View Full Version : Steelers go down in disgrace to Browns

12-11-2009, 12:49 AM
Steelers go down in disgrace to Browns
By Bob Smizik | Friday 12:02 a.m.

In what deserves to be remembered as the most embarrassing performance in franchise history, the defending -- and former -- Super Bowl champions not only lost to the perennially hapless Cleveland Browns, they failed to score a touchdown.

Seemingly taking their cue from coach Mike Tomlin, who promised change and then delivered none, the Steelers were uninspired, listless and just plain terrible in a 13-6 loss to the Browns last night in Cleveland.

The Steelers came out flat and stayed that way. In what they vowed would be the start of a run that would get them to the playoffs, the Steelers played like a team that can’t wait for the season to end and wants no part of January football.

It bordered on disgrace.

This one started at the top with Tomlin. After the Steelers lost a fourth straight game, in a stunning upset to the Oakland Raiders Sunday, Tomlin vow changed. But when the team came out on the field to start the game, both units were the same as the Oakland game.

The leaky secondary remained in tact, although that was one area where Tomlin virtually assured there Ben Roethlisberger sacked by Cleveland's Marcus Benard (Peter Diana/Post-Gazette)would be change. Rookie cornerback Keenan Lewis, who Tomlin suggested might start or at least alternate with Ike Taylor, did not even dress.

If there’s no sense or urgency among the coaching staff, how can there be a sense of urgency among the players?

But don’t hang this one just on Tomlin and his staff. The players shouldn’t have needed any motivation from the coaching staff to be prepared for this game. Their season hung in the balance. They were the defending Super Bowl champions and they showed no pride -- none. They gave up their title without much of a fight.

Down 13-3 at the half, the defense at least displayed a sense or urgency and shut down the Browns in the final 30 minutes. But it wasn’t enough. The offense never showed up. (Yes it's Arians fault! - mesa)

Ben Roethlisberger was sacked eight times, five times in the first half -- once on each of the first three possession -- and three more times in the second half. It was fitting that the final sack snuffed out the Steelers last hope.

After having moved from their 21 to the Cleveland 43 on what obviously would be their final chance, on a first and 10, Roethlisberger was thrown for a 9-yard loss and the Steelers could not recover and turned the ball over on downs.

Most of the sacks against Roethlisberger were more the result of excellent coverage by the Cleveland secondary rather than a breakdown by the offensive line. Steelers receivers were not getting open and Roethlisberger, as is his style, went down with the ball rather than throwing it away.

What can’t be stressed enough is that this performance came against the Brown, who came into the game with the worst defense in the league. The Steelers managed 216 yards against a unit that had been allowing 400. The Steelers rushed for 71 yards, the Browns 171.

With games at home against Green Bay, the No. 1 defense in the NFL, and Baltimore and on the road at Miami, the Steelers might not win another game and will end the season with an eight-game losing streak. Those three teams have a combined 20-16 record. The Steelers have back-to-back losses against teams that were 4-19.

Beyond doubt, something is wrong in the Steelers locker room. Whether this traces back to the Roethlisberger-Hines Ward dispute, where Ward criticized the quarterback for missing a game because of a concussion, or other factors is difficult to determine.

But, clearly, Tomlin has not been able to rally the team. This is his first major taste of adversity as a head coach and he has failed it badly. All he can do now is attempt to rally this team to play respectable football the remainder of the way. That will not be easy. Once teams start downhill, they’re difficult to stop.

A season of so much hope is ending in total collapse.

It’s early December and all the Steelers have to look forward to is the draft. At least they’ll have a higher slot than usual.

12-11-2009, 01:02 AM
we can only hope for a 6-10 season! if we win the final game or 2 the sense of urgency and the need for change will be forgotten! Our current team including coaches are horrid

12-11-2009, 09:11 AM
It didn't border on disgrace, it trampled the line and moved deep into disgrace.

12-11-2009, 09:35 AM
we can only hope for a 6-10 season! if we win the final game or 2 the sense of urgency and the need for change will be forgotten! Our current team including coaches are horrid

What are you thinking?? Hope for a 6-10 season???

12-11-2009, 09:36 AM
we can only hope for a 6-10 season! if we win the final game or 2 the sense of urgency and the need for change will be forgotten! Our current team including coaches are horrid

this is essentially the same team that one the superbowl last year.

But someone job has to be on the line for this season we have way to much talent personally we should fire the special team cordinator and BA

12-11-2009, 09:42 AM
amazingly, the browns have 11 players on IR......including six starters.