The Steelers showed the dangers of leaning heavily on your passing game, as they went to Cleveland with their third string quarterback Charlie Batch and fell to the previously 2-8 Cleveland Browns 14-20.
With both Ben Roethlisberger and Byron Leftwich out, the Steelers are one of the few teams to keep a third veteran quarterback, but Batch struggled. He finished the day 20 of 34 for 199 yards with no TDs and 3 INTs.
As bad as Batch’s day was, it was only the beginning of the Steelers’ problems. They managed only 49 yards rushing, and averaged a mere 2.5 yards per carry. Even worse, they fumbled the ball a ridiculous 8 times, losing 5. With the 3 INTs included, they lost the turnover battle 8-1, so it is a miracle that the game was actually as close as it was.
The Steelers’ got some help from their defense, as one of their 2 TDs came on defensive side of the ball. They converted the one turnover that they did get directly into points when Lawrence Timmons returned an interception 53 yards for a TD in the first quarter. But that was about the sole highlight for the Steelers.
Cleveland wasn’t much better, producing only 20 points on 8 turnovers as neither team reached 250 yards of total offense. The Steelers were 1 of 9 on third downs and the Browns were 3 of 16. The game also featured 19 penalties for a combined 158 yards to go along with the 9 combined turnovers.
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