The Pittsburgh Steelers were winners in Week 13 when they beat the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field 20-13. The Steelers got off to a slow start, trailing 10-0 early, but Devlin Hodges and company were able to right the ship and score 10 unanswered points in the second quarter and head into halftime 10-10.
In the second half the team was able to gut out another 10 points, and only surrender a field goal to Baker Mayfield and company en route to a huge win to move their record to 7-5. Throughout the win there was plenty of good to be discussed for the black-and-gold, and the fine folks at PFF outline what their knee jerk reactions were for the Week 13 win.
Check out their thoughts below:
Duck Hodges did not look comfortable in the pocket to start the game and had a tendency to drift out of it rather than step up in the pocket. He began to warm up in the second quarter. Hodges’ best throw of the first half was a well-placed go route to James Washington down the left sideline for a 31-yard gain. Hodges later hit Washington for a 30-yard touchdown. Hodges hit Washington with another beautiful deep pass down the right sideline for a 44-yard gain in the third quarter.
James Washington appeared to have a good connection with Hodges, as Washington made some big catches on his productive day. Washington’s best catch of the day came at the end of the first half when he caught a 30-yard touchdown after being interfered with by T.J. Carrie.
Pittsburgh’s defense kept Baker Mayfield under pressure throughout the day. Both T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree beat the Browns’ offensives tackles for multiple pressures.
The Steelers’ secondary was impressive, as well. Veteran cornerback Joe Haden made the play of the day with his game-winning interception of Mayfield late in the fourth quarter.
When reading the above sentiments of PFF I can’t help but think about the start of the football game. It wasn’t just PFF who noticed Hodges didn’t look comfortable with the game plan/play calling. Hodges even commented after the game how it was the two-minute drill at the end of the half which got him into a rhythm and comfortable.
Moving forward it would be wise for Randy Fichtner to take notice of these comments and realize Hodges might not be a quarterback who can just hand the ball off for the majority of the game and then deliver strikes on occasion, but rather needs to warm up to the task.
If Hodges will be the quarterback moving forward, and there is little doubt of that as of now, it would be intelligent of Fichtner and company to get Hodges acclimated early to avoid the awful start and lull in the offense which has plagued this team the majority of the season.
Otherwise, it is nice to read this synopsis from PFF and not see any negatives when it comes to the Steelers’ performance. It was one of those days.
Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black-and-gold as they prepare for the Arizona Cardinals in Week 14.