The Pittsburgh Steelers made it three consecutive wins Sunday after their 27-11 victory over the Cleveland Browns, firmly placing themselves in the thick of the AFC Wild Card race.
The Steelers did so with big plays on both sides of the ball as they now have almost completely erased their horrendous start to the season.
There were a lot of good things to like on both sides of the ball Sunday.
With that being said, let’s take a look at how the Steelers graded out at each position.
Quarterback: He wasn’t nearly as impressive as the week prior, but Ben Roethlisberger was very good nonetheless as he improved to 16-1 during his career against the Browns. The Steelers got the lead early because Big Ben threw often. He completed 22 of 34 passes for 217 yards and a pair of scores, finishing with a quarterback rating of 102.2. He was especially good in the second quarter when he turned the game around by completing 10 of 12 for 114 yards, including a 41-yard scoring strike to Antonio Brown. More importantly Roethlisberger didn’t turn the ball over. On a cold and windy day the Steelers needed Big Ben to be very good and he delivered. Grade: A
Running Backs: The Steelers rushed the ball 34 times, which was a season-high, but it wasn’t a good day as they failed to rush for 100 yards as a team and averaged a mere 2.5 yards per carry. Rookie Le’Veon Bell ran for 80 yards, but after gaining 42 yards on 10 carries in the first half, was slowed down a bit in the second. Grade: C+
Wide Receivers: Brown had five of his six catches in the second quarter and Emmanuel Sanders chipped in six receptions with a score as well. Tight end Heath Miller was also active, hauling in five passes. After a few big weeks in a row, Jerricho Cotchery didn’t catch a ball and surprisingly was only targeted one time. Overall it was a solid afternoon though for the playmakers. Grade: B+
Offensive Line: For the first time all season Big Ben wasn’t sacked and it came against a defense that can get to the quarterback. The line also had success clearing holes in the ground game in the first half as the Steelers averaged 4.1 yards per carry through the first two quarters. But for the second week in a row they struggled to run the ball in the second half to protect a lead. Grade: B