Tuesday, March 13, 2012

APR's top 25 regular season upsets: #22

#22: 2000 Week 3: Steelers 20, Browns 23 (ρ=1.2757)
Steelers' season: finished 9-7, and out of the playoffs.
Browns' season: finished 3-13. Head coach Chris Palmer was fired after the end of the season.
What happened: 2000 was the second year of the "reboot" Browns, and they had a terrible offense. In 11 games, they didn't score more than 10 points (including 3 shut-outs). This game's 23 points was 1 less than their season high.
The Steelers had problems of their own on offense (even when they weren't starting career backup Kent Graham at quarterback). They only scored 24+ points 4 times in the 2000 season, and had four games of their own where they didn't score more than 10 points.
But the biggest problem for the Steelers in this game is they let Tim Couch pass for 316 yards (a mark he only surpassed twice in his NFL career). Couch also threw two touchdown passes, no interceptions, and was not sacked all game.
Also of note: the 2000 Steelers are the first of two upset teams on this list not to make the playoffs.

Next week: Dan Marino has one of the worst games of his career.