Game Overview ::
By mike johnson >>
- Pittsburgh has a 6-3 record despite having a negative-26-point differential this season.
- Cleveland just lost franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson for the season to a shoulder injury and will start rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson this week.
- Both defenses are performing at a very high level this season and have feasted.
- This is a rematch of an early-season Pittsburgh victory largely due to two defensive touchdowns.
- There will certainly be a lot of bad blood on the field after Nick Chubb was lost for the season to a devastating knee injury on a relatively dirty-looking play.
How pittsburgh Will Try To Win ::
The Steelers find ways to win. No other way to say it, they aren’t statistically or, on film, one of the top teams in the league, but they have a 6-3 record and are in the thick of the AFC playoff race. The Steelers also appear to be evolving and improving as the season progresses. This could potentially make them a dangerous team late in the season if Kenny Pickett’s level of play can improve even a little bit. Pittsburgh acknowledged how good running back Jaylen Warren was last week by formally announcing him as a starter. Warren responded with his best game of the season and made several head-turning plays. The Steelers still gave Najee Harris the ball, and he also performed well against a struggling Packers run defense. The bottom line is that Pittsburgh’s game plan on a week-to-week basis is to lean on their improving run game and defense and rely on their opponents to make mistakes that allow them to win.
This week against the Browns will almost certainly be the same recipe for Pittsburgh as what was just described, as they face a team that handed them a win with multiple turnovers leading to defensive touchdowns in their first matchup and now are trotting out a rookie quarterback who looked completely overwhelmed in his only previous start against a similar Baltimore defense. Kenny Pickett is playing fine football but isn’t being asked to do much. On the surface, there doesn’t appear to be any reason why the Steelers would try to force the issue against one of the top defenses in the NFL. The Browns have given up some big offensive performances this season, but those have primarily been against very aggressive offenses. They have fared very well whenever they have faced a conservative, run-heavy offense. Pittsburgh will not try to fix what isn’t broken, especially with the unproven nature of their opponent’s quarterback, and we should see a healthy dose of Harris and Warren with a focus on the passing game of protecting the ball and getting it out quickly. Perhaps some screens will slow down the Browns pass rush and neutralize Myles Garrett.