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Steelers Winners And Losers Following Bad Week 3 Loss To Browns

Jordan Schofield / SteelerNation (Twitter: @JSKO_PHOTO)

Steelers Winners And Losers Following Bad Week 3 Loss To Browns

The Pittsburgh Steelers visited the Cleveland Browns for a Thursday Night Football matchup in Week 3 of the 2022 season. The team had a decent offensive showing in the first half, but it was pretty much crickets after that and the organization fell to 1-2 after a 29-17 loss. There was a lot more bad than good in the frustrating divisional loss. The organization now falls to 0-6 in games that T.J. Watt has not played in. As we do every week, let’s take a look at the winners and losers for the team on Thursday evening and analyze the play of several players and positional groups.

Steelers Dan Moore Jr

Steelers offensive tackle, Dan Moore Jr. warms up for a regular season game in 2021. | Jordan Schofield / SteelerNation (Twitter: @JSKO_PHOTO)

Steelers Winners

1.) Offensive Line/Dan Moore Jr.

This heavily criticized group came to play on Thursday evening. The Steelers averaged 4.7 yards per rush and only allowed one sack. They have consistently gotten better each week since the season began and the game against the Browns was no different. There were large holes for Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren to run through early on and the unit also provided solid pass protection. The offense has a legitimate chance to be much better than expected if this group continues to improve.

Moore Jr. deserves a special shoutout for the job he did against Myles Garrett. In the first half, the dominant edge rusher had 13 pass rush snaps and that ended up leading to no sacks, tackles for loss or QB hits. Garrett finished with just two tackles. Moore Jr. has held his own against him the last two years.

2.) Jaylen Warren

Yes, Warren did fumble early in the game, but the rookie averaged 7.5 yards per rush and had a huge gain on a shovel pass that was unfortunately wiped out due to an ineligible man being downfield. He is showing the ability to be a solid option behind Harris. He runs north and south with a strong will to initiate contact. The Steelers may have found themselves a diamond in the rough if he can consistently hold onto the football.

Steelers Jaylen Warren

Steelers running back, Jaylen Warren (#30) warms up prior to a 2022 preseason game at Acrisure Stadium |

3.) DeMarvin Leal

Leal was solid for the second week in a row on Thursday. He deflected a pass on second down and broke up a play in the backfield in the first half. He isn’t making any game changing plays, but is slowly making a name for himself within the defense. With that said, most of the defense performed poorly and as a group, looked extremely tired and not prepared or conditioned to play on a short week.

Steelers Losers

1.) Ahkello Witherspoon, CB

Witherspoon did not respond to the challenge after giving up a horrible touchdown to the New England Patriots and Nelson Agholor last week. He was consistently matched up against Amari Cooper and time and time again looked lost and flat out beat. Many Steelers fans were excited to watch Witherspoon play after his strong play down the stretch in 2021, but he has been less than impressive this season and that continued on Thursday. It got worse for Witherspoon when he left late in the third quarter with an injury.

2.) Terrell Edmunds, S

Edmunds was on the coverages that led to the Browns’ first two touchdowns. It was baffling to see him one on one against Cooper in the red zone and it resulted in Cleveland’s first score of the evening. The safety has been a quiet, but integral part of the team’s defense the last couple of years. No one is going to replace him, but he didn’t do the defensive group any favors against the Browns.

Pittsburgh Steelers strong safety Terrell Edmunds (34) gestures during an NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)

 

3.) Third And Fourth Down Defense

This has been an inconsistent piece of the Steelers under Mike Tomlin. The Browns were almost a perfect 4/4 on fourth down, but a drop from Cooper in the second quarter prevented that. This was arguable the most embarrassing part of the night for Pittsburgh. As a whole, Cleveland was 9/20 on third and fourth down combined. It’s going to be hard to win football games with numbers like those.

4.) Run Defense

Nick Chubb came into the evening averaging 4.4 yards per rush against the Steelers, while he averages over 5.5 yards per carry against all other teams. He absolutely dominated Teryl Austin‘s defense on Thursday. There was absolutely no push from the defensive line and what looked like an improved run defense in the first two weeks, took a gigantic step back against the Browns. Sure, the defense has been worn out the first two weeks and been on the field way too much, but it was a poor showing during the disappointing loss.

Chubb had 22 carries for 113 yards and a touchdown. There was no answer for the running back on Thursday night.

5.) Mitch Trubisky, QB

Trubisky was on this list a few days ago and while he came out playing with confidence to start, if George Pickens doesn’t make a highlight reel catch, this game could have been a blowout. He lost all momentum that he had built in the first few series and the second half was hard to watch. Who knows when Tomlin looks to Kenny Pickett, but the current QB1 is starting to create more of a controversy in the quarterback room. The team now has 10 days until the New York Jets travel to Pittsburgh and Pickett may get an opportunity.

 

Who are your winners and losers from the Steelers first regular season game of 2022? Let us know in the comments below!

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Francisco González

    September 23, 2022 at 12:00 am

    I would add Matt Canada as Looser, no clue about preparing a game plan. We wasted almost all first downs with a run thru the center. Every single time and Mike Tomlin, he is not coaching at all he just watches the game. No instructions, no emotions, no plan, no nothing, just a bench coach.

  2. dave caligiuri

    September 23, 2022 at 9:00 am

    Mitch isn’t the answer never was and never will be another poor game and that is what we get with him as a quarterback … I get the team need to justify the 13 million he is getting paid, that’s why he is starting other than that, he is garbage. Harris is inconsistent on running the ball, I am not a fan favorite, sorry. Of course, Watt makes the defense better, but they have their flaws too as a whole. Danny Smith does a good job with special teams and that has improved big time. Bottom line .. Kenny Pickett isn’t a quick fix, though he proved to be the better of the bunch during the preseason, remember, it was pre-season ! Kenny, in my opinion, is the best quarterback on the team but he will need time to catch up to the speed of the NFL, and then and only then he will shine. Keeping Mitch as quarterback expect 2-6 , Kenny gives us a chance to be a little better than that, but he is a rookie, and mistakes are expected …….

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