Gerry Dulac's Two-Minute Drill: Steelers vs. Browns
Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden evades Lawrence Timmons in the second quarter Sunday in Cleveland.
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goes to: ILB Lawrence Timmons
For the second time in three games, Timmons made a big interception that appeared to be a game-changer. But, unlike a pick in overtime against Kansas City that led to the winning field goal, this one came early and staked the Steelers to a 7-0 lead just 71 seconds into a game. DE Brett Keisel tipped QB Brandon Weeden's pass, allowing Timmons to intercept and run 53 yards for a touchdown. Timmons had several big stops in the run game and was part of a defense that had seven stops for zero or negative yardage. "That's our job to go out and play defense, no matter the circumstances," OLB James Harrison said.
The offense has managed just one touchdown in each of the past three games, and the only one against the Browns came at the end of the first half. And the Steelers used three big plays to accomplish that and take a 14-13 lead -- a 27-yard catch-and-run by Emmanuel Sanders, a pass-interference call that Plaxico Burress drew in the end zone and a 1-yard TD run by rookie Chris Rainey after he bounced off of a pile in the middle and bounced the play to the outside. "You can't have eight turnovers and expect to win," Sanders said. "We can't do that, no matter what kind of team we're playing."
A quick look at the top performances from Sunday's game:
1. Big pick or bad route: Leading, 14-13, and facing third-and-6 at their 19, Charlie Batch tried a sideline throw to WR Plaxico Burress that was picked off by CB Sheldon Brown, who cut underneath the route. Three plays later, rookie Trent Richardson scored on a 15-yard run for what would be the winning touchdown. But Burress, playing his first game in 10 months, acknowledged he might have taken a soft cut out of his break, allowing Brown to cut in front of him.
2. Turn me over: The Browns scored 17 points off the eight turnovers, and the player who started the rash of mistakes was RB Rashard Mendenhall. He fumbled on the team's second offensive play at the Steelers 43, leading to a Phil Dawson FG that made it 7-3.
3. MORE FUMBLES: After Mendenhall was benched for his gaffe, Isaac Redman committed the second fumble on third down from the Steelers 8, leading to a 5-yard TD pass from Brandon Weeden to TE Jordan Cameron that gave the Browns a 10-7 lead.
4. WASTED CHANCE: Early in the fourth quarter, the Steelers started at the Browns 44, their best field position to begin a drive. But, four plays in, Batch threw a quick slant behind Wallace that was tipped by Haden and intercepted by DT Billy Winn.
5. LOSING STREAK: It was the first time the Steelers lost back-to-back games since Week 13 of the 2009 season -- a span of 46 regular-season games. Coincidentally, the previous time it happened also came after a road loss to the Browns.
Charlie Batch's third interception was not his most costly -- that was the first one -- but it came on a deep pass attempt to WR Mike Wallace that was picked off by CB Joe Haden in the fourth quarter.
But Wallace failed to make a play on the ball, which was slightly underthrown, and didn't even try to prevent Haden from making the interception.
"We don't point fingers around here," said Wallace, whose only catch came on the final play. "No matter whose fault it was, it was a turnover."
"That was like a damn video game. We just got to find ways to stop them. ... We play close games all the time; we're used to playing like that. We had a chance at the end and we didn't get it done."
-- Casey Hampton, Steelers NT on the turnovers.
4 The number of combined victories of the teams that have beaten the Steelers on the road this season. The Oakland Raiders were winless, the Tennessee Titans were 1-4 and the Browns were 2-8 at the time they played and defeated the Steelers.
@ BALTIMORE RAVENS, 4:25 P.M. SUNDAY: The Steelers (6-5) play the Ravens for the second time in three weeks at M&T Bank Stadium. The Ravens won the first meeting, 13-10, Nov. 11 at Heinz Field. The Steelers are 7-6 against the Ravens under Mike Tomlin and are 2-2 in the past four in Baltimore.
First Published November 26, 2012 12:00 am