- From 4-6, for which destination would the Steelers depart?
- The Browns also carried a 4-6 record into the game and had an equal shot in a very open playoff field.
Seeds Sown During Slow Start for Second Half Fireworks
With temperatures in the 20’s and strong winds gusting off of Lake Eire, this game figured to be won in the trenches. And that did not seem to favor the Steelers offense. Yet Todd Haley didn’t let paper match ups dictate their strategy, and immediately set out to establish the run.
On the second play from scrimmage, Le’Veon Bell took the ball and was hit as soon as he reached the second level. He kept his legs churning and carried the pile 13 yards.
- As impressive as the play was, it was not to be a signature play of the game for the Steelers.
- Yet that was not to be the story of the game either, but this was foreshadowed when, Cameron Heyward sacked Jason Campbell out of field goal range forcing yet another punt.
- The Steelers offense took this as an opportunity to strike blood.
But in just under 2 minutes the Steelers breathed life into an otherwise sterile game by putting 10 points on the board. And the fireworks were just getting started….
Blitzburgh Returns, for One Game at Least
One of the biggest weaknesses exposed during the Steelers 0-4 start and in their other two offenses has been an inability to consistently pressure the quarterback and, as a consequence, create turnovers.
- For one game at least the Steelers turned that tendency on its head.
Perhaps more importantly, the Steelers accomplished this as a team effort, with contributions coming from all corners:
- William Gay, had a strip sack and a pick six
- Jason Worilds hit the passer at least six times
- Al Woods registered two sacks and added two more quarterback hits
- Polamalu reached the quarterback for a strip sack
- Will Allen returned a forced fumble for 49 yards
- Cameron Heyward recovered a fumble registered another QB hit
Credit Cleveland’s defense. The Steelers offense dominated time of possession to the tune of 33:39 to 26:21, and only scored 10 non-turnover aided points to show for it. But the Steelers offense did what it needed to:
- Establish a lead
- Take advantage of turnovers
- Burn off the clock
It may not have been pretty, but the Steelers offense did enough to win.
Steelers Nation Turns Attention to Thanksgiving in Charm City
The Pittsburgh Steelers have now won 5 of their last seven and, with three straight wins, have the beginnings of a streak. The offense’s struggles vs. Cleveland, particularly in the Red Zone show that this Steelers team remains a work in progress, but their 27-11 victory shows that tremendous progress has been made since starting 0-4.
- But just how much progress has Mike Tomlin led this team to?