Steelers Gab Week 13 NFL Preview – Cleveland at Pittsburgh
It’s a Thursday night special as the Steelers get set to host the 4-8 Browns, a team that is starting to limp towards the finish, which is nothing new for Cleveland.
The Browns have lost five of their last six games, and had to sweat out the only win, as they made two plays at the end to stop the Jacksonville Jaguars. Everything seems to be going the Steelers way as this matchup closes in, so let’s get into it with our preview and prediction for this matchup.
1. Beat Up Colt and Peyton - The Browns come into the matchup really banged up. Both QB Colt McCoy and RB Peyton Hillis got beat up last week in the loss to the Ravens. Now on a short week they come to Hinez Field, and the Steelers D, even without LaMarr Woodley, should be able to lay some shots on these two. It wouldn’t be a shock to see both leave the game at points due to the injuries they are nursing.
2. Pound Mendy Early and Often – On paper, the Browns’ defense looks stout. However, the No. 1 pass-stopping unit is flanked by a run-containing group that’s second from last among the NFL’s 32 teams. Based on that, expect Rashard Mendenhall to have a little something to say in the Steelers’ offensive game plan. This doesn’t mean they won’t throw, but they won’t need to as much as they have in past games with the bad Browns run D.
3. Numbers Don’t Lie – Statistically speaking, Cleveland is 28th in the league in scoring (14.6 ppg), 30th in both total yards (290.7 ypg) and rushing yards (93.7 ypg) and 24th in passing (197.0 ypg). On defense, the Steelers are fourth in points allowed (16.2 ppg), first in total yards surrendered (273.8 ypg), second against the pass (176.8 ypg) and seventh against the run (96.9 ypg). This is a total mismatch, and the Steelers need to come out and play like it, and run these guys off the field.
Prediction – Back in 2006 these two teams met on a Thursday night in the same week. The Browns were banged up, and even at 4-5, the Steelers laid waste to their rivals, as they got off to a fast start, and then RB Willie Parker took over, going for 223 yards. While I don’t think Rashard Mendenhall will do that, he will for sure go for about 125, and the Steelers D will roll over Colt McCoy and will knock him out by the start of the fourth quarter. Steelers 31 Browns 7
Source: Steelers Gab
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