Steeler Nation – welcome to rock bottom.
In all the years for the Steelers since the Browns came back to the NFL in 1999, the one than you almost always were able to count on was a pair of wins every year against the Cleveland Browns. Sunday that all came to a screeching halt.
The Steelers were awful in all three phases, this after holding the Browns to negative 8 yards in the first quarter during a pathetic 31-10 loss. The setback gives the Steelers sole possession of last place in the division, dropping them to 3-3 on the season.
The game started off clearly in the Steelers favor, as they dominated the first quarter in which they led 3-0. The game turned around 180 degrees after punter Brad Wing was unable to get down an attempted field goal for Shaun Suisham that at the time would have given the Steelers a 6-0 lead early in the second quarter.
Cleveland ran away with it from there, scoring three touchdowns against what looked like an overmatched Steelers defense. A long pass play to TE Jordan Cameron set up a first Cleveland TD by running back Isaiah Crowell to make it 7-3.
After a Steelers punt Cleveland went up 14-3 on a third-down pass play from Brian Hoyer to Cameron of 51 yards in which safety Mike Mitchell appeared to be nowhere near ready for the play.
The Steelers offense was out of sync all day, and despite a strong start running the ball, the passing game with Ben Roethlisberger and his wide outs simply never got on track. It took till late in the second quarter for Antonio Brown to get a catch, and it just looked like the club never got anything going even when they grinded out chunks of yards in the run game.
The second half was much of the same, with the Steelers offense trying in a hurry to get back in the game and unable to do it, and with the Browns taking advantage of Steelers mistakes.
The .500 Steelers will host the .500 Texans next Monday night at Heinz Field.