The Pittsburgh Steelers open the 2017 season in Cleveland against the rival Browns. Ben Roethlisberger has a tremendous record against the Browns when the Steelers visit Northeast Ohio and he’ll be looking to add to it on Sunday. Here is everything you need to know for the game!
NOTE: This season’s ‘Three-Point Stance’ is sponsored by ‘Nail the Number,’ our weekly contest where you can win $1,000 or more!
What: Pittsburgh Steelers (0-0) at Cleveland Browns (0-0)
Where: First Energy Stadium, Cleveland, OH
When: 1pm Eastern on Sunday, September 10th, 2017
Weather: 68 degrees and sunshine, winds to 13mph
Line: Browns +8.5
Last Week: This is opening game for both teams.
TV: CBS Greg Gumbel, Trent Green and Jamie Erdahl on the sidelines.
Radio: Steelers Nation Radio/WDVE Bill Hillgrove, Tunch Ilkin and Craig Wolfley on the sidelines.
Key Injuries: CLE: OUT: Myles Garrett (ankle) QUEST: Danny Shelton (knee) PIT: OUT: Jerald Hawkins (knee) QUEST: Bud Dupree (shoulder) Game-Time Decisions will be updated when available.
2016 Final NFL Ranks:
Total Offense: PIT 7th, CLE 30th… Passing Offense: PIT 5th CLE 28th… Rushing Offense: PIT 14th CLE 19th
Total Defense: PIT 12th , CLE 31st… Passing Defense: PIT 16th CLE 21st… Rushing Defense: PIT 12th, CLE 31st
AFC North Rankings: Baltimore 0-0, Cleveland 0-0, Cincinnati 0-0, Pittsburgh 0-0
What You Need to Know: This is the seventh time the Steelers and Browns have opened the season against each other. The Steelers are 4-2 (2-1 in Cleveland) over that stretch… Ben Roethlisberger’s career passer rating versus the Browns is 95.8… Mike Tomlin is 17-3 against Cleveland… Big Ben is 20-2 against the Browns and is 10-2 against them in Cleveland… Antonio Brown is currently one punt return TD away from breaking a tie (5) with Antwaan Randle-El…
What’s at Stake: Pride and a Good Start. Nobody wants to start the season 0-1 and the Cleveland Browns don’t want it to happen to a rival like the Steelers.
All-Time Series: Pittsburgh leads 70-58, Browns lead 37-21 in Cleveland, the Steelers have won the last four.
Series Highs: Passing: Steelers Ben Roethlisberger 417 Oct 18th, 2009… Browns Bernie Kosar 414 Nov. 23rd 1986… Rushing: Steelers Willie Parker 223 Dec. 12th, 2006… Browns Jim Brown 175 Oct. 5th, 1963… Receiving: Steelers Buddy Dial 235 Oct 22nd, 1961… Browns Josh Gordon 237 Nov 24th, 2013
Looking like Gilbert will have to wait for the second matchup to play Myles Garrett who said on Draft Day he looked forward to sacking Ben Roethlisberger.
See you 9/10 big fella
— Marcus Gilbert (@MarcusGilbert88) April 28, 2017
Three Things We Need to See for a Steelers’ Victory:
Shut Down the Run. Lost in the comeback in the season finale last year was the fact that the Browns rolled up 231 yards rushing. The Cleveland offensive line is better than it was a year ago and while you can argue the Men of Steel were without some top defenders, it was what it was. Add in the fact that the Steelers have looked downright horrendous at times stopping the run in the preseason and you could have a recipe for disaster. Stopping the run also forces rookie QB DeShone Kizer to have to make plays and I like our chances in that case.
Big Ben Has to Beat the Road Woes. The good news for Roethlisberger is that he has traditionally played well in Cleveland. But as Ian pointed out in his “Behind the Numbers” piece this week, Big Ben has to improve his overall play on the road period. Playing in Cleveland with his full compliment of weapons should get him off to a good start. If not, we could be in for another long season of Roethlisberger’s “Jekyll and Hyde” performances at home and on the road.
Don’t Make It About Le’Veon. There’s been some speculation that Mike Tomlin will “punish” Bell for skipping all of the preseason by running his tires off on Sunday. While I can certainly understand why this thought is present (see preseason game after bust for marijuana) Tomlin and Todd Haley have to remember they have a plethora of other weapons. They also have to keep in mind that it’s a long season too and wearing down Bell who is arguably not in football shape yet might not be the best idea.
Predictions The SCB Crew is chiming in this week with their selections!
Marc: Steelers 31 Browns 24
Cnic: Steelers 31 Browns 10
Tay: Steelers 31 Browns 17
Chris: Steelers 31 Browns 13
Ben: Steelers 28 Browns 20
Ian: Steelers 24 Browns 16