The Cleveland Browns vs Pittsburgh Steelers is one of the most storied rivalries in the NFL. Since Cleveland returned in 1999 the Steelers have dominated this rivalry. At one point former Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was the most winningest quarterback in the Cleveland Browns stadium. That is simply horrific for an opposing quarterback to have more wins in your stadium than your own quarterback. In recent years the Browns have been more competitive in this rivalry.
The Cleveland Browns offense will face a Pittsburgh Steelers team in a transition for their franchise. With no T.J. Watt, this Steelers defense seems to be vulnerable. Still a very tough defense but nowhere near full strength. For the Cleveland offense, their strength is running the ball, at this moment the weakness of this Pittsburgh defense is stopping the run. For instance, after 2 games the Steelers have given up 257 rushing yards. In the Bengals game, the Steelers gave up 133 rushing yards and 299 passing yards. Likewise against the Patriots 124 rushing yards and 252 passing yards. For the Browns they should run the ball with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. Then allow Jacoby Brisset to be efficient in the passing game.
For this Cleveland Browns defense, the main focus for this unit is to communicate. The word communication has been the focal point since Sunday’s collapse. The front seven has been great up to this point, the Steelers will look to run the ball. Cleveland’s run defense has been good. In two games the Steelers have only rushed for 75 yards against the Bengals and 91 yards against the Patriots. So a decent rushing attack but the Browns can limit it. Steelers offensive line is very questionable at the moment. For the passing game, the Steelers do not throw the ball downfield. This could be a get-right game for a defense that’s not communicating well and has given up 2 long touchdowns. The Steelers Mitch Trubisky has thrown 344 yards over two games. In the Patriots game, Trubisky threw for 152 yards and 192 against the Bengals. We should see much-improved communication for this game.
Browns Special Teams
The special teams need to make solid leaps this week. The punt return game has been a liability. In both games so far the special team unit was able to avoid disaster by recovering two punts that were dropped by Demetric Felton. It may be time to change returners because they are one fumble away from another disaster. If there is no improvement with this unit at some point it may be time to make a coaching change. Cade York missed an extra point but we all must understand he is still a rookie and will need time.
Coming in the Pittsburgh Steelers will look to get a much-needed win after their loss to the Patriots Sunday. The Steelers offense and defense are not what they have been in the past. A solid defense coming in, but have some vulnerability. Mitch Trubisky is struggling in this offense and one can think when will Kenny Pickett get the opportunity to play. Trubisky so far is ranked 29th in passing yards, 31st in yards per attempt, longest pass 28th, and finally QBR 24th. On the bright side, the Steelers wideouts could take advantage of the Browns secondary woes and miscommunication.
Without a doubt, the Cleveland Browns need this win because they need a bounce-back game after Sunday. The defense needs to communicate and be on the same page. In addition, the Browns defense needs to finish if it’s right before the half finish strong and at the end of the game finish. The offense needs to continue to progress with Jacoby. Allow him to stay comfortable in this offensive system. Spread the ball around and get more pass catchers involved. It will really open up the run even more. A balanced attack will do well against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Hunt and Chubb must be on the field together again. I believe the Browns will win 24-17.