Steelers Today - A Pittsburgh Steelers blog


Deja Vu! Steelers Beat Browns.

September 15, 2008 By: Admin Category: Post-Game Reports, We hate the Browns!

While it may seem like you are Bill Murray, and you are trapped in an endless loop of recurring Groundhog Days, this is actually real life. The Steelers beat the Browns. Again. Ho hum.

Beating the Browns is becoming so routine that it’s not even enjoyable anymore (okay, maybe it IS still enjoyable). Sure the Steelers and Browns are a legendary rivalry. Sure they’ve been playing each other since the dawn of time. Yes, the two cities are only 114 miles apart, which leads to a natural rivalry. But let’s face it, after 10 straight wins, the shine is off of this rivalry. If most Steelers fans were honest, they’d probably admit that they hate the Baltimore Ravens more than they hate the Browns. I know that sounds like blasphemy, but it’s true. When we play the hated Ravens, the outcome is always in doubt. When we play the Browns, well……….

For those of you who missed the first of the Steelers’ two semi-annual Browns beatings, here is a brief recap:

The Steelers beat the Browns 10-6 in their first of two meetings this year. The teams had to deal with winds that gusted up to 50 MPH during this wet, rainy game in Cleveland. The Steelers established their dominance early on defense. During the 1st half, the Browns had to punt on their first 4 drives. Then, on their next two drives, Derek Anderson threw two consecutive interceptions. This led to the Browns going to their locker room at halftime to a chorus of boos from the frustrated Browns fans in the stadium.

The Shadow gets an interception

Troy Polamalu gets an interception

Things didn’t change much in the second half, although the Browns did manage to sustain two long drives near the end of the game. Momentum seemed to be shifting in the Browns direction, but the Steelers’ defense, and bad play calling by Romeo Crennel, forced the Browns to settle for two field goals.

The second Browns field goal was particularly surprising. With the Browns trailing 10-3 late in the game, Crennel chose to kick a field goal rather than go for a first down, even though the Browns had been enjoying offensive success, and the clock was working against them. A field goal would have only made it 10-6, which would have still required the Browns to score another touchdown in order to win. By going for the touchdown, they would have only required a field goal in order to win the game. But Crennel is an NFL coach, and I’m not, so who am I to question his judgment?

On the offensive side of the ball, Ben Roethlisberger’s shoulder was still sore from the injury that he sustained against the Texans. That, combined with gusting winds, led the Steelers to focus on the run. Roethlisberger did pass for 186 yards, including a touchdown pass to Hines Ward. However, the winds made for less-than-ideal passing conditions.

Willie Parker ran for his second consecutive 100 yard game, gaining 105 yards on 28 carries. This is particularly good news since there were doubts coming into the season about how Parker would recover from the broken leg that ended his season last year. Parker’s second consecutive 100+ yard performance has put any lingering doubts to rest.

Another good sign for the Steelers was DE Aaron Smith’s performance. Smith was stout against the run, and he also managed to sack Derek Anderson twice. This is particularly impressive since in Dick LeBeau’s 3-4 defense, the linebackers accumulate most of the sacks.

Despite many experts picking the Browns to win the AFC North this year, they are off to an 0-2 start. Meanwhile, the Steelers are 2-0, and in first place in the AFC North after beating the Cleveland Browns……… again.

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6 Comments to “Deja Vu! Steelers Beat Browns.”

  1. many good things to say , but one thing many have left out about the Browns and steelers game last night Cleveland had 3 starters out I think If they were healthy I think the game would have went to the Browns . the differance in the game for Pit was Troy is back and so is Smith on defense . the steelers still look soft on pass protection for Ben the way I see it Ben will not make a full season , running the football was good and the holes were their they do not miss Fanaca as for the passing game last nignt was hard to gauge because of the wind . Protecting Ben must get better if the Offense is going to get better.

  2. JC,

    Good thoughts. I agree with much of what you wrote (except the part where you said the Browns would have won).

    If you read my pre-game analysis, I talked extensively about the Browns’ injuries. But as Coach Tomlin would say, “injuries are a part of the game”. I do think the second meeting between the two teams is going to be telling. With a healthy Browns team, and no hurricane winds during the game, we will get a better indication of how the two teams match up.

    As far as the offensive line goes, the jury is still out. Ben isn’t hitting the canvas nearly as much as he did last year. But it would be great to see the Steelers play a game and not allow a single sack.

  3. Karen Lakins says:

    All I can say is that I’m waiting for the game between the Steelers and Ravens. I’ve been in Baltimore for twenty five years…but born and raised in Pittsburgh. I’m still a Steelers’ Fan.


  4. The second game won’t be telling. As it is the last game of the regular season, the Steelers will be resting a lot of the starters. They will have won the division and a first round bye. So, we’ll see how the Brown’s and Quinn match up against the Steeler’s backups.

  5. Excellent point, Steelhead. I like the way you think!

    Frankly, even if we have a 1st round bye wrapped up, I don’t think we’ll rest our starters. Not against the Browns. I can remember several times when the Ravens had a similar situation, but they still brought all they had against the Steelers. Certain games are played at 100% intensity, no matter what. Steelers-Browns, Steelers-Ravens, and Steelers-Cowboys are the three games that we ALWAYS play to win.

  6. Not necessarily. I seem to remember week 17 last year, when we emptied the bench against Baltimore. Granted, we still almost beat them, but it was a half-hearted effort.


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