TALE OF THE TAPE

Tale Of The Tape: Pittsburgh Steelers At Cleveland Browns

Pittsburgh Steelers
Cleveland Browns
(credit: Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
(credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
(credit: Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
(credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Quarterback
Winner The Steelers are trying to play respectable football in the second half of the year and if they can find a way to improve their record, much of it will be due to the performance of Ben Roethlisberger. While the Steelers have struggled this year, Roethlisberger has been accurate in his passing and he can still shake off tacklers and make the throw to an open receiver.
Jason Campbell has given the Browns everything they could want from a backup quarterback. While he does not have overwhelming athletic ability, he is smart and he reads defenses well. Campbell is an accurate short- to medium-range passer and he can keep his cool when getting pressured by the opposing pass rushers.
Offense
Winner The Steelers are one of the few teams that have not tried to change their gameplan over the last few years. They still want to punish opponents with their running game, but that has not happened this year. Le’Veon Bell has not had a stellar rookie year, but if he gets decent blocking he can be a factor. Wideout Antonio Brown has been quite dependable this season.
Winner The Browns have had some fine moments this year and they have responded well to the accurate passing of Campbell. While the Browns don’t have much of a running game, wide receiver Josh Gordon has been a big-play performer who can blow past tacklers with his eye-catching speed. Tight end Jordan Cameron is a solid red zone target.
Defense
The Steelers have some issues on defense, but they are still a hard-hitting and effective unit in most games. The biggest issue for defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau is the lack of team speed that has impacted them from time to time. Inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons is one of the Steelers’ most dependable tacklers, while LaMarr Woodley is the team’s best pass rusher.
Winner The Browns have been consistent on defense all season and that’s one of the reasons they have been moderately respectable this season. Unlike the Steelers, the Browns do have the speed to stay with speedy opponents. Linebacker D’Qwell Jackson has been the team’s best tackler all season while free safety Tashaun Gibson excels at breaking up passes.
Special Teams
The Steelers are hoping their special teams can put up a big play or two in the second half of the season. Brown certainly has the speed to break a long run. Placekicker Shaun Suisham has been dependable all year, but the Steelers are struggling with their punting.
Winner The Browns could have a big advantage in this game with their special teams because Travis Benjamin has already taken back a punt for a score and has come close with an 86-yard kickoff return. Billy Cundiff has done an adequate job, but he doesn’t have a great track record on clutch kicks.

The Winner Is

(credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Winner Cleveland Browns
3 out of 4

The Browns feel like they can earn respect any time they can compete with the Steelers for 60 minutes. They appear to have a chance to do that here and get an important home win against a team that has tormented them for years.
-Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. Frank Kaminsky #44 of the Wisconsin Badgers (Photo Credit: Mike McGinnis, Getty Images) Kaleb Tarczewski #35 of the Arizona Wildcats (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
    Elite Eight Tale: #1 Wisconsin Vs. #2 Arizona

    It is rematch time. Last year, the Wisconsin Badgers and Arizona Wildcats met in the Elite Eight and Wisconsin walked away with a 64-63 overtime win.

  2. Devin Booker #1 of the Kentucky Wildcats  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) Zach Auguste #30 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
    Elite Eight Tale: #1 Kentucky Vs. #3 Notre Dame

    Coming into the Sweet 16, West Virginia showed confidence that they could be the team that finally knocked off the Kentucky Wildcats.

  3. (Photo by Craig Jones/Getty Images) (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
    Tale Of The Tape: Best NCAA Tournament Performances Since 1980

    Starkey and Mueller drafted the greatest NCAA Tournament performances since 1980. The sixth pick was of the best tournament broadcasters.

See All Tales of the Tape