Steelers’ Offensive Woes Highlighted in Narrow 13-10 Defeat to Browns

by Ryan Lee
Steelers-Browns game analysis

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ previously reliable strategy faltered spectacularly during their recent encounter with the Cleveland Browns.

The Steelers, known for their knack of eking out narrow victories despite a struggling offense, faced a rare setback in a close 13-10 loss against the Browns, propelled by the efforts of rookie quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson in his second NFL appearance.

Entering the game with an impressive streak of 9-0 in one-score games, including a perfect 6-0 in 2023, the Steelers (6-4) could not extend their run.

In the game’s critical moments, it was the Browns (7-3), guided by their young quarterback filling in for the injured Deshaun Watson, who emerged victorious in a matchup marked by scarce first downs and limited big plays.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, in his straightforward style, acknowledged the shortfall. “It’s part of the competition in this league, especially on days like this. We accept that and congratulate them for doing just enough to secure a win. Our focus now turns to continued improvement,” he stated.

The Steelers’ concerns are manifold, ranging from the questionable underutilization of running back Jaylen Warren, quarterback Kenny Pickett’s struggles to connect on long passes, to growing disapproval of offensive coordinator Matt Canada.

The Browns appeared to outplay the Steelers at their own game on this occasion, with clear frustration visible in the Pittsburgh locker room.

The Steelers, who have often relied on close shaves for victories, banking on star player T.J. Watt and their defense, or relying on special teams for momentum, faced a harsh reality check. The game commenced with a foreboding tone as Pickett was sacked by Myles Garrett right at the outset.

One of the few offensive highlights for the Steelers was Warren’s 74-yard touchdown dash early in the second half, momentarily energizing the team. Despite his career-best 129 yards, Warren was limited to just nine carries, with a notable absence in the second half.

Tomlin refrained from critiquing Canada’s decision on Warren’s playtime. “We don’t dwell on what-ifs. We stand firmly by our decisions, play choices, and how we distribute the ball,” he asserted.

Even with these challenges, Pittsburgh had a chance for another tight win with 1:42 remaining. However, Pickett’s three successive incomplete passes, marred by miscommunications, particularly with wide receiver Diontae Johnson, led to a rapid turnover.

Pickett acknowledged the communication breakdowns, especially crucial in the game’s final moments. “These issues need to be resolved promptly, particularly in such critical situations,” he remarked.

The Steelers missed an opportunity to involve Warren in their final drive, opting instead to focus on passing plays. Pickett, reflecting on the decision, noted, “In a two-minute drill, the priority is usually to pass. While a run play could sometimes be a surprise element, it wasn’t considered in that particular instance.”

The Steelers found themselves with few opportunities, and when they arose, they failed to capitalize on them.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Steelers-Browns game analysis

Why did the Pittsburgh Steelers lose against the Cleveland Browns?

The Pittsburgh Steelers lost to the Cleveland Browns with a score of 13-10, primarily due to strategic errors and an underperforming offense. Despite previous successes in close games, the Steelers struggled with ineffective play choices and limited utilization of key players like running back Jaylen Warren. Quarterback Kenny Pickett’s challenges in connecting with receivers for long passes and decisions made by offensive coordinator Matt Canada also contributed to the defeat.

What were the key moments in the Steelers vs. Browns game?

Key moments in the game included Myles Garrett’s early sack of Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett, and running back Jaylen Warren’s 74-yard touchdown run, which was a highlight for the Steelers. However, the game was marked by the Steelers’ inability to capitalize on critical opportunities, especially in the final minutes where a series of incomplete passes by Pickett led to their loss.

How did Steelers coach Mike Tomlin react to the loss?

Coach Mike Tomlin acknowledged the team’s shortcomings in the loss to the Browns, emphasizing that such outcomes are part of competing in the NFL. He expressed the need to accept the result, compliment the Browns for their performance, and focus on continuous improvement. Tomlin also stood by the decisions and play selections made during the game, refusing to second-guess the strategies employed.

What issues did the Steelers face in their offense against the Browns?

The Steelers’ offensive issues included limited use of running back Jaylen Warren, quarterback Kenny Pickett’s inability to connect on long passes, and general criticism towards offensive coordinator Matt Canada. The team’s offense was unable to produce consistent and effective plays, which significantly impacted their performance against the Browns.

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BigFanofSteelers November 20, 2023 - 2:26 am

wow, tough loss for the steelers… they realy need to fix their offense, cant keep losing like this..

ClevelandRocks21 November 20, 2023 - 10:24 am

Browns did great, rookie QB stepping up big time!! Steelers just couldn’t keep up, haha.

GridironGuru November 20, 2023 - 10:37 pm

Steelers strategy seemed off, not using Warren enough was a big mistake. Pickett’s got potential but needs more support.

Jenny_from_the_block November 21, 2023 - 1:33 am

That game was a nailbiter, felt like Steelers could’ve won it but just fell short. Tomlin’s right, they need to go back to the drawing board.


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