Steelers imploded in first half vs. Browns

CLEVELAND – Wow, this is getting pretty ridiculous. It’s 13-3 Browns at the half, and it really should have been worse than that.

Pittsburgh’s offensive line is getting ambushed. Five sacks in five possessions? Are you kidding me? Four drives ending on a sack? Sacks on consecutive plays on their last full drive of the half? The Steelers get caught in second-and-long, try to protect with a two-receiver set on third-and-forever and then suffer a sack anyway, when OT Willie Colon gets beat? Then everything gets compounded by the fact the Steelers would have taken over at midfield when Josh Cribbs fumbles a punt … but a holding call erases all of that.

The Steelers have the look of a team that lost its swagger on both sides of the ball. A loss tonight — which would be five in a row, including consecutive losses to Cleveland and Oakland, with an overtime defeat to KC thrown in, too — would end the season in my opinion. A loss tonight, and the Steelers are 6-7, with a woeful 4-6 conference record. And they face Green Bay next week, while either Miami or Jacksonville is gonna get a win Sunday (unless they tie), and Baltimore is almost certain to beat Detroit at home. It’s gonna take a miracle.

The hole is getting deep, even for the Super Bowl champs.

Cribbs is to blame tonight.

After the reprieve from his muffed punt, Cribbs turned the corner out of the Wildcat and bulled over two defensive backs on third-and-long and went 37 yards, almost to the red zone. The only things the Browns haven’t done well is finish drives, but they get in the end zone a time or two and it’s gonna be lights out.

I’m going to say it again — Cribbs is probably the most underpaid guy in the league. Giving him something closer to what he deserves would send the right signal to the locker room, establish some goodwill. If you can’t rebuild around this dude, then I don’t know where you start on this roster.

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