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Other Week 2 Game Recaps
ATL at TBBUF at JAXCHI at CARGB at DETIND at MINMIA at ARINE at NYJNO at WAS
NYG at STLOAK at KCPHI at DALPIT at CLESD at DENSF at SEATEN at CIN

Week 2 Game Recap: Pittsburgh Steelers 10, Cleveland Browns 6

What you need to know

Pittsburgh Steelers

High winds affected both teams and their game plans, and ultimately factored into making this game a defensive struggle.

QB Ben Roethlisberger was solid on the night, making sure he did not make any mistakes. He often threw the ball too low on purpose to ensure an interception was not thrown. He showed off his arm strength and accuracy by throwing the ball deep a couple of times through the wind and being fairly accurate. Roethlisberger looked to have received a right wrist stinger at the end of a series in the third quarter, but immediately came back the next series and threw a couple of bullets down the field so it does not look worrisome.

RB Willie Parker was the workhorse for the Steelers. He carried the ball 28 times on the night trying to wear down the Cleveland defense, eventually breaking free for a couple of bigger gains in the fourth quarter. Cleveland focused on stopping the run due to the wind and was successful in holding Parker to an average game.

WR Hines Ward scored a touchdown, but was unable to haul in a couple of very catchable passes that killed the drive each time. Santonio Holmes was used as a deep threat most of the game despite the wind, and was able to make five catches for 94 yards.

Cleveland Browns

QB Derek Anderson seemed to struggle with the wind more than Ben Roethlisberger. He did pass the ball 13 more times than Roethlisberger, but most of the passes were underneath as Cleveland averaged only 4.6 yards per passing play.

RB Jamal Lewis had problems getting anything going in the running game, as Pittsburgh stacked the box. He was able to fall forward most of the night, but was not elusive enough to consistently make a defender miss.

WR Braylon Edwards had some trouble early bringing the ball in, dropping two passes early. He never could really get going, catching only three of the nine balls thrown to him, although part of that was due to accuracy issues from Derek Anderson. TE Kellen Winslow had a solid night catching seven of the 11 balls thrown his way.


What you ought to know

QB Ben Roethlisberger, Pass: 12 - 19 - 186 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 1 - 0 - 0

Roethlisberger was able to control the game by not making mistakes. He was able to deal with the wind, completing 12 of his 19 pass attempts. He moved well in the pocket well and as always was a true leader on the field. Roethlisberger was able to sneak a couple of balls into deep double coverage despite the conditions.

RB Willie Parker, Rush: 28 - 105 - 0 (1 targets)

Parker struggled to get going against the Cleveland defense. He ran the ball often but could never consistently move the chains. He was able to break a couple of big runs in the fourth quarter but all in all was held in check by the Cleveland defense.

RB Carey Davis, Rush: 1 - 2 - 0

Davis served as the fullback and had one carry on the night.

WR Santonio Holmes, Rush: 1 - 10 - 0, Rec: 5 - 94 - 0 (7 targets)

Holmes played well, hauling in a couple passes where he was well covered. He looked sharp running his routes and his hands looked very impressive against Cleveland. Holmes was more a deep threat as usual than a possession receiver, but he did run a few nice short routes.

WR Hines Ward, Rec: 5 - 59 - 1 (8 targets)

Ward surprisingly dropped a couple of passes in the first half for Pittsburgh and ended any hope of them delivering an early knockout punch. He pulled it together though making a couple of tough catches and showing off his superb route running skills.

WR Nate Washington (2 targets)

Washington served as the third wide receiver and was unable to bring in either of the balls thrown his way. One of those passes was a deep target.

TE Heath Miller, Rec: 2 - 33 - 0 (2 targets)

Miller was surprisingly scarcely used throughout the game. He only received two targets, but he caught them both and accumulated 33 yards in the process.

PK Jeff Reed 1 - 1 FG, 1 - 1 XP, 4 points

Reed had one field goal attempt on the night and made it despite the crosswind.

PIT Rush Defense

The Pittsburgh run defense was relentless in stopping Cleveland. They only allowed 42 yards on 21 attempts by backfield personnel. They often were able to get initial penetration and stop the play from progressing.

PIT Pass Defense

Pittsburgh's pass defense was solid, intercepting Derek Anderson twice on the night. They did allow some plays to be made because they were gearing up against the run most of the night, but they did not allow any receptions to wide receivers over 20 yards.


QB Derek Anderson, Pass: 18 - 32 - 166 - 0 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 3 - 6 - 0

Anderson was extremely streaky. He would look like an all pro for two or three plays at a time, then regress back and make a bad decision or bad throw for a couple of plays. He was only sacked two times but was pressured very often on the night. Whenever he was pressured he seemed to have complete trust in Kellen Winslow and would go to his route almost blindly.

RB Jamal Lewis, Rush: 19 - 38 - 0, Rec: 3 - 28 - 0 (3 targets)

Lewis had a tough night against Pittsburgh. He could not consistently get out of the backfield without facing some pressure from the Steelers, leading to a long night for him and a poor average (two yards per carry).

RB Jerome Harrison, Rush: 1 - 2 - 0, Rec: 1 - 23 - 0 (1 targets)

Harrison was used as a change of pace back a couple times.

RB Lawrence Vickers, Rush: 1 - 2 - 0, Rec: 1 - 3 - 0 (2 targets)

Vickers was the fullback and was targeted on short check-down routes both times.

RB Jason Wright, Rec: 1 - 9 - 0 (2 targets)

Wright came in to give Lewis a rest a few times, and was a change of pace back for Cleveland.

WR Braylon Edwards, Rec: 3 - 32 - 0 (9 targets)

Edwards was tightly covered all night, but still should have came up with more than three of the nine passes thrown his way. A couple passes were slightly behind him, but with the wind he cannot expect any better. One target that was in the red zone involved Derek Anderson leading Edwards into the safety who laid Edwards out in a scary play, but Edwards returned.

WR Syndric Steptoe, Rec: 2 - 16 - 0 (3 targets)

Steptoe served as Cleveland's number two receiver while the other Cleveland receivers sat out with injuries. He caught both of the catchable passes thrown his way and looked quick on the field when he had the ball.

WR Josh Cribbs, Rush: 1 - 5 - 0 (1 targets)

Cribbs was the kick returner and got his target on a wide receiver screen.

WR Steve Sanders (1 targets)

Sanders was targeted on the last play of the game as a check down while Derek Anderson faced pressure.

TE Kellen Winslow Jr, Rec: 7 - 55 - 0 (11 targets)

Winslow made several tough catches despite being covered by Troy Polamalu most of the night. He used his body well to create room and was genuinely trusted by Derek Anderson.

PK Phil Dawson 2 - 2 FG, 0 - 0 XP, 6 points

Dawson made both field goals through the tough wind. Neither kick was particularly pretty but they were effective.

CLE Rush Defense

The Cleveland run defense was solid Sunday night, holding Willie Parker to less impressive numbers than normal against them. They single handedly kept Cleveland in the game by stopping Pittsburgh several times.

CLE Pass Defense

The Browns' pass defense was okay on the night, sacking Roethlisberger three times. They got more pressure against Pittsburgh than against Dallas. Their coverage was tight most of the night, but they did give up a couple of big pass plays that ended up being the difference in the game.