Shockingly, the Browns slowed down Pittsburgh’s potent passing attack for most of the afternoon. This pleasant surprise was overshadowed by other shortcomings, but it is encouraging.
Most notably, Joe Haden kept Antonio Brown in check, as he only gained 76 yards. Other players who performed well included Briean Boddy-Calhoun, Ed Reynolds II, and Derrick Kindred. Of course, Cleveland was overmatched in the passing game, as Pittsburgh had an advantage in size and speed. But the Browns compensated for this fairly well, communicating well and tackling solidly.
The one lapse the unit had was at the end of the first half, when they gave the Steelers two additional chances to score because of penalties. This proved costly, as Pittsburgh ended up going in for a touchdown and converting on a two-point conversion after two untimed downs.
All in all, this week provided a performance to build on. Hopefully, going against another formidable passing attack next week, Haden and company can have a repeat performance. Most of all, it is fair to say that the play of the secondary put the team in an unexpected position to pull the upset.