Originally posted on PSAMP  |  Last updated 11/26/12
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

WATCH: Florida's Chiozza sends Wisconsin home on incredible buzzer-beater

LaVar Ball gets Crying Jordan, meme treatment after UCLA loss

Celtics upset Suns tried to pad Devin Booker’s stats

Five teams that may be interested in Blake Griffin this summer

Report: Tony Romo ‘believes it’s Texans or retirement’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Clay Matthews Sr. passes away at 88

WWE’s Kane is inching toward running for mayor in Tennessee

Jung Ho Kang denied visa for DUI, may miss 2017 MLB season

Jets not ready to say Josh McCown will be starter

Sens owner on Sidney Crosby: He’s 'a whiner' and should be suspended for Methot slash

Report: Griffin could be growing more open to leaving Clippers

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Box Score 3/24: Waiting on West Virginia

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

With Team USA's victory, World Baseball Classic (finally) lived up to its potential

The NFL distraction playbook

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

Box Score 3/23: Team USA wins their first WBC title

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

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

The NFL distraction playbook

With Team USA's victory the WBC (finally) lived up to its potential

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker