Monday, November 21, 2016

Steelers deal Browns another defeat 24-9

The Cleveland Browns didn't overwhelm anyone,but they did manage to hang around enough to make the Pittsburgh Steelers wonder what was going on in Cleveland before a former Buckeye made his presence felt yet again with a blitz,strip and resulting fumble recovery to end the game with a 24-9 Pittsburgh win over the now 0-11 Cleveland Browns.
Josh McCown came off the pine for the injured Cody Kessler to throw the only Browns touchdown-a 14 yarder to Gary Barnidge,while Terrelle Pryor led the Browns in receiving with five catches for 97 yards.
The Browns host the New York Giants next week in an attempt to win a game before the bye...

Brownie Bits

1) I tweeted this yesterday,but it bears repeating.
Cody Kessler was knocked out by yet another Steeler cheap shot to the head-this one by Lawrence Timmons.
Now,I realize that this is a tough game,big hits happen and sometimes even to the head.
However,this is a long time pattern of these things happening against this particular team.
I'm not going to re-list the amount of Browns players (especially quarterbacks) injured by head shots against the Steelers,but what I will say is this-Until this front office (or any future one) starts smacking players back and showing that the bullying tactics will start coming with a price,the popular coaching term for rebuilding "Culture Change" will never take effect....

2) Was yesterday time for the  "mercy rule" for Cody Kessler?
I've been a proponent of "seeing what Kessler has",but he is taking such a beating that I'm reversing course.
Behind this line and their "support" a young QB that holds the ball long anyway might be getting any future that he has pounded away by pass rushers-Kessler has suffered two concussions.
I fail to see the need for more as we are going to learn nothing from continued playing time under this conditions.

3) I'm not in the habit of rooting for Steeler players,but I still have a soft spot for former Buckeyes-after all,it's not their fault that the Browns refuse to take them and Ryan Shazier is another star that got away.
Shazier was all over the field in both pass coverage and pass rushing and his play that essentially ended any chance of the Browns coming back with a sack and strip of Josh McCown.
I generally am not a proponent of taking Buckeyes just because they are such,but I'm a huge fan of Ryan Shazier...

4) The offensive line is just a sieve and Joe Thomas after the game mentioned the poor play and the lack of signing Alex Mack and Mitchell Schwartz.
I agree that the Browns erred in not keeping Schwartz,who seemed amenable to staying,but bemoaning the loss of Mack,who had no interest in staying cannot be blamed on the front office.
Thomas is correct in that statement,but the time for that argument might have been long past due-not after losing eleven games in a row.

5) Terrelle Pryor played well with the two biggest gains of the day.
I don't think any of the Browns current quarterbacks will be anywhere near Cleveland by the time this team is even close to competitive,but Josh McCown's arm gives Pryor (and maybe even Corey Coleman) the best chance to make plays.

6) Disappointing day from Corey Coleman,who had some more drops and finished with just 4 catches from 12 targets.
Not all the targets were his fault,but still some drops....

7) Another poor day on the ground as the Browns ran for just 33 yards and Josh McCown (as in 37 year old creaky McCown) leading with 11 yards.
Much of that is the soft offensive line,but thinking that any of these backs are anything better than pedestrian is pie in the sky ideas...

8) Cody Parkey missed an extra point on the only Browns touchdown.
The Browns had just cut the lead to a touchdown and had Parkey nailed that,the lead would have been just seven.
The miss caused a little bit of "here it comes" and the loss of any momentum...

9) Gary Barnidge came alive with the entry of Josh McCown into the game.
McCown looks for Barnidge first and the decrease in Barnidge numbers comes when anyone but McCown plays at quarterback...

10) Then there was the end of the first half which showed the lack of any respect for the Browns defense.
Second and goal from the Browns three with five seconds to go.
The Steelers go for it and eschew the field goal.
A pass interference call resulted in an untimed down and another pass interference call.
LeVeon Bell then rushed for the touchdown from the one...

11) The shiny spot of the day was the play of the rapidly improving Danny Shelton.
Shelton was physically moving the Steelers interior line (including Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey) and was pushing blockers back into Ben Rothlisberger.
On NFL radio recently,a host was criticizing the various Browns first round busts and included Shelton.
I thought then that he hadn't seen many Browns games this season,Danny Shelton is a player and getting better every week...

12) So,0-11...
There was a time this season that I thought the Giants were a possible win,but Big Blue has ripped off five wins in a row and the thought of the Browns covering Odell Beckham and Sterling Shepard scares me-this is going to be a blowout,but one thing to consider-Eli Manning.
Look at the Giants and once or twice a year,Eli Manning blows a tire and the Giants lose to someone that you never expect.
A slim ray of hope...

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