Ben Roethlisberger Comes Off Bench, Leads Pittsburgh Steelers Past Cleveland Browns
AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

Ben Roethlisberger Comes Off Bench, Leads Pittsburgh Steelers Past Cleveland Browns

Big Ben Roethlisberger was not expected to play on Sunday, and he sure was not expected to replace an injured Landry Jones and throw for over 300 yards and three touchdowns.

Connor Deitrich

Finally, the Pittsburgh Steelers caught a break. It was a weird one to catch, but it was a good one. Landry Jones, who was starting for an injured Ben Roethlisberger, injured his ankle in the first quarter. Big Ben's number was the one that got called, coming onto the field in a game that he had no plans of playing in. Jones' injury proved to be a blessing in disguise, as Roethlisberger came in and shredded the Cleveland Browns' secondary for 379 yards and three touchdowns. That number, 379, sets an NFL record for most yards thrown by a quarterback who didn't start the game.

As usual, the very talented receiver duo, perhaps the best in the league, went off for the Steelers. Second year receiver Martavis Bryant finished with 178 yards on six catches and one touchdown, while Antonio Brown caught 10 balls for 139 yards and two touchdowns, supporting his case as the best receiver in the league. Other than these two stars, Heath Miller was the only other players with over 20 receiving yards, as he finished with 40.

It was a bit of a surprise to see DeAngelo Williams struggle against a bad Browns' rush defense. He only rushed the ball 17 times for 54 yards. If Roethlisberger would've never came into the game, Williams probably would've got the ball in his hands much more frequently. But, when Big Ben entered, the ground and pound game plan seemed to fly out the window. 

The front seven of the Steelers did another amazing job, as they have been doing all season. Cleveland gained a pitiful 15 rushing yards on 14 rushing attempts. Lawrence Timmons led the way with 10 tackles, two of which came in the backfield. Two of Cameron Heyward's three tackles came in the backfield, including this play where he blew up his blocker and tackles the running back for a huge loss. 

Once again, Pittsburgh's secondary did not look good by any means. The unit conceded 372 yards to a below average quarterback in Johnny Manziel. As usual, they failed to cover tight ends well, as Gary Barnidge gained 65 yards and scored a touchdown. The front seven did help the secondary out some, as they sacked Manziel six times. Still, even with all that pressure being applied, Manziel tore the weak corners apart. This should definitely be the area that the team needs to improve upon if they want to make any sort of playoff run.

Because the offense played so well, it is easy to overlook the poor play of the pass defense. Going into their Week 11 bye, there are two things the team needs to work on: getting healthy and covering tight ends. If those two things go to plan, we should be in for a good one when the Steelers travel to Seattle in Week 12.