The loss the Pittsburgh Steelers experienced in Week 6 at the hands of the Cleveland Browns was staggering on many levels. Some statistics from the game are so outlandish that fans who didn't watch the game would never believe they actually happened. Nonetheless, the Steelers had some bright spots statistically, and that is about the only thing they could hang their hat on after the Week 6 loss.
All that work, and nothing to show for it
The Steelers dominated the Browns in first downs (22:19), plays from scrimmage (76:56) and in time of possession (33:05-26:55), but the Browns dominated the scoreboard. The Steelers offense possessed the ball well, especially early, but had absolutely nothing to show for it on the scoreboard.
Off target, or just off?
Ben Roethlisberger had his eye on a pair of receivers Sunday against the Browns, but those receivers must have had their eyes elsewhere. Markus Wheaton and Lance Moore were targeted 18 times Sunday, and there were only 5 receptions among the two wide outs. Wheaton was targeted 12 times with 4 receptions, and Moore targeted 6 times with 1 catch. The miscommunication between Roethlisberger and those receivers on top of the drops those receivers had are a large reason why the team struggled offensively.
That can't be right...
Everyone knows Brian Hoyer only completed 8 passes in the Browns' victory Sunday, but there were some mindboggling statistics from Cleveland that went a long way towards their dominant victory in Week 6. On top of Hoyer's 8 completions, he averaged 12.4 yards per attempt, an absolutely outstanding average. Running back Isaiah Crowell averaged 7.0 yards per carry and carried the ball 11 times. Tight end Jordan Cameron averaged a whopping 34 yards a reception with 3 catches for 102 yards. Those 3 statistics alone were all a part of individual plays that ultimately lead to the Steelers' demise.
Big Play Ben turns into Short Play Ben
Ben Roethlisberger started the year off with a bang, averaging 10.74 yards per completion against the Browns in Week 1. Since that game his average has dropped significantly. Against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 2, 5.87 yards per completion. Against the Carolina Panthers in Week 3, 6.53 yards per completion. Against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 4, 7.85 yards per completion. Against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 5, 7.58 yards per completion, and against the Browns in Week 6, 5.4 yards per completion. Although Todd Haley's offense is built around the underneath pass, the Steelers inability to stretch the field has been an issue since Week 1.
Run, run run, and run some more
Believe it or not, the Steelers ran the ball extremely well Sunday. They ran a total of 32 times and gained 132 yards from scrimmage, all while averaging 4.3 yards per rush. Le'Veon Bell continued doing what Le'Veon Bell does, and that is put up 4.6 yards per rush off 18 carries. As a whole, the Steelers were very efficient running the football, which just compounds some of the head scratching play calls on 3rd and short.
Special teams not so special
The Steelers' special teams have been struggling recently. Whether it was Shaun Suisham's 50 yard miss against the Buccaneers, or Brad Wing's shank in that same game. In an attempt to out due himself, Wing's drop of the hold against the Browns seemed to be the drop that broke the camel's back. The kicking game isn't the only part of special teams that has suffered. Return teams are not opening up holes for returns, as Antonio Brown had a long punt return of 10 yards, and Dri Archer a long return of 22 yards on kick returns.
If there was ever a game to put in the rear view mirror, it was this game. Not only losing in decisive fashion, but also the manner of which the Steelers' lost. Add that it was the Cleveland Browns delivering the beat down just rubs salt in the wound. With that said, it is time to move on to the Houston Texans that come to Heinz Field for Monday Night Football.