The Browns knew they would need a great effort to beat the playoff bound Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday at home, but instead their effort was as poor as their execution, as they were beat up by the black and gold 41-9.
“We did not make the plays out there, and they jumped on us quick,” Browns guard Eric Steinbach said. “Stuff that was usually working really wasn’t working.”
Nothing was working for the Browns, as they were behind 7-0 just :43 seconds into the game, and down 14-0 at the end of one. After settling for a chip shot field goal early in the second, the Steelers put the game away with three more second quarter scores to make it a laugher – 31-3 at half.
The second half wasn’t much better, as the Steelers played their starters for just over half of the third quarter, and scored a touchdown to make it 38-3, and then Shaun Suisham kicked a 41-yard field goal to make it 41-3 with 12:32 left.
The Browns final TD of the season was a Brian Robiskie 20-yard TD from Colt McCoy with 6:33 left to make it 41-9. The team went for two and didn’t make it.
“It was our last chance to play for our fans, they played a great game obviously,” Browns WR Mohamed Massaquoi said. “We’ll just try to critique everything and pay attention to everything and just try to get a little better.”
The Browns likely will be doing that in 2011 with a new coach. Eric Mangini is set to speak with team President Mike Holmgren Monday morning, and the thought is that Holmgren is going to make a change.
Mangini’s two seasons saw him go 10-22, and while he won his last four last season, he and the team lost their last four this year, which probably just cost him his job.
McCoy in the contest Sunday was 20-of-41 attempts for 209 yards with a TD, and was under a heavy rush from the superior Steelers all day, getting sacked four times.
“We didn’t execute on offense and stay on the field like we should have. It puts your offense and defense in a bind,” McCoy said. “I’ve earned a lot of experience that’s really going to help…I’m fired up. When I come back next year I’m not a rookie anymore, and it’ll be time to play and time to go.”
McCoy tossed three interceptions in his first six games this season but was picked off six times in his final two contests. The team also didn’t give him much support in the run game, going for just 43 yards with a banged up Peyton Hillis.
Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger, who has led Pittsburgh to four division titles in seven seasons, ended with 280 yards on 15-of-22 throws, while Mike Wallace caught three passes for 105 yards and a score.
The team has plenty of questions, tomorrow will start the process of answering some of them.
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