The Pittsburgh Steelers’ offensive woes continued into their 14-20 road loss to the Cleveland Browns. The situation was particularly elevated due to a series of injuries before and during the game, which resulted in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ offense committing eight turnovers in the game.
With No.1 quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and backup Byron Leftwich still out with injuries, Pittsburgh Steelers’ third-string quarterback Charlie Batch was slated to start against the 3-8, Cleveland Browns. Although the 6-5, Pittsburgh Steelers were high on confidence in Charlie Batch during practices earlier in the week, the 37-year-old quarterback struggled behind the offensive line, being picked off three times and his team losing five fumbles to the Cleveland Browns. It was Charlie Batch’s first start since Week 16 last season but the veteran failed to impress with 18-of-31 pass completion for 199 yards and three interceptions in the game.
With Pittsburgh Steelers right tackle Marcus Gilbert out for another week, the offensive line sustained another mighty blow when starting left guard Willie Colon was called-off on medical reasons right before the game. More tragedy stuck the offensive line during the third-quarter when replacement right tackle Mike Adams need to be replaced by Kelvin Beachum, who is primarily the Pittsburgh Steelers’ backup guard.
The holes on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ offensive line were evident with their first possession, even though the defense provided a sufficient safety net following a 7-0 start, owing to an early 53-yard touchdown return by linebacker Lawrence Timmons. The Cleveland Browns responded with a 28-yard field goal attempt by Phil Dawson after Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rahsard Mendenhall fumbled the ball giving the Browns’ possession on their 44-yard line.
The Cleveland Browns scored another two touchdown drives following more turnovers by the Pittsburgh Steelers and the offensive troubles prevailed down the road. Running back Trent Richardson was able to capitalize on a similar turnover with 5:25 remaining in the third quarter, rushing for 85 yards to score on a 15-yarder to bring the Cleveland Browns’ score up to 20-14.
The Pittsburgh Steelers recovered for a moment late in the second quarter as wide receiver Plaxico Buress drew a pass interference call on Cleveland Browns safety Sheldon Brown that set up running back Chris Rainey for a 1-yard touchdown run. But the Cleveland Browns took an interception on a low-level Chris Batch pass to Plaxico Burress on the 7:10 mark in the third quarter, which ultimately set them up on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 31-yard line.
The Pittsburgh Steelers will need a stronger performance from the offensive line as they brace to go-up against the AFC North leading 8-2, Baltimore Ravens in again in the absence of Ben Roethlisberger next week, after losing a second consecutive game in two weeks.