Steelers Survive Thursday Night Test against Rival Browns:10 Observations from Heinz Field

PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 08: Rashard Mendenhall #34 of the Pittsburgh Steelers dives with the ball in front of Joe Haden #23 of the Cleveland Browns during the game on December 8, 2011 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

We're on to a new week and a fresh cycle of news, but in case any of you missed this recap of the Steelers' Week 14 win over the Browns last Thursday night. -Michael B.-

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My top 10 observations about the Steelers 14-3 win over the Browns from Heinz Field on Thursday. Apologies for redundant items you have already discussed at length.

  1. This game was one of the weirdest games I have ever attended. The Steelers score touchdowns the first and last time they touch the ball, and never in between. Both teams have touchdowns taken off the board. Both teams have their quarterbacks knocked out of the game, only to return, but they may still be injured enough not to play their next game. The crowd was nervous and relatively quiet the whole game, just weird stuff. More as we go.

  2. Nine penalties in the second half is simply unacceptable, though some were bogus.

  3. Speaking of which, Ed Hochuli and his crew had their worst game ever, and I rarely get on officials. Offensive pass interference was blatantly missed against Massaquoi shoving William Gay early in the game...Antonio Brown absolutely catches a ball that Hochuli incredibly overturns...Keisel was called for a neutral zone that caused the offense to move. It was Harrison who flinched, but stayed on-side, causing 81 to move illegally which in turn caused Keisel to wisely jump, horrible call...Farrior lifts his hands to cushion soft contact with McCoy out-of-bounds and actually tries to hold McCoy up. McCoy instead turns into a Hollywood stunt man taking a dive and the officials buy it...Hochuli actually once said "the result is a better result"...He also declared that there was no grounding, then called grounding on McCoy, when actually McCoy's knee was down before either the grounding or no grounding. It was wrong on top of wrong on top of wrong...The holding on Gay in the last minute was horrible...All in all, a shameful effort worse than any high school officiating effort.

  • Some idiot Browns fan decided to taunt 85 Steeler fans in a restroom. I asked the guy if he ever heard of General Custer before I advised a cop that he had 30 seconds to prevent a bludgeoning. I go annually to the Steelers game in Cleveland, and there is no amount of alcohol that could make me that stupid.

  • Being a good Christian that I try to be, I would wait until the day after Christmas before I told Kemo to clean out his locker. Enough is enough.

  • If I were a betting man I would be rich right now. 14 points? The last time the Browns gave a lackluster effort against Pittsburgh, their coach was fired within 24 hours. There was no way that team was not going to be fired up on national television. They cashed every check.

  • Jason Worilds had the two most unique and meaningless sacks in NFL history. He sacked McCoy on the last play of the first half and last play of the second half during meaningless Hail Mary situations. Another weird, by the way.

  • Those who think that the Steelers offense was inept should consider that Kapinos punted exactly one time in the game when Big Ben was quarterback (three more times with Batch). That one time occurred when Brown dropped a pass in the red zone, which would have eliminated the lone Kapinos punt (with Ben). More weird.

  • Deebo is going to pay a steep price for going helmet to helmet. Yes, he has a legitimate argument that McCoy turned into a running back and previously scrambled the exact same way for a touchdown (though overturned). And yes, you can't slow up if a guy at the last split second tosses the ball, turning himself back into a quarterback (the old QB-RB-QB switcheroo), but the helmet to helmet thing will cost him. Interesting that Hochuli blew it again by calling roughing the QB when it was more accurate to say helmet -to-helmet on a defenseless player without the ball. In any case, Harrison's history will work against him, especially in this day of player safety and concussion madness. Players will learn the hard way, sooner or later, to tackle with arms and shoulders instead of head and shoulders.

  • Speaking of trouble on the horizon, Browns fans like to call Harrison an outlaw and insist on punishment. How about an organization that puts a concussed man back into the game? McCoy cannot remember returning and the PR staff ordered lights to be turned off during his press conference. How many times have the Steelers held out players when there is any doubt? Cleveland, meanwhile, re-inserts a man who later told his father he didn't remember anything. Pat Shurmur insists the Browns did due diligence, but I watched McCoy the entire time. All they looked at and worked on was his hand. That organization should be sanctioned a hundred times worse than Harrison. There's no excuse for what the Browns did.
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