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SteelHoss
10-18-2010, 10:04 PM
NFL from the sidelines
After hobnobbing around the NFL in the press boxes and sidelines, sports reporter Dale Lolley will let you know the insider scoop.

http://nflfromthesidelines.blogspot.com ... ughts.html (http://nflfromthesidelines.blogspot.com/2010/10/post-cleveland-thoughts.html)

Sunday, October 17, 2010
Post-Cleveland thoughts

At 4-1, the Steelers find themselves in a pretty good spot.

But now, things start to get a little more difficult.

Heading out onto the road the next three weeks - at Miami, New Orleans and Cincinnati. It's usually difficult enough to play on the road, but three in a row is murder.

The only saving grace for the Steelers is that after playing Miami next weekend, they'll have plenty of reason to stay focused. The Saints are the defending Super Bowl champions, while the Bengals are an AFC North rival that beat them twice last season.

This will be the make-or-break portion of the schedule, followed by a return trip home against New England.

The Steelers have to go at least 2-2 in those four games if they hope to have a chance to win the division - though the Patriots helped them out by beating the Ravens Sunday.

Were the Steelers flat Sunday against the Browns?

No. The reason they didn't blow the Browns out earlier was offensive coordinator Bruce Arians' (correct) decision to use plenty of running to allow Ben Roethlisberger to ease himself into things.

Roethlisberger missed some open receivers and threw a bad interception on the team's first drive.

And the Browns also pinned the Steelers deep in their own territory on several occasions as well.

It took Roethlisberger a little while to find his rhythm, but the Steelers really were never challenged in this one.

The outcome of the game was never really in question. It was just going to be a matter of whether or not the Steelers covered the spread.

Given the fact Roethlisberger needed as many game snaps as possible, I have no problem with the Steelers throwing into the end zone with under two minutes to play and up 11 points.

The Browns hadn't stopped playing, so the Steelers shouldn't stop trying to score.

One nice thing the NFL did for the Steelers was set them up to face wildcat teams in back-to-back weeks coming off the bye.

The Steelers can roll some of the same defenses they used against the Browns right into the game at Miami - though, in my opinion, Ronnie Brown isn't as dangerous as Josh Cribbs is in the wildcat.

Colt McCoy has a chance to be Cleveland's best QB since the Browns' return to the NFL. And there have been quite a few.

Ditto Peyton Hills at running back - though Jamal Lewis wasn't bad in his short stay with the Browns.

Cleveland is much better than it has been - though the Browns still aren't ready to challenge for a playoff spot.

posted by Dale Lolley @ 9:36 PM


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