The Pittsburgh Steelers finally won a game after a 4-game losing streak in Week 11, and it came in the form of a 24-9 win over the Cleveland Browns. After the win, it is time to assess the team.
After every game there are players who deserve praise, and some who deserve to be tagged a 'loser'. See who falls into which category as the team now heads into Week 6 of the NFL regular season.
Le’Veon Bell - Anyone who knows anything knows just how good Bell is, but what he did against the Cleveland Browns was noteworthy. He almost had 100 yards rushing in the first half, and finished with 28 carries for 146 yards (5.2 yards per carry) and a touchdown. He wasn’t done though. He also had 8 receptions for 55 yards. Yeah, that is dominant.
Steelers Pass Rush - Complaining about the lack of pressure on opposing quarterbacks? Well, come to find out the magic elixir is playing the Browns. Pittsburgh’s pass rush tallied 8 sacks, and they were equal opportunity defenders. The unit tallied 4 sacks against Cody Kessler, and 4 against Josh McCown. Even those sack numbers don’t show how they harassed whoever was under center for the Browns in Week 11.
Steelers Offensive Line - This unit was supposed to be one of the best in the Ben Roethlisberger era, but they haven’t been the punishers they expected in the running game. Well, if they can duplicate the performance they had against the Browns in Week 11 they might just become what everyone thought they’d be prior to the regular season. They have already been tremendous in pass protection, not hopefully they are matching that in run blocking.
Stephon Tuitt - I know Tuitt would be considered to be one of the above pass rushers, but he had himself a game worthy of individual recognition. Just look at the stat line: 6 tackles, 4 solo tackles, 2.5 sacks, 2 tackles for a loss, and 4 quarterback hits. The Steelers moved Tuitt around a lot anywhere on the defensive line. The Browns offensive line isn’t that great, but Tuitt needed a game like this.
Chris Boswell - Boswell hadn’t been as solid as he had been in 2015, but he took a step in the right direction Sunday. Boswell was 3/3 in not very ideal conditions. Some might just shrug that off, his longest field goal was 33-yards long, but he was stellar when points were at a premium.
Defenders trying to catch footballs - The Steelers did have an interception by Artie Burns, but they also had about 5 potential interceptions dropped. Mike Mitchell, Lawrence Timmons twice, Sean Davis and Burns all had potential interceptions deflect off their hands. This team needs to take advantage of their opportunities against tougher competition in the future.
Officiating - I may sound like a broken record, but when Mike Tomlin chimes in about the officiating after the game, it must have been bad. There were calls that were made, when they shouldn’t have been, and blatant infractions which weren’t called. I, for one, am sick of having the officiating being a narrative week in and week out.
No. 2 WR - Will the Steelers’ No. 2 WR please stand up? It was Markus Wheaton, then Sammie Coates, then Darrius Heyward-Bey, then Eli Rogers and then Cobi Hamilton. No one has stepped up, and against better defenses the offense needs SOMEONE to step up across from Antonio Brown. If your name wasn’t Brown or Bell, the Steelers recivers only tallied 7 receptions. Bell and Brown both had 8 receptions individually. Time for someone to step up.