BROWNIES MAKE GOOD EATIN�!
Guest Column by JB in the Big "STEEL" Apple. (Lives in New Yawk, but is from The 'Burgh.)
The Browns vs. the Steelers. Just 7 years ago these two teams met for the first time in the playoffs. Pittsburgh dominated offensively and defensively winning the game (29 � 9). The following year, the Steelers trounced the hated Browns twice again, but Arty Modell had already booked a one-way ticket to Baltimore a few weeks earlier, and Cleveland would not put up a fight the last ��s of the season.
Fast-forward to Sunday, November 11, 2001. We�ve waited 7 long years to find another meaningful Steelers/Browns match-up and boy will it be damn fierce. We�ll be able to tell our grandchildren that we saw the game that started the rivalry, the hatred, the competition and the dominance all over again. Don�t miss this game. Don�t you dare miss this game. Send the kids to the parents. Change your number so no one can reach you. Tell your girlfriend you pulled a hernia and can�t take her to bed. Buy a keg of beer and hook it up to you arm with an IV just so you don�t have to get up during the game. I�m serious don�t miss this game. This is THE match up of the week. Believe me. Don�t believe those morons at CBS. They�ve placed the #4 announcing team of Ian Eagle and Solomon Wilcots on this game. Yes Wilcots is better than DierDORK, but nobody beats Dick Enberg on a Sunday afternoon. Anyway, this game is the perfect cap to the first half of the season. Here are this week�s key matchups and notes to store away.
1. Tim Couch vs. Steelers DB�s � Folks, believe it or not, but Tim Couch is the first legitimate QB the Steelers are to face this season. He�s by far the best QB in the AFC Central. It will be of absolute importance that Steelers treat him like he�s a brand new Lazy Boy that needs roughed up, not some used-up "couch" that is forgotten about and sold at a flea market. He has the tools to pick the Defense apart by throwing pass after pass of high percentage completions that wear down the patience of a defense that act like the girl next door pinching your arm all the way to school. Our defense cannot not lose patience. That�s exactly what Couch wants.
2. Courntey Brown vs. Wayne Gandy � Gandy can handle him, just not all game. Gandy will breakdown, Brown is that good. It will be important for the play calling to keep Brown off rhythm that way Gandy doesn�t have to spend the whole game picking Kordell up off of the carpet.
3. Kordell Stewart vs. Cleveland front 7 � Last week, Baltimore did a good job keeping Kordell from running any successful QB sneaks. Look for Mularkey to attempt more of them, however, they need to be disguised better. Many times it looked as if Baltimore knew he was going to run a sneak and let him get 4 yards before pile driving him to grass. I like seeing 4 planned sneaks a game and these sneaks should go for 8 � 10 yards, anything less in yardarge is dangerous because you risk your QB each time he leaves the pocket so you better make it worth it the effort. I also like them on 1st down after we�ve run the Bus a few times. This makes the defense instinctively think that Kordell is dropping back to pass. They�ll be moving backwards even as Kordell shifts gears into forward and rumbles for gains of 8 and 9.
4. Kris Brown vs The Gods of the Mistake by the Lake � Things tend to go�um�wrong with our special teams up in Cleveland (Remember Eric Metcalf�s double punt returns for touchdowns in �93?) Our Brown needs to keep his head high. I would like to see an early opportunity for him to kick one, preferably a short range kick (30�s) This will get his confidence back because God know everyone will be watching his first attempt and Cleveland will bring the house every time.
Notes to keep in mind while you�re going to the fridge for another beer:
- What better way to end the first half of the season at 6 � 2? Yes 5 �3 would be fanatastic, but 6 � 2 would be better.
- By the way we still have 5 home games left.
- Look for RB Fred Taylor to return to action for the game against Jackos Vile. The Jags would love to have him back. That would be a nightmare for any Stiller fan.
- No Stai. No obligiatory holding penalities.
- Will somebody inform the special teams kick off return units to stop being such patsys? I mean I weigh 160 pounds and I could block better.
- Plaxico will have another TD this week.
- The Browns aren�t as good as everyone thinks, but they�re good enough to beat anyone in the league.
- The effects of last weeks heartbreaking loss to the Bears could have serious backlash as the game creeps into the waning minutes. Any big plays within the last 10 � 5 minutes would seal this game for either team.
- Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers whether filled with meat or caused by a Steeler, I like �em.
- By the way we still have 5 home games left and three are vs. Detroit, Minnesota and the Jets.
* Last Week�s Missed Prime Opportunity score: Pittsburgh 5 Baltimore 3
* -- A Missed Prime Opportunity is one in when a team fails to score while in scoring range or doesn�t take advantage of major swings in momentum (i.e. major penalties/turnovers/settling for field goals in successive series/inability to seal a game with first downs). These are killer because a team only gets so many. A great example is the Giants vs Eagles on Monday night this year. Although thoroughly ass whipping the Eagles in every category, the Giants inability to capitalize on Prime Opportunities causes the Eagles to take the lead with less than 2 minutes left. The Eagles cause Kerry Collins (The most overrated QB in the NFL) to fumble leading to an improbable Eagles victory in New York.
Pittsburgh 24 Cleveland 16
Kordell 180 yds passing 40 yds rushing 2 TD�s 2 INT�s
Bettis 145 yds rushing and 1 TD
Couch 200 yds passing 2 TD�s 1 INT
Cleveland fumbles twice.
Written by JB IN THE BIG STEEL APPLE