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Thread: PIT at CLE

  1. #1
    Legend

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    PIT at CLE

    With about 100 experts making their picks, 84% are siding with CLE straight up. The spread has bounced around in the last couple of days and sits at +9.5 as of this writing. PIT is 9-6 ATS this season and 2-1 ATS as an away underdog, so there is that. Personally I would stay away from betting this game. Too much uncertainty on who's in/out.


    CLE Offense:

    • You could argue this offense is exactly what you would build against the PIT defense as it sits today. The PIT LBs will be tested early and often by Chubb & co. Expect runs, with more runs, and then running again!
    • Chubb does the most damage with runs off-tackle and outside (5.9 & 5.4 yd avg, respectively). Runs inside are more modest (3.9 yd avg). He also leads the NFL in YAC (3.5 yds/rush), and broken/missed tackles at 25% of carries. Steeler LBs are going to earn their keep this weekend. Fortunately he's not much of a threat in the passing game with only 18 targets this season.
    • Hunt is the other prong in the run game and very good in outside runs avg 4.9 yds/att. Hunt is a receiving threat with 37 rec and 287 YAC; 1 out of 2 catches results in a first down. In the first game against PIT he only had 57 total yds on 15 touches, but remember Chubb was out so the defense only had to worry about Hunt.
    • Mayfield passing; give Stefanski credit for designing an offense to minimize his attempts (29th in pass %, 24th in yds/gm). He's only thrown 8 INTs on the season but also fumbled 8 times. He's a threat to run (48 for 121 yds) but not normally as designed plays.With Watt sidelined I expect he will be a lot more comfortable in the pocket and will probably have an average day passing.
    • In the last month they have had some explosive passing, ranking 10th in the NFL (ref. the CLE/BAL game). Landry is the #1 target avging 55+yds/gm. Higgins is also good with over 500 yds on the season. Hooper is a decent TE, a little less productive compared to Ebron.
    • Somewhat curious CLE is 28th in 3rd and short conversion rate at 61%; but 7th in 3rd and long conversion, 33%.



    CLE Defense:

    • Media eyes on Garrett/Rudolph; I expect nothing to see though. But AV is going to have his hands full again this weekend and would not be shocked if we see constant pressure from his side. He's regressed a lot this season. O. Vernon on the other side is no slouch either, with 8 sacks on the season. (still scratching my head on why they moved Feiler from RT to LG, making two positions weaker.)
    • CLE is not overly aggressive in blitzing, avg 20% which is about what they did against PIT in the first game.
    • In the last 5 wks opponents have been successful running against this defense, especially running to the right side of the defense. But given PIT run game, I don't think CLE is any weaker than some other opponents so I'm not expecting miracles in the PIT run game.
    • On the season, CLE is decent at limiting explosive plays but have been hit with big runs in the last 5 wks (TEN and BAL can do that to a team) but again I don't think we can expect fireworks from PIT.
    • Against the pass CLE is vulnerable downfield outside the numbers (avg passer rating 110), perfect for Roethlisberger... oh wait... Rudolph.
    • Overall opponent passer rating against is 24th in the NFL (96.6), but RZ pass defense is top 10 in the last month.
    • CLE is 29th in 4th qtr points allowed; is this a tired defense or opponents playing catchup?



    If the Steelers were playing their normal roster I like this matchup. As a few have already commented, pretty much can throw most stats out the window for this game given all the uncertainty with players. A win would be mildly surprising, a loss would not. I look at it as a game to see some young guys step up their game getting ready for the postseason.

    Last edited by NorthCoast; 01-01-2021 at 09:14 AM.

  2. #2
    Backup

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    Maybe Mayfield will put the ball on the ground a couple of times to level the playing field.

  3. #3
    Legend

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    One other point; on Rudolph in this game I am interested to see how well he sees and adjusts to pressure in the pocket. If you remember last season he had a terrible time with awareness of pressure and where it was coming from. Want to see if he's learned to recognize and slide around to avoid rushers. My opinion, this is one of his biggest drawbacks as a QB.

  4. #4
    Legend

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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthCoast View Post
    One other point; on Rudolph in this game I am interested to see how well he sees and adjusts to pressure in the pocket. If you remember last season he had a terrible time with awareness of pressure and where it was coming from. Want to see if he's learned to recognize and slide around to avoid rushers. My opinion, this is one of his biggest drawbacks as a QB.
    Was saying this exact thing yesterday. When the pocket starts to close in, he has the unique sense to slide into the pressure instead of away from it.

  5. #5
    Pro Bowler

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    Is this the game day thread? The official one? Magoo?

    We are going to bash the Browns with our scrubs. Beat them with our second class citizens. Total dominationism.

  6. #6
    Legend

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    Letís go.

    5 TDS for MR.

  7. #7
    Legend

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    A first down on the first drive!

  8. #8
    Legend

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    At least it wasn’t a 3 and out.

  9. #9
    Pro Bowler

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    Rudolph will carve up the Browns like jello. He's that damn good.

  10. #10
    Hall of Famer

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    I could care less about this game but it would be humorous for the Browns to miss the playoffs with a loss.

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