The Browns have to regroup defensively before playing the Packers on Sunday in Cleveland, because they were shredded for 543 yards by the Steelers in a 27-14 defeat.
The Browns faced the Steelers without linebacker Kamerion Wimbley, and that's no way to go up against a potent, balanced offense like the Steelers, but that was only part of the problem.
Wimbley should be back for the game against the Packers. He was stricken with the flu the day before the game in Pittsburgh. He made the trip but was sent back to Cleveland on Sunday morning.
The Browns will need Wimbley because the Packers rely more on the pass than the run. While shutting out the Lions, 26-0, Aaron Rodgers threw two touchdown passes and passed for 328 yards. The Packers had 107 yards rushing.
The news might not be as promising on linebacker D'Qwell Jackson. Jackson left the Steelers game with a shoulder injury and missed the second half. After the game coach Eric Mangini did not have an update on Jackson, the Browns' leading tackler.
The Browns gave up nine pass plays of 20 yards or more against the Steelers plus two others that were 19 yards. They sacked Ben Roethlisberger three times, but for most of the day he had plenty of time to throw. Like Roethlisberger, Rodgers has a tendency to hold the ball. He was sacked five times by the Lions, but still managed two touchdown passes and more than 300 yards passing.
Before his injury, Jackson said one reason the defense was playing better is the offense led by Derek Anderson played well enough to give the defense a breather on the sideline. That was not the case in Pittsburgh. The Steelers had the ball 36:46 compared to 23:14 for the Browns.
"D.A. brought that spark," Jackson said. "He can make every throw on that field. It's good knowing as a defensive player if you get your offense more than enough opportunities, they'll move the ball and create points. It's always a good feeling knowing your offense can move the ball."
Anderson has had poor games statistically back to back, but he is still the starting quarterback. After completing 2 of 17 passes against the Bills he was 9 of 24 against the Steelers. Nine passes were dropped in the Buffalo game and seven were dropped in Pittsburgh.
The Browns incorporated the Wildcat offense into their game plan against the Steelers more than they had previously, but they might pull back on it against the Packers. Josh Cribbs threw a critical interception. Plus, the Steelers were ready for it and the Packers will be, too.
UNDER THE RADAR: It did not take long for the Browns to make the most of one player acquired in the Braylon Edwards trade Oct. 7. Jason Trusnik started at linebacker in place of Wimbley and made four tackles and one sack.
LINEUP WATCH: Floyd Womack is starting at right guard again after missing three games with a sprained ankle.
-- K Phil Dawson missed his fourth straight game with a calf injury.
-- Rookie WR Brian Robiskie made his first NFL catch, a 23-yard reception.
-- KR Josh Cribbs scored on a 98-yard return. His eight career returns for touchdowns is a franchise record.
-- QB Derek Anderson turned the ball over three times in the second half - twice on fumbles and once on an interception.
-- RB Jamal Lewis, who rushed for 117 yards against the Bills, was held to 21 yards on 11 carries by the Steelers.