November 8, 2007

Death, Taxes, and The Cleveland Browns Sucking...

"Despite all the changes in Cleveland, one thing that remains the same is the Browns' miserable record against the Steelers in recent years."
- Associated Press
So I don't know about you all, but everywhere I've looked on the interweb this week, I've found stories about how the Steelers will "be facing a different Browns team" this Sunday. Guess it's official Steeler nation, this shit is on. The rivalry that once was alive and well (circa 1988) has come full circle.

Be this as it may, and while it is my duty as a faithful Steelers fan/blogger to discuss with tempered enthusiasm how the Steelers will have to play a disciplined game this Sunday, I'd be lying if I said I didn't think we were the favorites for a reason. And for all you Browns fans who may/may not have found your way to my post from Wednesday, let me reiterate - yes, I understand Derek Anderson is what you might call the 2nd coming of Bernie Kosar and yes, I understand that the Steelers lost to Arizona. Even great teams lose once in a while as far as I know...but we can't do anything about those 2 losses now. All we can do is focus on the game at hand...Cleveland.

The fact of the matter is, this "rivalry" had become less than whelming in recent years...and by recent years I mean the better part of the last decade and a half. In fact, since 1993, the record goes: Steelers - 21 | Browns - 3. Think about that. Basically 7 out of every 8 times the Steelers played the Browns, they came out on top. Yikes. Nevertheless, I've said it before and I'll say it again - all the numbers in the world can't guarantee a victory. So let us not take the Browns lightly, because he who assumes, makes an ass out of, well you know how that all goes...

To that point - there is a A LOT of motivation for the Browns to win this one. The piss poor record vs. the Steelers for starters. But also, 1st place in the division is on the line. Course, the Browns technically can't knock us out of 1st place (we would retain the position by way of our 4-1 conference record), but they could even the score at 6-3 a piece. And what Browns fan wouldn't go berserk if that happened? We just can't allow that.

The good news is - the Steelers have an awful lot of opportunities to excel this Sunday, and because you know how much I love bullet points, here are some keys to the Steelers game against the Brownies:

  • Heath. Miller. Touchdown: Or Spaeth, I don't discriminate. What I'm getting at here is that the Browns have allowed multiple Tight End touchdowns in more than just a couple games this season, and since we've got seemingly one of the strongest tandems of Tight Ends south of Foxboro, we ought to use them. Of course this will be most effective if we...

  • Spread The Ball Around Like Butter: I've mentioned this in previous weeks, but when Ben gets a number of our offensive playmakers into the mix, the possibilities are endless...all I'm going to say is play action to Heath Miller in the end zone...which also requires that...

  • FWP Gets 22+ Carries: Another popular key that you have probably heard from me before. It's been well publicized this week that Willie only gained 42 yards on 23 carries against the Ravens on Monday. But honestly, the Ravens D and the Browns D are a classic example of what I'd call "night" and "day." The Ravens D ranks 3rd against the run and only allows opponents 74 rushing yards per game, while the Browns D ranks 26th against the run and gives up 135 rushing yards per game, almost twice the amount B-more gives up! So when I say this is an opportunity for us, I mean this is a god damn opportunity for an FWP blood bath. Run the ball at least 23 times and Willie Parker will gain over 150 yards, count on it...shitty offensive line or not.
  • Cover Kellen Winslow Jr.: Like Joey Porter says, "he's basically a receiver"...though we all know he'd prefer to be called a "souldja." Winslow (I refuse to say Jr. every know who I mean) not only poses a significant threat as target of Derek Anderson bullets, but is owed approximately one beat down, to be handed out by linebacker extraordinaire, James Farrior. Remembering full well the hit cheap shot Winslow put on him during meeting last December, Farrior has already issued him a warning -
    "He better have his head on a swivel...Every time we go up against those guys, I'll be looking for him"
    But will Farrior be able to do it alone? I have a feeling he may need a little help from Anthony Smith. And if that's what needs to happen, so be it. Who wouldn't like to see The Sandman give Winslow a pop or two?

  • Goal Line Stands: Jamal Lewis had only 37 yards rushing against the Seahawks last week, but yet 4 TDs. So obviously one other key will be to stop Jamal Lewis in the red zone. Of course, since the Browns haven't seemed to have much problem throwing the ball in, we'll still have plenty to worry about. But we can't allow Lewis to plow through when they're on the goal line. I like our chances much better against the pass in that sitch (like that slang? I'm trying to bring it into the blogosphere, so feel free to use it).

  • Bring The Heat, Bring The Pain, Bring The Ruckus: Am I beginning to sound like a broken record yet? Thought so. We need to pressure Derek Anderson. His line has played rather exceptionally this year with Seth McKinney back in the lineup, and the additions of Eric Steinbach (when he's been healthy) and Joe Thomas. But guess what? McKinney's probably out this week, Steinbach is still banged up whether he plays or not, and we just came off a performance in which we penetrated another one of the league's elite pass protecting lines. So we have the tools to do it (see Silverback), we just need to be effective like we were on Monday. Ride that emotional high Silverback, and sack Horse Balls at least 3 times. That'd help. Oh, and one more thing - All hail the triumphant return of Aaron Smith.
And those my friends are my select few "keys" to success against the Browns. As usual, there's way more I COULD say, but this post frankly is long-winded enough.

To wrap it all up - I would love nothing more than to show the Browns one more time who is boss in the AFC North. Show everyone that just because the Browns are one of the leagues biggest surprises this year, that doesn't mean they can play with the big boys. And at the risk of getting ahead of myself, show the media that the Steelers are the real deal and the Pats should be on notice. We're still riding the emotional high of a Monday Night Football, Homecoming DOMINATION. Let's keep it rolling and put some friggin' distance between us and the reset of the division. It's Week 10 god damnit. Sort 'em out Tomlin!

Different Browns team facing the Steelers this time [Associated Press]
"New" Browns to face the Steelers [The Vindicator]
Steelers to see different Browns this time [Post-Gazette]
Browns not intimidated by Steelers..[Orange and Browns Report]

Ballhype: hype it up!


Tobiathan said...

Classic Poop-Colored Ohioans fan pic. Only a Clevelander would waste perfectly good beer trying to support his team. Not to mention that they guy looks all soft and puffy, opposed to the way most Steeler fans look hard, dependable and determined. I guess a team and it's fans truly are reflections of each other..

I'm looking at you, Boston.

Also- Good job on the analysis. Winslow is a reciever. He's not a "TE" in any way. If he was forced to block all day without getting the ball he'd piss in his pants. Not that i'd blame him- he's a great ball-catcher(yes, that WAS a double-innuendo for f*g). I'm sure he catches balls under many circumstances...

I like the feeling i get about this game. The Steelers are poised for a breakout run of wins. Our losses earlier in the season were anomolies and will likely serve as effective reminders that we CAN lose. That knowledge will only make a better team, IMHO.

As i outlined in my last post, i say: let the Patricheats go undeafeted. Nothing would be sweeter than for our Stillers to meet an unbeaten Cheatriots team in the playoffs(preferably the AFC Champ. game) and stomp them into silly putty. If they're undefeated at that point i'm convinced they'll be too heady for their own good.

Not, of course, to look past the Poop-Colored Ohioans. The Brown-stains have rejoined the ranks of living, breathing competitors in the NFL and have enough offense to present matchup issues against just about anybody. However, i look for the Sandman to awaken this week, forSilverback to continue to surprise opposing OLs and for Troy "the Warrior" Polamalu to finally get his first pick or three.

I'm not in the habit of guiessing scores, but i'll go out on a limb here:

After a hard-fought first half in which the Brown-Stains effectively run the football and complete a few passes our Steelers will shut them down and totally frustrate evrerything they try to do in the second half. Score-

Steelers- 31
Poop-Colored Ohioans- 14

If i'm right i want praise. Dammit.

Go Stillers!


Cotter said...

Not the best thing I've ever written but hey, can't be 100% all the's been a rough week for OFTOT...

Tobiathan said...

Cotter, you're doing fine brudda.

Frankly, i'm surprised more opposing fans haven't found this site yet. I need someone to taunt and exasperate...