There’s no way that you can pin the Steelers week 12 loss to the Browns, on the Steelers defense. If it were not for guys like Lawrence Timmons, Jason Worilds, Ryan Clark, and James Harrison this game could have been and should have been 35-14.
Those Steelers defensive stars, and others who performed well today like Keenan Lewis, may have done their part but the Browns did more today than even the league’s #1 defense could muster. They actually came up with the turnovers when given the chance to do so, and that was the difference in the game.
It sure would have been nice if Charlie Batch was able to work with the short field that Brandon Weeden had. Even as bad as Batch was, I’m just sayin.
Ike Taylor, who didn’t have a bad game at all, let another sure interception slip through his hands in the first half. Will Allen, who’s play overall has been solid in relief of Troy Polamalu also had a turnover opportunity slip through his fingers.
The Steelers defense has just simply not been able to come up with enough splash plays in recent years, even if they are ranked first in the league. It’s an area that Mike Tomlin stresses every season; Pittsburgh continuously ranks middle of the pack at best in turnovers.
I’m not going to sit here and say the Browns are the better defense overall, but by a long shot, but they were more opportunistic today. Credit has to be given to be given to them unfortunately; they stripped the ball all day long and didn’t drop the passes that came their way. Eight turnovers, including 2 more that Pittsburgh was able to recover, may be an anomaly in the NFL but it’s still impressive. Considering how bad their offense is this season, in the passing game in particular, they are doing all they can to keep themselves in games and help the offense.
Make no mistake, the Browns are still a bad team, let’s not make them out to be more than what they are for this season anyway. They tried yet again to give this game away to the Steelers, but Pittsburgh was having none of it. Coming into this game the Browns offense has been bad but their running game and defense have kept them hanging around in the 4th quarter. Today was no different other than the fact that they won.
We can be thankful that the Pittsburgh defense has been as good as it has been this year, or we’d be looking at the wrong end of the win/loss record. That may still happen yet in the final month coming up but until we see how things play out, Pittsburgh is still in the playoff hunt and the defense needs to be great the rest of the way.
Steeler’s defensive stats:
James Harrison: 8 Tackles, 1 Assist – 1 Sack
Lawrence Timmons: 6 Tackles, 4 Assists – 1 Interception, 1 TD.
Ryan Clark: 5 Tackles, 4 Assists
Jason Worilds: 4 Tackles, 2 Sacks
Keenan Lewis: 4 Tackles, 2 Assists
Larry Foote: 3 Tackles, 4 Assists
Cortez Allen: 3 Tackles
Ike Taylor: 2 Tackles
Bret Keisel: 2 Tackles, 1 Assist
Casey Hampton: 1 Tackle, 1 Assist
Steve McLendon: 1 Tackle
Will Allen: 1 Tackle, 1 Assist
Cameron Heyward: 1 Tackle
Ziggy Hood: 1 Assist.