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No question that the Browns fans, the city of Cleveland and the team needed a win over the hated Steeler Nation. They not only got it but did it in style with the 31-10 victory in Cleveland yesterday.
But there were extenuating circumstances that took a lot of the luster off the win. Of course the season ending injuries C Alex Mack and DE Armonty Bryant took some of the joy out of the win.
But the win had far more to do with offensive and defensive breakdowns by the Steelers than great play by the Browns. That is not to say that the Browns played poorly. That is not the case. But on both sides of the ball the Steelers made mistakes that allowed the Browns to score and prevent scores by Pittsburgh.
The both the long passes to TE Jordan Cameron were blown coverages by SS Troy Polamalu. In each case he chased a player that was not his responsibility rather than covering Cameron who was his charge.
The Steelers have struggled for more than 2 years in the red zone. Their ineptness was a major contributor to failing to make the playoffs. The blown field goal attempt ignited the Browns O explosion. That led directly to the Browns TD.
The Browns took advantage of the Steeler mistakes but that has not happened often in this “rivalry.” QB Brian Hoyer threw only 17 passes and the Browns still beat them. But all the stats were nearly identical. The Steeler errors were mostly responsible for the Browns win.
That is what I think. Tell us what you think by commenting here or tweeting me @NNRonDSN.
NOTE: News, Notes and Rumors podcast are BACK. Check out our thoughts on Fridays about the games coming up and Monday on the results of the weekend. My co-host is Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports. Podcasts can be heard on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. Thanks for your support.
Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/. Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts. You can hear the previous shows on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/ and the live show Mondays at 6 PM Eastern time on .
He also edits http://fryingpanpolitics.org/.
To keep up with the News, Notes & Rumors podcasts, follow me on twitter @NNRonDSN.