The Pittsburgh Steelers stumble into Cleveland for the season finale against the Browns. Can they bounce back and get the win they need plus some help to the north? I’m giving you the gameday rundown as the long-time rivals hook up.
What: Pittsburgh Steelers (9-6) at Cleveland Browns (3-12)
Where: FirstEnergy Stadium Cleveland, OH
When: Sunday January 3rd, 2016 1pm Eastern
Weather: 30 degrees and snow showers, winds around 18mph
Line: Steelers -11
TV: CBS Greg Gumbel, Trent Green and Jamie Erdahl on the sidelines.
TV Coverage Map Courtesy the506.com
Radio: Steelers Nation Radio/WDVE Bill Hillgrove, Tunch Ilkin and Craig Wolfley on the sidelines.
Rabble TV: SCB will be calling the game live and interacting with you the fans. Click here to listen!
Key Injuries: PIT Martavis Bryant (illness), Doran Grant (groin) QUESTIONABLE… CLE Johnny Manziel (concussion), Tramon Williams (concussion) OUT
NFL Ranks : Browns 23rd total offense ( 19th Rushing/ 17th Passing)/ 26th total defense ( 32nd Rushing/ 19th Passing)… Steelers 3rd total offense (13th Rushing/5th Passing)/23rd total defense (6th Rushing/30th Passing)
What You Need to Know: The Steelers’ William Gay played in his 142nd straight game which is the best among all active cornerbacks… Antonio Brown has at least one reception in 88 straight games… The Steelers are now just 3-8 in their last 11 games against Baltimore… Brown also joined Hall of Famer Cris Carter as the only men to have back-to-back 120 catch seasons.
AFC North: Baltimore (5-10) at Cincinnati (11-4)
What’s at Stake: The Steelers can clinch a playoff spot with a victory and a New York Jets’ loss. It’s that simple.
All-Time Series: Steelers lead the all-time series 67-58 and are 25-37 all-time in Cleveland. The Steelers won earlier this season 30-9.
Series Highs Passing: PIT Ben Roethlisberger 417 yards 2009, CLE Bernie Kosar 414 yards 1986 Receiving: PIT Buddy Dial 235 yards 1961, CLE Josh Gordon 237 yards 2013 Rushing: PIT Willie Parker 223 yards 2006, CLE Jim Brown 175 yards 1963
Three Things We Need to See for a Steelers’ Win
A Little Urgency Would Be Nice. I don’t know about you but I’m still struggling with what happened in Baltimore and if I feel that way I can only imagine what the team feels like. What struck me the most was the total lack of urgency in this Steelers’ team. A person watching the game with little knowledge of football would have thought the Ravens were the team fighting for a playoff spot. That’s the type of attitude this team needs to have Sunday. If they don’t, it will speak volumes about just where this locker room really has been.
DeAngelo Deserves It. The Steelers are facing the worst run defense in the league Sunday and DeAngleo Williams is 101 yards away from reaching 1,000 for the season. Williams has been as valuable as any Steeler this year and while they can’t do it at the risk of losing the game, getting him to that special mark would be a great way to thank him for his contribution in 2015.
It’s a Broken Record But… Stop me if you’ve heard this before but the Steelers’ defense needs to prove they can cover receivers and put consistent pressure on the quarterback. Austin Davis is 3-6 all-time as a starter with 13 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions. He’s also been sacked 33 times including four times for the Browns. It’s time for Keith Butler to quit screwing around. He needs to go back to what he was doing earlier in the season and bring pressure and exotic looks. His gameplan last week was his worst of the season and he needs to bounce back as does this entire secondary.
Photo Courtesy financialspots.com