Steelers Winners And Losers – Week 12 – Browns

The Pittsburgh Steelers lost to the Cleveland Browns 20-14 Sunday in Cleveland to fall to 6-5 on the season. It was a game that featured the Steelers turning the ball over 8 times o offense and only compiling 248 total yards of offense. The defense played well enough to win once again, yet it was not enough. Below are the players, or group of players, that I thought had winning and losing performances in the game.


James Harrison – This was easily the best game of the season so far for Harrison, who is now starting to look healthier by the week. He recorded 9 total tackles in the game that included 1 sack. Harrison also had 3 other tackles that resulted in losses in the game. Harrison has faced Browns left tackle Joe Thomas several times over the course of his career, and while he did move around a lot in the game, this was likely his best showing against the Pro Bowler ever.

Jason Worilds – Worilds entered the game at left outside linebacker after LaMarr Woodley suffered a left ankle injury and he played with a purpose. The former second-round draft pick registered 4 tackles that included 2 quarterback sacks. Worilds also had a pass defensed to his credit. Woodley says that he intends to play next week against the Baltimore Ravens, but if he doesn\’t, Worilds certainly looks like he will not be a drop off based on the reads and explosion that he showed on Sunday.

Lawrence Timmons – Yet another Steelers linebacker makes the list as Timmons had the score 7-0 before the offense ever took the field after intercepting a tipped pass by defensive end Brett Keisel and returning it 53 yards for the first score of the game. Timmons led the defense in tackles with 10 and always seemed to be around the football during the game.

Emmanuel Sanders – Sanders was one of two offensive players that showed up ready to play on Sunday. He was easily the best route runner on the field and recorded 5 catches for 75 yards in the game. Sanders was also the lone receiver that would consistently give effort in the blocking department when the play called for it.

Heath Miller – Miller is always consistent and he chipped in 6 catches of his own for 63 yards on Sunday. The tight end also delivered some punishment after the catch in addition as he wrecked Browns safety Usama Young following one of his receptions. Another 33 yard catch by Miller was negated by a holding call.


The Running BacksRashard Mendenhall, Jonathan Dwyer, Isaac Redman, and Chris Rainey all managed to each lose a fumble in the game. Mendenhall and Rainey each fumbled another time but luckily those were not lost. The four running backs combined to rush for only 49 yards on 20 carries in a game that was dependent on run success in order to win.

The Offensive LineDoug Legursky, who started at left guard for the injured Willie Colon, allowed the only sack on the day, and the offensive line as a whole failed to open up holes for the fumbling running backs. Legursky, Ramon Foster, Mike Adams, and Kelvin Beachum were all flagged for holding in the game in addition. Maurkice Pouncey also caused a delay of game penalty after deciding to get into it with a Browns defensive player after a play was over.

Mike Tomlin – The fumbles by the running backs were certainly disturbing, but the decision by Tomlin to insert Rainey in as the lone running back for an extended period of time to prove a point was a poor decision. Rainey also had no business being in the game down at the goal-line that resulted in him scoring the Steelers lone offensive touchdown. Rainey luckily was able to bounce the stuffed run outside after running into a brick wall at the line of scrimmage. Had he not scored on the play, the Steelers would have likely went into halftime stalled deep in the Browns red zone. Tomlin also decided not to accept a holding call on 3rd down with 3:45 left in the first half. The Browns would have been facing a 3rd and 18 situation had he accepted it and it would have given his defense one more opportunity to make a play. Instead he opted to surrender a 32 yard field goal.

Charlie Batch – While the 3 interceptions were not entirely on his head, he gets most of the blame. He threw behind Mike Wallace on one and under threw him deep on another. Batch could not deliver the deep ball and was off target on a few other throws that he should have made. He looked every bit of a quarterback that has stuck around the game too long. The Browns were able to cheat the run in the game because they knew Batch couldn\’t consistently make the throws needed to win thru the air.


  • PoKey21

    If Ben and Leftwich are both going to be out next week again we really need to get Kafka all the reps this week. I love Batch to death and he was born, raised, and forever will be a yinzer. The fact of the matter though is the man need a coachs contract and NOT a players salary. He risking serious injury out there. His playing days have passed him by. I also think having Leftwich as our fall back plan is horrendous. He has continuously proven he can not stay healthy, and his painfully slow throwing motion is a terrible fit in the Steelers new quick passing scheme. Batchs arm too is awful for our current system. The responsibility for this game fell on the RBs and they COMPLETELY choked! All 3 are in a contract and none of them played like they want to wear the Black and Gold next year. As for the OLines troubles some can be placed on injuries, but i think more credit needs to be given to the Browns DLine. Taylor, Winn, and Sheard(Pittsburgh Native) all had great games. And at the corner spot Joe Haden is possibly the best CB in the NFL. Granted Batch made him look Really, Really good but Haden has been doing it all year and is a heck of a player. Anyway If it wasnt for the Steelers D, and the Browns lack of offense, this game could have really gotten out of control. Pretty embarrassing when laying an inferior team like the Cleveland Browns!

  • Maurice_hill_district

    Agreeing with all that.

  • zyzak

    Who is Kafka? Sheard is not from Pittsburgh

  • scott

    You forgot Mike Wallace, who continues to prove that he is not as good as he thinks he is.

  • Douglas Andrews

    think he means Brian Hoyer our backup QB

  • JT

    Oh come on. It’s totally his fault Charlie couldn’t throw anything to him unless it was to the bench, under thrown, or behind him.

    If anything, it’s on Haley for making Charlie attempt throws he can’t make, and not trying to get Wallace into open space with the ball.

  • SteelerFanInMD

    The last three games show that the Steelers depth at quarterback is not as good as we were led to believe. Leftwich looked rusty and is not been able to stay healthy. Charlie Batch doesn’t have the arm strength to make teams respect his deep passes anymore. With Big Ben missing games every year for one reason or another, the Steelers need to upgrade both backup quarterback positions next year so that their offense doesn’t become impotent when he is out.

  • JT

    I disagree with Lefty looking rusty. The first game, yes. But that happens when you get no reps. He looked amazing for the drive he was healthy, and had he not been born with glass bones he’d be a great fill in.

  • Douglas Andrews

    Wallace is a joke another week he is responsible for another turn over and the under thrown pass was an opportunity for him to either make a play or at least try and draw a pass interference call but he gave his usual one handed soft effort to show that the ball was under thrown. Don’t know what to make of our situation at RB but Tomlin needs to designate one primary RB. I would have kept giving it to Dwyer even though he fumbled show some confidence in the young RB. Mendy is a ghost of his self and Redman gives u nothing so why play around with those guys. At least Dwyer shows you potential and i’m sure the O line would love to get a rhythm going with one back. You can always spell Dwyer with Mendy and use Redman on short yardage situations. Shame that we have a top 5 defense and we waste it with those dreadful offensive performances. I think we now understand why Batch was the #3 QB but i’m still wondering where is J Johnson i’ll go out on a limb and say i think that kid could have gotten us one win even with a scaled down playbook

  • SteelerFanInMD

    Mike Wallace should have signed the contract that the Steelers offered him in the preseason. He is not showing that he is a top receiver and he certainly doesn’t deserve a better contract than what Antonio Brown got. I think I would rather have Emmanual Sanders over Wallace. Sanders knows how to get open and doesn’t drop the ball as much as Wallace.

  • Douglas Andrews

    Agreed…I’ll take Sanders and draft a WR to take Wallace’s spot he’s definitely a one trick pony that can’t get open

  • JT

    Should Wallace have signed ? Yes.

    Is Sanders better? No. Wallace gets open. He has that elite speed. But that means nothing when Charlie Brown is your QB. Everyone is soooooo hard on Wallace. Sanders has drops too. It happens. But so do the big plays that Wallace makes.

    Wanna be mad at a WR this week? Make it Plax. He’s totally blowing any chance he has to get a contract for next year. I have to think a young guy like Gilreath or Clemons would try harder than he did Sunday.

  • JT

    Sanders gets 2nd, sometimes 3rd string CBs and Wallace gets guys like Joe Haden. You need to understand that teams game plan to take Wallace away, not Sanders. Yet, Wallace still manages to get open and get deep

  • Dear Ben and AB, please come back to work like RIGHT NOW! I feel bad for Charlie but it looks like his arm has finally left him for good..

  • Mike Carroll

    Wallace has been awful almost the entire year. His softness, lack of effort and poor understanding of the game have impacted the offense in a negative way that more than offsets his speed, which is his lone asset. I hope the Steelers realize they will be a better team without him on the field and decide (if they haven’t already) to not sign him after this year. Better yet, put him on the bench when Brown is healthy. Sanders is playing well and I really think Plaxico will contribute once Ben is back.

    Wallace is not worth any significant contract. Let him walk away at end of year.

  • Mike Carroll

    Exactly. Where is the improvement in Wallace’s game? Why no effort to go up for that deep ball, especially when he might draw pass interference.

    And playing to not get hurt while he is in a contract year is not an excuse. How do you think such a character guy will play once he has been paid and made a fat cat with mountains of money?

    Steelers front office: please do not invest in this guy. He is fool’s gold.

  • Mike Carroll

    It’s called lack of effort. Wallace hasn’t been playing hard all year and it’s even worse now since he should be stepping up with Ben down. Miller and Sanders did that yesterday.

  • JT

    Hate on Wallace all you want, but he’s got 6 TDs to Brown’s 1, and has a higher YPC. But please, regale us with tales of how much better the offense would be without him. Wallace has made catches deep, made circus catches, and turned short passes into crucial TDs, but he gets nothing but hate. In a game where every single RB fumbled and Charlie couldn’t throw a pass to save his life, why people take it out on Wallace I will never understand.

  • Pete

    Don’t know if Batch has stuck around too long but he sure didn’t look good out there Sunday. Leftwich had zip on the ball and accuracy before he got hurt. The Ravens are going to kill Batch.

    Wallace thought he was smart holding out but he doesn’t look the player he was last season. Way too many drops. Brown deserves every penny of his contract and I hope we lock up Sanders. For me Sanders and Brown are the best WR on the team. Repeatedly trying to hit Wallace deep when they had him double covered is asking for it. If it’s there take it but the Browns showed early they were committed to giving safety help to the corner on Wallace deep.

    The other thing rarely mentioned is that the Brownies D came to play. They were hitting with violence. That’s how you play D. They were pushing the Steelers O line around and that was one of the reasons the backs couldn’t get much yardage. On the other side, it was too much to ask the Steelers D to shut down the Browns after constantly being called to the field after 3-and-outs and turnovers. The D played stellar in my opinion.

    I’m going to quickly forget this game and hope it doesn’t become a trend.

  • Douglas Andrews

    The fact that Sanders plays against the other teams 2nd or 3rd best corner is no fault of his own. The guy makes just makes plays and maybe you havent been watching but i’ve seen E Sanders challenge some of the better corners in the league like in the Redskins game he challenged and made plays over there #1 corner D Hall. Understanding the other teams game plans has nothing to do with the drops, fumbles, inability to make the tough catches, and get open. JT if what your saying is true about being doubled teamed as a game plan then why are the elite receivers such as Larry Fitz, Megatron, and others that continue to draw double teams a put up numbers with big plays. If Wallace wants that kinda of money he needs to make plays and get open

  • Douglas Andrews

    Can’t blame a guy that’s coming off the street for that drop. C Batch made a bad throw provided that plax was able to bet his finger tips on the ball and it would have been a tough catch, the throw was inaccurate for a big target like plax. If that throw is closer to the body of plax it may have gone for a TD. Every receiver has drops like you said but you got to make plays and Wallace has missed making plays for a #1 receiver looking for the big payday. At least Plax was able to go up and challenge for a ball to draw a PI penalty….think wallace would have done that probably not

  • Douglas Andrews

    He got Wallace in open space last week and he fumbled. This past week he bobbled one for a pick. That’s not on Haley that soley on M Wallace

  • PoKey21

    I apologize Kafka was in the running, but Brian Hoyer was who i meant. Anyway Just replace Kafkas name with Hoyer in my post and everything else still holds true. BTW Sheard was in Pittsburgh for 4 years, playing great football, on Heinz field turf no less, right under our front offices nose. Thats the same year we picked Heyward only 6 picks before. Only time will tell who will turn out to be the better player. As of now, over only the season and a half each have played, Sheards stats dominate Heywards. But so does Sheards Playing Time. so like I said only time will tell. So maybe “native” was the wrong term, but 4 Years Sheard called Pittsburgh and Heinz field home.