Originally written on PSAMP  |  Last updated 11/15/14

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 21: Byron Leftwich of the Pittsburgh Steelers passes against the New York Giants during their preseason game at New Meadowlands Stadium on August 21, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Anytime your franchise QB goes down and you're faced with starting 3-years-removed-from-Tampa Byron Leftwich and 2-years-removed-from-spot-starting Charlie Batch against division rivals in successive weeks, the forecast is grim. And the fans want results, an uninterrupted level of play. "Expecting losses" isn't a way to go about a critical injury like we have with Ben Roethlisberger. And yet, "demanding greatness" is just as foolish. 20-14 Browns. Both last week and yesterday, division foes needed a backup Steelers QB and unlimited Pittsburgh turnovers to win, and while 0-2 over that stretch is no reason to celebrate, a Ben Roethlisberger return from injury can immediately impact this team and the league. So we wait. Charlie: Charlie played a great 1st Half. 8-15 for 85 yards. A nice scoring drive at the end of the half to take the lead where he had a handful of nice throws. And then his 1st INT of the 2nd Half was his first real mistake, slightly behind Plax, picked. The next INT wasn't on Charlie, Mike Wallace bobbles it straight into the air and into Cleveland possession. And the last INT is on Todd Haley, just an absolute drive-killing long bomb that took forever to come down, ending up as a non-4th Down arm-punt late in a game where the offense had already moved the sticks with a 1st Down. However, Charlie didn't do much aside from those INTs and a few stray 10 yard completions to Manny Sanders and Heath Miller. Charlie played about as Charlie as we could hope Charlie could play, the team had a chance despite his mistakes and it ended up going the other way. 2 of 5 motorcycle helmets. RBs: We need to re-use a picture from last week's recap: A truly terrible performance. 5 fumbles, 4 given away, 1 by each Mendy, Redman, Dwyer and Rainey. The Rainey TD was extra-nice, though, so it brings the rating up. 1 of 5 motorcycle helmets. And I'm being nice. Even a total crap game on the ground giving away like a fumble or 2 can still probably win this game with the way the defense played. INCLUDING the picks from Batch. But the ground game went into full shutdown mentally and the Steelers continued to give away field position and potential drives. Defense: Consecutive games without Ben that the D put on a show worthy of a win. An uptick in either QB or RB play in this game and it's an easy win. Timmons with his first ever defensive TD, Jason Worilds going berserk and taking the team-lead in sacks...even James Harrison with a sack of his own! The Steelers offense gave the first 4 fumbles away inside their own territory, if the Browns aren't already in FG range by the time the Steelers D gets on the field, we're talking about an entirely different game. 4 of 5 motorcycle helmets. Dick LeBeau and the D were under fire earlier this year for poor performances, here's to looking like they were just getting their legs under them. They'll need to continue trending upwards the rest of the way. The aforementioned Manny Sanders and Heath Miller: I couldn't bail out with only 3 ratings after a 2nd-straight loss. Both caught almost everything that was thrown at them. 3.5 of 5 motorcycle helmets. Whatever. Ravens in Baltimore at 4:25 PM EST next week. Hopefully that extra 3 hours from the early games to the mid-afternoon games gives Ben enough time to hit 100% health. (thanks to Doug for the banner pic)
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Bruce Jenner: "For all intents and purposes, I am a woman"

Report: Angels, Rangers talking Josh Hamilton trade

Roger Goodell calls both Los Angeles stadium plans 'viable'

Five-star hoops star Malik Newman commits to Miss State

Crabtree on joining Raiders: 'Ain't got nothing to lose'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Hardy gets in 'verbal altercation' with teammate

NFL exec compares Jameis Winson to JaMarcus Russell

Report: Chris Sale wanted to fight Yordano Ventura

NFL does not care about Rams' future in St. Louis

Eagles VP Ed Marynowitz says he's not Chip Kelly's 'yes man'

Jonathan Papelbon wants out of Philadelphia

5 most boring NFL prime time matchups for 2015

Steve Carell, Emma Stone to star in Bobby Riggs-Billie Jean King film

Calipari’s new project: Create virtual reality experience for fans

Maurice Jones-Drew will retire with the Jaguars on Tuesday

Ovechkin jokes about taking a chair from Nassau Coliseum

Uniform colors have already been picked for Vegas NHL team

Golden State: Not losing to New Orleans, but still snoozing

Ventura, Royals need to simmer down before someone gets hurt

The Mets and their weak opponents

Report: Gronk dating former Patriots cheerleader

Nothing gleams like late-round draft gold

The Ultimate All-Living MLB Team

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

5 boring NFL prime time matchups

Bruce Jenner: "For all intents and purposes, I am a woman"

Jameis Winston vs. Marcus Mariota: Perception vs. reality

Report: Gronk dating former Patriots cheerleader

NFL exec compares Jameis Winson to JaMarcus Russell

NFL does not care about Rams' future in St. Louis

Nothing gleams like late-round draft gold

The Ultimate All-Living MLB Team

Dubs wanted to gain momentum for Game 4 ... then won

Teams who need to ace the NFL Draft

10 bold predictions for the NFL Draft

Ten things you need to know about Mayweather vs. Pacquiao

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.