Week 17 Game Thread: Cleveland Browns

Well, this is it. Seven guys landed on IR this week, including Mike Wallace who may not be back, and the Steelers’ 2012 season ends with the Browns coming to Heinz Field in a game that means absolutely nothing unless you’re Thad Lewis.

Unlike previous underachieving Steelers’ teams, this group just couldn’t catch a break. Yes, there were underwhelming games against the Raiders and Titans early on, but Ben was having an MVP-type season until the Chiefs game. It happens, and maybe in the long run, this will be for the best. Pittsburgh will be picking in the middle of the round and it’ll allow them to get younger on defense.

Oh, one more thing: I tweeted this after the Bengals loss but I’ll mention it here, too: if Haley gets the Cards’ gig (there has been speculation that he’s a favorite of the Bidwells), the Steelers should bring Whisenhunt back to be the offensive coordinator. More likely: running backs coach Kirby Wilson gets the gig (which, frankly, is fine too). But whoever’s calling plays in 2013, it’ll be interesting to see if Ben complains less than he did this season.

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  • Eric

    I hope Harrison and Hampton have great games since this is almost certainly their last game as Steelers.

  • Eric

    Was that punt partially blocked?

  • Eric

    That was a very uninspiring first quarter. I was hoping the Steelers would play with some pride to reassure me there isn’t something systematically wrong in the locker room.

  • Eric

    I am stuck watching this game in a sports bar in the Great White North, so I have no sound. Does anybody know what happened to DeCastro?

  • Eric

    Now Kiesel is down. This season is clearly cursed. It needs to end soon before anybody else gets hurt.

  • Eric

    Another timeout burned because they can’t get the playcall in in time. That has happened a lot this season.

  • Eric

    Just for fun, I thought I’d mention that the sound in the bar is the Colts game. I just heard, “Bruce Arians has called a great game so far”.

  • calig23

    So that’s the second time this season that the Steelers have been burned by a fake punt. Good job, guys.

  • Eric

    At least Brown can tackle.

  • Eric

    Maybe Tomlin should fire his special teams coac… whoops.

  • Eric

    Hood needs to stay in his lane.

  • EasyLikeSundayMorning

    I’m not 100% sure, but if we’d lost, I think we would’ve had the 11th pick. By winning the game, I think we’ll draft at 17. Doesn’t seem worth it to have won the game. The only other time I can remember rooting for us to lose was in the Ravens game that went to OT in 2003 that we lost, allowing us to pick at 11 and take Ben.

  • EasyLikeSundayMorning

    Looked at our old first-round draft history… In 1957, we picked Len Dawson. Over the next 11 years, we didn’t even have a first-rounder in 6 drafts, and I haven’t heard of the guys we did take. Then, over the next 6 drafts. we took 4 HOFers and 2 good players in Joe Greene, Bradshaw, Frank Lewis, Franco, JT Thomas and Swann.

  • Sarah

    Guys I did not see all the game but did anyone notice:

    1) Steelers actually seemed to run outside the tackles a bit more often. Not that it much showed in the yards total – but still refreshing…

    2) There was a 3rd and 1 in the second half and instead of the usual slowwwww developing hand off 8 yards deep it was a quick hand off right at the line and (Dwyer maybe?) squirted through the pile for a 1st down
    3) Does Ben throw to his left much? Or at all? They kept tossing to his right, the only strong part (Haden) of the CLE secondary. I wonder if that is preference on Ben’s part of the ways the play developed….I would just assume his progressions would show openings elsewhere given the weakeness in the secondary….

  • Cols714

    I’m curious what people here think about wanting the Steelers to lose for draft position. I didn’t want to lose to the Browns twice in the season so I was rooting to win, but I wonder what people here think?

    • EasyLikeSundayMorning

      Turns out that we would’ve drafted at 12 if we’d lost and will be drafting 17th instead. We only get the chance to draft as high as 12 every decade or so (fortunately), and there is often a big talent difference between 12 and 17 (as well as a much more valuable trade chip at 12). I don’t think we gained anything as valuable by winning. I can’t begrudge anyone who rooted for a win, though, as I have more than 99% of the time.

      One benefit of winning is that the Fire Tomlin! crowd can’t say Tomlin had a losing season. But things like evidence and sanity don’t appear to be the primary motivators for these folks, so it won’t matter much anyway.

      • Intropy

        I was hoping they’d play all the second string and lose a close game.

    • Eric

      I was rooting for the win. I understand that rooting for the loss, and the better draft position, is actually the rational thing to do in that situation but in my experience being a sports fan and being rational seldom mix.