touchdowns, zero interceptions, and a QB rating of 102.2. Oh and he perfectly executed a pooch punt to the Cleveland one-yard line, which was pretty sweet.
- Winning the turnover battle, 4-0. Not much else to say about this.
Not a whole lot of negatives to take away from this game. Or maybe I just don’t care, because the Steelers beat the Browns and I’m already fully immersed in Ravens Hate Week. The one glaring thing I did not like was Josh Gordon having a career day against the Steelers. 237 yards?! Granted, the majority of that yardage came in the second half when the Steelers were clearly in the driver’s seat. Don’t like seeing those kinds of numbers being put up against the Steelers, but considering the secondary as a whole played a great game, it’s hard to get too upset about it.
Season on the line Thanksgiving night in Baltimore. Steelers-Ravens game in less than 72 hours. Hold onto your butts.