The Steelers upset the young talented Detroit Lions on their way to what they hope will be another winning season as they face the Cleveland Browns this weekend.
Losses by the Browns and the Baltimore Ravens coupled with the Steelers win placed them in a three way tie for second in the weak AFC North at 4-6 behind the Cincinnati Bengals, 7-4, who pounded Cleveland 41-20 in what started out as a close game. The Browns had a 13-0 lead at one time, but that was short lived. The Bengals could run away with the division but of late they have been playing up and down ball. One great game followed by a bomb.
The Steelers played good solid football offensively and defensively for three quarters, which was enough to beat the young Lions who only managed one quarter of great football. The trouble is that they played so great in the second quarter it was almost enough to win the game. They scored 27 points in the quarter while shutting down the Steelers, setting a record for most points and yardage against the Steelers since the ‘50s in one quarter. But the Steelers shut down the high powered offense, including Calvin Johnson in the second half holding him to just 6 catches for 179 yards with most of that coming in the second quarter.
On the other side of the ball Antonio Brown continued to show why he must be recognized as one of the best receivers in the game. He had 7 catches for 147 yards and two touchdowns, keeping him in first place in the NFL in receptions.
Ben Roethlisberger was 29 of 45 for 357 yards and 4 touchdowns. The ground game was nonexistent, as Le’Veon Bell was held to just 36 yards on 18 carry.
After falling apart in the second quarter the defense regrouped to put together one of their best halves of the season completely shutting down Matthew Stafford, who was 3 of 16 in the second half.
They are led by third string quarterback Jason Campbell, the ex-starter in Washington before Robert Griffin III. Campbell is a good solid quarterback who with the proper tools can led his team to victories, but the Browns don’t have too many tools. Campbell put the ball in the air 56 times against the Bengals completing 27 for 248 yards and one touchdown. Chris Ogbonnays only carried the ball 6 times for 69 yards because after falling behind they had to put the ball in the air. Josh Gordon is their top receiver. He had 5 catches for 125 yards against the Bengals.
On paper it doesn’t look like the Browns should be on the same field with the Steelers but they always find a way to play them tough, and could very easily upset them. But they showed nothing against the Bengals.
The Bengals go into their bye week with a solid grip on the AFC North division with a 7-4 record. The Ravens couldn’t beat a Chicago Bears team without its starting quarterback. And even though Ray Rice was impressive picking up 135 yards quarterback Joe Flacco had another uninspiring game. Which means they could very easily lose to the New York Jets this weekend which would put them a game behind the Steelers if Pittsburgh can get past the Browns? The two wins would pull Pittsburgh up to 6-6 which would keep them in the hunt for the wildcard spot in the playoffs.
A long, long way from which they started.
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