This post is kind of looking ahead to the Green Bay Packers opponent in two weeks, but the score shocked me. Browns 13, Steelers 6. It's the Steelers 5th straight loss, and they've fallen to 6-7. I didn't watch the game, so Behind The Steel Curtain or JJ Cooper are probably better sources who could explain what's gone wrong for the defending champs. One thing that jumps out is that this is their 3rd game in past 11 days, so these guys have to be exhausted. But I've noticed a couple other things, statistically, about the Steelers in recent weeks.
While the Packers have been the worst special teams unit in the NFL for most of the season, according to Football Outsiders, their only real challenger for the bottom spot has been the Steelers. So it might not be a surprise to see that the Browns are the best special teams unit in the NFL, and special teams ace KR Josh Cribbs had a huge night against them, with 200 all purpose yards.
The other thing that jumps out about the Steelers is how their defense has statistically collapsed. When I posted about the Steelers at Ravens back on November 30th, the Steelers had the No. 3 defense according to Football Outsiders. After loses to the Ravens and Raiders, their defense has slid down to No. 10. It won't fall much this week, the Browns only managed 255 yards on offense, but the Steelers offense will fall hard after managing only 216 yards against the Browns' awful defense.
Has anyone watched the Steelers over the last few weeks? I know they've missed S Troy Polamalu, but the loss of one player can't wreck a defending Super Bowl champ?