Found November 23, 2012 on
Just when you think it can’t get any worse for the Steelers, who are coming off a hard fought loss to division rival Ravens, they have to travel to the Dawg Pound and take on the Cleveland Browns with their third string quarterback at the helm. Yes, Charlie Batch makes his long awaited start for the Steelers in a divisional game in the AFC North on Sunday afternoon.
The Browns are licking their chops at this match up, and are reminiscing all the times that they Steelers have gotten to beat on them, with their laundry list of D level quarterbacks and not being able to move the ball. This year, they bring rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden and superstar in the making Trent Richardson to the party.
Pittsburgh has won 22 of 24 against the Browns and outscored them 96-31 during a four-game winning streak in the series, with Cleveland managing two touchdowns in those contests. The Steelers have taken two straight and 13 of 15 in Cleveland. Charlie Batch has also been pretty good as well in limited play this decade as starter. He was an economical 15 of 22 for 208 yards in a 27-0 win over St. Louis in his last start Dec. 24.
Batch was 13 of 19 for 150 yards and ran for a score in his only previous start versus Cleveland, a 34-21 Pittsburgh home win Nov. 13, 2005.
Charlie Batch ladies and gentlemen!
Batch will have a new weapon to use this weekend, as the Steelers have signed veteran Plaxico Burress, who will make his return to the black and gold this weekend. All jokes aside, Plaxico is a machine in the red zone catching 8 touchdowns a year ago with the Jets, and will look to extend to his resume.
Pittsburgh still boasts one of the top defenses in the league, ranking a top in yards per game and top 5 in points allowed. They will need to continue the trend against the young Browns, who will be hungry to make a statement and take advantage of the hand the Steelers have been dealt.
Trent Richardson has been a wrecking ball this year, rushing for 678 yards and adding another 270 in the passing game. He will need to be the beast he has been if the Browns want to win this game. Unfortunately, the Browns have continued to find ways to lose this year. Most notably, they had Dallas on the ropes a week ago, before sucumming to poor coverage and allowing the Cowboys to get into field goal range and kicker Dan Bailey applied the dagger.
The Browns will get a boost to their secondary as Pro Bowler Joe Haden will be back for them. He will be out to make Mike Wallace’s day miserable as he has a nice combination of speed and size to match up with the fellow Pro Bowler.
The key for the Steelers is to move the ball on the ground, as they have done a nice job this year ranking in the top 10 in football averaging slightly over 100 a game. Their three headed monster of Mendenhall/Dwyer/Redman will be in full force again this Sunday. If the running game can take the pressure off of Batch, and get into 3rd and manageable situations, then the Steelers will pull out the win.
So what happens? This is such an over reaction game in the public’s eyes. Yes, Batch isn’t that great and they don’t have anyone else that knows the offense behind him. But the Steelers are one of the best all around teams in football, and will play hard with their backs against the wall. I fully expect them to come out and shut the Browns down on the road, which is a tough place to play.
I like the Steelers to win this game out right on the road, and to start to get healthy heading into the second match up with the Ravens.
This won’t be much of a game for fantasy owners, but start the defenses and Trent Richardson – everyone else has limited to no value.
BEST OF MAXIM
While the Steelers offense certainly will miss Roethlisberger, the Steelers defense as well as a solid run game and a “good enough” passing game should propel them to victory.
Oddsmakers currently have the Steelers to have about a 54% chance to win this game. At Sports Tradex, which is a free prediction marketplace that awards prizes to users who perform the best weekly, the...
Charlie Batch is basically an assistant coach. He help Mike Tomlin on the sidelines anytime he needs it. He motivates players. But he's also a back-up quarterback still. As a third-string QB, it's difficult to foresee a situation where he would start, but the Steelers are in that exact situation this week. And Batch says he's ready.
According to Paul Zeise...
(Eds: Updates throughout) By CHRIS ADAMSKI Associated Press Mike Wallace is in his fourth season with the Pittsburgh Steelers, so the wide receiver is familiar with all this talk about Charlie Batch.
Asked if it was at all concerning that the man throwing the ball to him on Sunday will soon be 38 years old, Wallace shrugged.
''He's been old,'' he said of Batch...
Here’s Browns spokesman Neil Gulkis on the team’s decision to cancel the white flag giveaway that had been planned for today’s game:
“After further and careful consideration, we felt it was in the best interests of everyone involved that we not have a giveaway item at tomorrow’s game. It is something that was intended to be fun for our fans and that they could rally around...
After the Thanksgiving hangover wears off prepare yourself for a sub-par Sunday of NFL action. Other than 49ers-Saints and Packers-Giants there really aren’t many games to get excited about. Steelers-Browns with Charlie Batch making his NFL return, anyone?
Making matters worse is the Monday Night Football trainwreck. Panthers-Eagles, anyone?
A few other enticing bets would be...
We have been doing Browns fan surveys throughout the season to keep our finger on the pulse of what Browns fans are thinking heading into Browns games. While it doesn’t provide notable stats every week, this week it did. Exactly 50% of Browns fans who took our survey think the Browns will win. When you average all the scores together into a score prediction the result is a 19-19...
Last week: 9 (-1)
I have no idea what Mike Tomlin was thinking leaving Byron Leftwich out there when he was clearly hurt. There’s no real difference in talent level between him and Charlie Batch; in fact, I thought Batch should have been the starter in the first place after Ben Roethlisberger was ruled out. He’s a better fit for their quick throw, timing based offense...
Pittsburgh Steelers (6-4) at Cleveland Browns (2-8)
Charlie Batch will start this one for the Steelers. He should have started against the Ravens to begin with. He’s always been a solid backup quarterback who can win games when Ben Roethlisberger is hurt (5-2 SU and 5-2 ATS since joining the Steelers). I think he’s a better quarterback than Byron Leftwich. He’s also a better...
Just a couple short weeks ago, the thought that the Cleveland Browns could uproot the Pittsburgh Steelers on any given day would have been ludicrous. Two weeks and two quarterbacks later, the Pittsburgh Steelers are as vulnerable as ever, and suddenly, the Browns aren't an easy out.
Even though the Steelers are short on quarterbacks, my focus will be on the Browns' trigger...
The Browns may have done away with the white flag giveaway that had everyone laughing at them for first time since the last hilariously awful thing they did. One thing the Browns didn’t cancel was the battle of the ancient quarterbacks. Yup, it’s still superannuated Charlie Batch versus super old rookie Brandon Weeden Doopy Pantz.
Charlie Batch is the oldest non-kicker in the...
The Cleveland Browns have given up on the planned promotion of handing out a white flag to all of its fans. After a week of criticism from fans and players the team has scrapped the idea of giving away a white flag before Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The white flag was to be the Browns response to the terrible towel waived by Steeler fans.
Except waiving a white...
Last week: 7 (+0)
The Ravens are 8-2, but I’m still not sold. They’re only +61 in points differential and most of that came from two wins against Cincinnati and crappy Oakland. They’re 6-1 in games decided by a touchdown or less and they haven’t had a particularly tough schedule. They could have easily lost to Pittsburgh last week if Charlie Batch had stepped...