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Browns-Steelers wrapup...

October 17, 2010 - Ray Eckenrode
Blogger’s note: We’re done with the quarter-by-quarter game summaries. Twitter has made that kind of thing obsolete. Wisecracks and snappy analysis can be delivered now in real time so if you’re not using Twitter, you should start. You can check out our wisecracks and snappy analysis from Sunday’s game by visiting What we’re going to do moving forward for both PSU and Steelers games is a quick-hitting postgame blog that focuses on analysis.

The headline:


Steelers get 3 passing TDs in win over feisty Browns

It was over when:

Lawrence Timmons picked off Colt McCoy’s ricocheted pass in the final two minutes.

Play of the day:

After running almost exclusively on first down for the first 35 minutes of the game, the Steelers went with a play-action fake on first down from inside their own five and Ben Roethlisberger hung in the pocket and hit a wide open Mike Wallace near midfield, setting up the second score Pittsburgh needed to put it out of reach.

Hot topics:

+ James Harrison’s first hit on Josh Cribbs was clearly legal because Cribbs was a rusher and not a QB or defenseless receiver. (Just as TJ Ward’s brutal hit on Rashard Mendenhall in the fourth quarter was legal.) We’re guessing the hit on Mohamed Massoquoi was deemed legal because Harrison led with his shoulder and the helmet-to-helmet contact occurred next. That said, we all know the level of violence with which Harrison plays the game makes the NFL nervous and we’d expect him to be fined for one or both of the hits. Asked about Harrison after the game, Mike Tomlin said, “Legal hits, not fineable hits, good football.”

+ Welcome to the NFL, Emmanuel Sanders! Steelers’ insiders raved about Sanders in camp and the chemistry he had developed with Roethlisberger but the young receiver was largely absent the first month of the season with the team’s second, third and fourth-team signal callers under center.

And now a word from our sponsors: That Dodge commercial with the redcoats and George Washington was really good – the first thousand times we saw it.

Paralysis by analysis: In his preview show interview with Bill Cowher, Roethlisberger again vehemently denied he committed a crime in either Lake Tahoe or Hedgesville but freely admitted he behaved poorly and made bad judgments. Legal expert Boomer Esiason somehow interpreted that as Roethlisberger saying he had done “nothing wrong” and asked why he didn’t fight his NFL suspension if that was the case. Yo Boomer, you’re talking apples and oranges. Roethlisberger was suspended for behaving poorly and bad judgment, which he admitted to in the interview. He remains the only player suspended under the NFL’s conduct policy without being charged with a crime. Again, this is not a defense of Roethlisberger’s behavior, just another reminder that the national sports media has no business reporting or commenting on legal issues because they’ve shown over and over again they don’t understand them.

Zebra hunting: We’ve watched the play 10 times and we’re still looking for the hold on Ramon Foster on his first play in the third quarter.

We were right: The Browns and McCoy were a much more worthy opponent than the national media would have had you believe entering the game.

We were wrong:The Browns didn’t cover as we thought they would, although they likely would have had they not lost Cribbs and Massoquoi. (We know, we know, try to tell your bookie that…)

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