|Last 3 Games||2-1||+1.3||1-1||0-3||16.7||9.0||303.0||(4.7)||2.0||15.3||11.3||224.0||(4.1)||0.7|
|Offense (All Games)||21.7||12.1||20.5||34:11||27-108||(3.9)||23-37||63.1%||242||(6.6)||64-350||(5.4)||(16.1)|
|Opponents Defensive Avg.||25.6||12.4||20.5||31:48||28-119||(4.3)||22-35||62.8%||242||(7)||63-362||(5.8)||(14.1)|
|Offense Road Games||24.2||12.2||21.2||34:48||26-102||(3.9)||26-39||66.0%||280||(7.1)||66-382||(5.8)||(15.8)|
|Defense (All Games)||19.0||10.1||16.4||25:54||24-90||(3.8)||17-31||55.2%||169||(5.5)||54-259||(4.8)||(13.6)|
|Opponents Offensive Avg.||22.9||10.6||19.9||30:38||27-115||(4.3)||22-35||61.5%||240||(6.8)||62-355||(5.7)||(15.5)|
|Defense Road Games||25.6||13.0||17.2||25:12||23-91||(4)||18-31||59.0%||185||(5.9)||54-276||(5.1)||(10.8)|
|Stats For (All Games)||0.5||0.7||1.2||-0.3||15-7||47.3%||1-0||45.5%||2-67||(27)||3-22||(8.4)||6-65|
|Opponents Avg. Stats Against||0.9||0.7||1.6||1.9||13-5||39.6%||1-0||51.5%||3-67||(24.7)||22-2||(9.3)||6-54|
|Stats For (Road Games)||0.8||0.8||1.6||-0.6||15-8||54.5%||1-1||66.7%||3-93||(30.9)||3-30||(10.6)||7-70|
|Stats Against (All Games)||0.5||0.4||0.9|| ||12-4||36.4%||1-1||85.7%||3-90||(25.8)||2-18||(10.9)||5-48|
|Opponents Avg. Stats For||1.1||0.8||1.9|| ||13-5||36.9%||1-1||59.0%||3-77||(24.1)||21-2||(9.5)||6-54|
|Stats Against (Road Games)||0.8||0.2||1.0|| ||12-6||46.7%||0-0||100.0%||3-90||(28.2)||1-8||(8.2)||5-36|
|Last 3 Games||1-2||-0.7||2-1||0-3||14.0||9.7||283.7||(4.4)||1.0||18.0||5.7||289.0||(4.3)||0.7|
|Offense (All Games)||18.9||8.6||17.1||27:16||24-92||(3.9)||20-37||55.3%||220||(5.9)||61-312||(5.1)||(16.5)|
|Opponents Defensive Avg.||23.7||11.3||20.5||30:03||28-121||(4.3)||21-34||62.7%||236||(6.9)||62-357||(5.8)||(15)|
|Offense Home Games||17.2||6.6||15.4||27:44||26-98||(3.8)||17-34||50.9%||165||(4.8)||60-264||(4.4)||(15.3)|
|Defense (All Games)||23.4||12.2||22.4||33:37||30-125||(4.2)||24-39||62.6%||249||(6.4)||69-374||(5.4)||(16)|
|Opponents Offensive Avg.||23.5||11.8||20.3||30:10||26-107||(4.1)||23-36||62.1%||249||(6.8)||62-356||(5.7)||(15.1)|
|Defense Home Games||19.2||11.0||19.8||32:16||31-124||(4)||23-39||59.0%||233||(6)||70-357||(5.1)||(18.6)|
|Stats For (All Games)||1.2||0.4||1.6||0.1||14-5||32.4%||1-0||42.9%||3-91||(26)||3-37||(14.2)||7-66|
|Opponents Avg. Stats Against||0.9||0.8||1.6||2||13-5||39.3%||1-0||45.6%||3-73||(24.5)||23-2||(10)||6-56|
|Stats For (Home Games)||1.8||0.0||1.8||0.4||14-4||29.2%||0-0||50.0%||3-73||(26.2)||4-48||(13.4)||4-39|
|Stats Against (All Games)||1.0||0.7||1.7|| ||14-5||36.8%||1-0||62.5%||3-55||(20.4)||2-30||(13.8)||8-65|
|Opponents Avg. Stats For||1||0.7||1.7|| ||13-5||37.5%||1-1||63.9%||3-74||(24.2)||22-2||(10.8)||7-55|
|Stats Against (Home Games)||1.4||0.8||2.2|| ||15-6||36.4%||1-0||50.0%||3-58||(20.7)||3-34||(12.1)||8-66|
|Average power rating of opponents played: PITTSBURGH 18.6, CLEVELAND 20.7|
|11/4/2012||@ NY GIANTS||24-20||W||3||W||48.5||U||35-158||21-30-191||2||22-68||10-24-114||1|
|11/25/2012||@ CLEVELAND|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/2/2012||@ BALTIMORE|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/9/2012||SAN DIEGO|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/16/2012||@ DALLAS|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/23/2012||CINCINNATI|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|10/7/2012||@ NY GIANTS||27-41||L||7.5||L||43.5||O||19-84||22-35-291||3||34-243||25-37-259||2|
|11/25/2012||PITTSBURGH|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/2/2012||@ OAKLAND|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/9/2012||KANSAS CITY|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/16/2012||WASHINGTON|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/23/2012||@ DENVER|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|PITTSBURGH: Much was made about former coordinator Bruce Arians' aversion to the running game, and new offensive coordinator Todd Haley (who was the head coach of the run-heavy Chiefs) seems to have been brought in to correct that. The Steelers have a big, man-blocking line and Haley prefers the committee approach. With Rashard Mendenhall recovering from a torn ACL, Isaac Redman will get a heavy workload early in the season. Jonathan Dwyer figures to take a chunk of the early down reps. Redman can handle third down duties, though Baron Batch could push him for that role. Batch might have held that role a year ago had he not torn his ACL. Haley used to oversee the Cardinals' offense, so he's not lost in the passing game. Expect a lot of three-receiver sets and spread principles, with Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown on the outside and Emmanuel Sanders in the slot. Ben Roethlisberger's trademark is improvising and stretching out plays. Wallace might more often be the primary target, but Brown has shown more of an ability to shake open once the play breaks down. Sanders will be the primary target in the middle of the field. Tight end Heath Miller often stays in to protect. When the Steelers throw near the goal line, it's often play-action to someone in the middle of the field (Miller or the slot receiver, possibly Sanders now). Wallace's and Brown's roles are usually minimized once the Steelers drive deep into opponent territory, unless Roethlisberger is buying time on a broken play. The Steelers were tied for ninth in the league in sacks despite a rash of injuries to their linebackers. Although they forced an NFL-low 15 turnovers in 2011, Pittsburgh still led the league in scoring defense and yardage defense'the schedule is kind enough to allow for a repeat of these numbers. Lawrence Timmons' numbers were down last year because of a move to outside linebacker for about a third of the season. He'll play inside full time in 2012, and his numbers could revert closer to where they were in 2010. Troy Polamalu, meanwhile, looked a half-step slow by the end of last season due to all the nagging injuries he's been dealing with. He appears to finally be on the decline. |
|CLEVELAND: In a perfect world, head coach Pat Shurmur would make this offense much more pass-heavy, but rookie Trent Richardson is his best offensive player by a wide margin. They'll continue to pound the ball between the tackles on early downs, and Richardson can stay on the field for three downs. There's not a lot of creativity with this running scheme, some man blocking and inside zone runs. If Montario Hardesty is able to keep his roster spot this season, he will likely spell Richardson on early downs when necessary. Veteran Brandon Jackson will probably split third down reps with Richardson. The red zone reps will be Richardson's, as everything Cleveland does in the red zone is based on the run. Like Shurmur, new offensive coordinator Brad Childress comes from the Andy Reid coaching tree, so there will be no big changes. With Brandon Weeden starting, this will continue to be a classic West Coast attack, so Greg Little will continue to see the majority of passes. TE Benjamin Watson is the default No. 2 over the middle of the field, while Mohamed Massaquoi's lack of separation skills relegate him to being an infrequent target. They also find uses for No. 2 TE Evan Moore, who can stretch the middle of the field. They'll run some screens for Richardson. In the red zone, they rarely look outside the hash marks when they throw, instead trying to isolate Moore one-on-one or looking for Josh Cribbs to win a battle over the middle. Cleveland actually allowed the fifth-fewest points in the league and finished 10th in total defense last year, but the Browns don't make enough big plays necessary to compensate for what's been a weak offense. Manning the middle after Cleveland's switch to a 4-3 defense was D'Qwell Jackson, whose 116 solo tackles were the most anyone in the NFL has had since 2007. The best player on this unit is DE Jabaal Sheard, who dominated as a rookie, playing every down and piling up six sacks in his final seven games. He may see more double teams now, but he'll continue to be a force who's always on the field. Many figured Ahtyba Rubin's gaudy tackle totals would drop last year when Cleveland switched to a 3-4 defense, but he remained a run-stuffing monster and also started flashing some pass-rushing ability in 2011. Free-agent signee Frostee Rucker is not a great pass rusher, but when he gets his hands on a ball carrier, he tends to finish the job. T.J. Ward's disappointing 2011 was cut short by a serious foot sprain, but he's still one of the more promising young downhill safeties in the NFL. Shutdown cornerback Joe Haden battled a knee injury for parts of last season and should also be better in 2012. |
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER PRO FOOTBALL PREVIEW (PITTSBURGH-CLEVELAND) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
(UPDATES Haden's status)
*Steelers-Browns Preview* =========================
By JEFF MEZYDLO STATS Senior Writer
The Pittsburgh Steelers hope two familiar faces can help them bounce back from their first defeat in more than a month.
With veteran Charlie Batch under center and Plaxico Burress back where his career began, the visiting Steelers look to continue their dominance over the snake-bit Cleveland Browns on Sunday.
Pittsburgh (6-4) has a firm grasp on a wild-card spot, but there is certainly reason for concern as injuries continue to mount. Already without safety Troy Polamalu, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will miss a second straight game with a sprained right shoulder and dislocated first rib.
Backup QB Byron Leftwich is also out after suffering a broken rib Sunday night when the Steelers' four-game winning streak ended with a 13-10 loss to Baltimore.
Enter the 37-year-old Batch, who is 5-2 while starting in place of Roethlisberger over the last decade. 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's a great quarterback, and he's also been in the league for some time now," Pittsburgh cornerback Keenan Lewis said. "He knows the offense upside down (inside out), so if we have to rely on Charlie, we know he could get in there and win games."
If receiver Antonio Brown misses a third straight game with a bad ankle, Batch could find himself throwing often to Burress. The 35-year-old receiver signed with the Steelers on Tuesday to help a receiving corps that is down to three healthy bodies.
Burress, who had two 1,000-yard seasons while with Pittsburgh from 2000-2004, caught 45 passes for 612 yards and tied for the team lead with eight touchdowns for the New York Jets in 2011.
"He's in really good physical condition based on the workout I saw (Tuesday)," coach Mike Tomlin said. "He's got very good body control for a big man. He can drop his weight at break points and obviously he's no stranger to football."
While Tomlin does not expect offensive coordinator Todd Haley to change the playbook much with Batch and Burress in the mix, the Steelers must execute better on third down after going 5 for 17 against the Ravens. Pittsburgh has converted on 49 percent of its third-down chances with Roethlisberger on the field.
The Steelers also could rely more on running the ball against a Cleveland defense that ranks 24th with 125.3 rushing allowed yards per game.
After missing four straight contests with an Achilles' injury, Rashard Mendenhall ran 11 times for 33 yards last weekend. He hasn't gained more than 84 in his last six games versus Cleveland.
Teammate Jonathan Dwyer, who has a team-leading 410 rushing yards, is also expected to see time.
Tomlin hopes his team's stout defense will take some of the pressure of the offense, which has scored one TD since Roethlisberger was injured in third quarter of a 16-13 win over Kansas City on Nov. 12. The Steelers are first in the NFL with 259.1 yards allowed and fifth at 19.0 points given up per contest.
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.
The Browns (2-8) found the end zone twice last Sunday but blew a 13-point halftime lead en route to a 23-20 overtime loss at Dallas. Since 2010, Cleveland has lost an NFL-leading 18 games by seven or fewer points, including five this season.
"We just have to find a way to finish," coach Pat Shurmur said. "We have a whole locker room full of winners. This whole organization is full of winners. We just have to put it all together and do it."
Brandon Weeden threw a pair of TD passes to Ben Watson and was not intercepted while Trent Richardson just missed his third straight 100-yard rushing game with 95. However, the Browns committed two penalties for 50 yards on Dallas' tying drive in the fourth quarter.
Cleveland is 0-5 this season without star cornerback Joe Haden, who missed last week's game with an oblique injury. Haden, however, returned to practice Wednesday and could play Sunday.
|Last Updated: 9/2/2014 6:11:42 AM EST|