“We’ve got a lot of work to do.”-Browns head coach Hue Jackson
After Sunday’s performance, that might be an understatement about the Cleveland Browns.
They lost their fourteenth consecutive game on Sunday, this time to the Pittsburgh Steelers 24-9, bringing their record to 0-11 on the season. Now while Pittsburgh (5-5) haven’t been the greatest this season, you can easily see the Browns are far away from contending in the division.
Ben Roethlisberger only had to throw for 167 yards but didn’t turn the ball over or get sacked by the Browns defense. The Pittsburgh offense relied heavily on Le’Veon Bell to move the ball and it paid off today for them.
Bell had 36 touches for 201 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown. He had the ball in his hands for 36 of the 64 offensive plays the Steelers ran.
As for the Browns, I don’t know where to start.
The QB problem still exists
Cody Kessler looked awful going 7 of 14 for 128 yards and an interception. He was trying to throw the ball downfield and made some connections but just couldn’t get it done accurately.
Kessler left the game in the third quarter after taking a shot from Steelers linebacker Lawrence Timmons and was being checked for a concussion.
Josh McCown entered the game and drove the team down the field capping it off with a 14 yard pass to Gary Barnidge for a touchdown. But after that, it got ugly.
McCown was getting beat into the ground like Kessler and ended up fumbling the ball at his own goal line which Pittsburgh recovered for a touchdown.
Kessler and McCown combined got sacked eight times. No adjustments were being made to block Lawrence Timmons who had one sack and three QB hits and seemed to be in the back field all day.
James Harrison (who became the all time sack leader in franchise history), Ryan Shazier, Stephon Tuitt, Arthur Moats and Javon Hargrave also recorded sacks for Pittsburgh.
The running game was dead again this week and the offensive line had their worst game of the season. No doubt that both position groups need addressed amongst others this offseason when the Browns have a ton of cap space and draft picks.
First round pick Corey Coleman did Kessler no favors today with two dropped passes and only caught four passes for 39 yards when he was targeted twelve times.
Terrelle Pryor continues to show he’s the best offensive skill player on the Browns. With five catches for 97 yards, he still is out there giving a maximum effort for this team despite the record. You’d like to hope the Browns would resign him before the end of the season but things don’t look positive for that.
Defensively, they got manhandled by Pittsburgh and showed that they aren’t physical enough to go up against them.
The secondary has to be the worst in football. When you have Ed Reynolds starting at free safety, you know there’s room to upgrade. And Joe Haden, the former Pro Bowl panicked at the end of the first half when he had Antonio Brown covered and wrapped his arms around him, getting a pass interference penalty setting up the Le’Veon Bell touchdown.
The Browns face the Giants next week which won’t be an easy task. Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. are clicking so look for them to torch the poor Browns secondary.
And then comes the bye week.
It honestly can’t come fast enough because I really need a break from this team.