Steelers Run by Browns

The Browns started off strong, but the Steelers shook over the quick start and rolled over Cleveland's rebuilding squad. Fred Greetham recaps the good, the bad, and the ugly of Sunday night's 34-21 loss to Pittsburgh.

The Browns had a good first quarter.

Unfortunately, they play four.

After a good start by the Browns and a quick 7-0 lead, the Steelers overpowered the Browns with two long-in-the-tooth quarterbacks, scoring 27 unanswered points and went on to a 34-21 win.

Here's a breakdown of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

The Good

Good Start: The Browns took the opening drive right down the field for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead. Reuben Droughns carried the Steelers' Chris hope for seven yards for a touchdown. The Browns converted their first two third downs on the drive, including a deep pass to Antonio Bryant for 41 yards. The Browns went 66 yards on 10 plays in 5:07. Trent Dilfer was 3-of-5 for 51 yards on the first drive.

Orpheus' Block: Orpheus Roye blocked Jeff Reed's field goal attempt with 4:23 to play and Leigh Bodden returned it for a touchdown to make it 27-14.

Reuben: Reuben Droughns was a bright spot for the Browns as he ran hard and dragged several Steelers from the one to the 10-yard line to get the Browns out of the shadow of their goal post. Droughns caught a short pass on third-and-14 and ran over several defenders for a first down. Droughns took a Steeler for a ride on his touchdown run. Droughns finished with 56 yards rushing and 68 receiving.

Good challenge: Romeo Crennel won his first challenged when the officials ruled on the field that Hines Ward scored a touchdown. The play was over ruled and the Browns took over on downs.

Good Stop: The Steelers tried to hurry up and catch the Browns off guard on fourth-and-one near the Browns 10, but Jason Fisk and Andra Davis stopped Batch short of the first down to give the Browns the ball back.

Back-to-Back Plays: Two young players made big defensive plays. Chaun Thompson chased down Randle El for a loss on a reverse and Ethan Kelley stopped Bettis for a 5-yard loss.

Final Play: Even though the game was over, the Browns didn't give up and Dilfer hit Bryant for a touchdown to make the final 34-21.

The Bad

Can't Stop the Run: With Charlie Batch and then Tommy Maddox at quarterback, the Browns still had trouble stopping the Steelers from running the ball. With Willie Parker injured, Duce Staley and Jerome Bettis are pretty much north-south runners and the Steelers continued to run the ball at will. Even in the final moments, the Steelers continued to get first downs with backup Verron Haynes. The Steelers rushed for 160 yards.

Bad Second: After a good first quarter, the Browns were totally outplayed in the second quarter and after starting ahead 7-0, the Steelers scored 17 straight points for a 17 point lead at the half.

Bad Batch: The Browns made QB Charlie Batch look like Terry Bradshaw in the first half. He was 13-of-19 for 150 yards. He ran the ball three times for 16 yards, including a touchdown. However, he broke his hand on the last drive and was replaced for the second half by Tommy Maddox.

Bad Miss: On third down on the Browns' second series, Dilfer missed Braylon Edwards on a quick slant similar to the 80-yard touchdown he scored against the Packers. Edwards was wide open and ahead of his man, but the ball sailed ahead of him.

Cutch Out: CB Daylon McCutcheon was injured when Hines Ward's knee appeared to hit McCutcheon in the abdominal area. He was carted off and did not return. Ray Mickens replaced him. If McCutcheon is out for any extended time, the Browns are without the two corners who were the starters in McCutcheon and Gary Baxter.

Bad Challenge: After winning a challenge early, Crennel challenged a play that Bryant fumbled and lost. It was clear that Bryant fumbled the ball.

Shelton Smoked: Joey Porter went right by L.J. Shelton and sacked Dilfer on the first offensive play of the second half.

Old Friends: Chris Gardocki reminded Browns fans of one of Butch Davis' biggest mistakes in letting Gardocki go in free agency to the Steelers as he placed his first punt on the Browns' one. His second punt was downed also inside the 10. Quincy Morgan returned kicks for the Steelers.

Burn City: The Steelers sucked the Browns in with a reverse to Antwaan Randle El, who threw the bomb to Hines Ward, who was behind Ray Mickens to give the Steelers a 24-7 lead on the second play of the third quarter.

Flag Play: The Browns gave the Steelers great field position on their first possession as the defense committed two penalties on the first play. Leigh Bodden drew a flag for illegal contact and Ben Taylor received a 15-yard personal foul for grabbing a face mask to put the Steelers at the 42.

Bad Field Position: In the first half, the Browns started at their own one and 10. They started at the 10 after the kickoff return team was flagged once again for an illegal block on the return.

Self Destructing: In their two-minute offense, Dilfer was hit by Troy Polamalu and Joey Porter intercepted the ball and returned it to the Browns 40. The Steelers showed the Browns how to run the two-minute drill as they went right down the field for a one-yard touchdown by Batch. Instead of possibly tying the game, they ended up being down, 17-7.

Where's Braylon?: For the second week in a row, the Browns had a tough time getting Braylon Edwards involved. He had one catch for two yards last week and had no catches through three quarters against the Steelers. His first catch came with 14 minutes to play as he went up for a ball and made a nice catch downfield. He caught a deflected pass for a long gain in the final minute.

Bad Move: McCutcheon's replacement Michael Lehan was beat by Cedric Wilson for a long pass play that set up the Steelers' first score to tie the game at 7-7.

The Ugly

Bad Drop: On a third-and-14 in the first half, Dennis Northcutt dropped a pass right to him that would've been a first down. The momentum seemed to really shift from that point on. Northcutt dropped another would-be first down on the Browns' first series on the second half.

Shoot Your Foot: Talk about shooting yourself in the foot, the Browns were walking around with a loaded shotgun aiming right at their foot. When Brian Russell intercepted a pass and gave the Browns a hope of coming back, DL Alvin McKinley was flagged for a personal foul, negating the turnover. McKinley jumped off sides later in the game to negate a defensive stop.

Reload: After getting the ball back, Antonio Bryant fumbled after catching a pass and the Steelers had the ball again in Browns territory at the 18.


The OBR Top Stories