The Pittsburgh Steelers host the Cleveland Browns in an AFC North game that holds little for the Browns other than pride. For the Steelers, it’s a chance to remain in the AFC Wild-Card Race as they head into the BYE week.
What: Cleveland Browns (2-7) at Pittsburgh Steelers (5-4)
Where: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA
When: Sunday November 15th, 2015 1pm Eastern
Line: Steelers -5.5
TV: CBS Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts and Evan Washburn on the sidelines.
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 the link to join us!
Key Injuries: As of Saturday AM… PIT QB Ben Roethlisberger Questionable/foot, Ryan Shazier Probable/Knee, James Harrison Out/Knee, Matt Spaeth Out/Knee, Shamarko Thomas Out/Knee
What You Need to Know: The Steelers’ William Gay played in his 137th straight game which is the best among all active cornerbacks… The Steelers are now 3-2 this season at Heinz Field… Mike Tomlin is now 50-19 all-time at Heinz Field… Lawrence Timmons has played in 78 straight games The longest active streak among all Steelers.
AFC North: Jacksonville (2-6) at Baltimore (2-6), Houston (3-5) at Cincinnati (8-0) Mon. Nite
What’s at Stake: The Steelers got a much-needed win last week to move to 2-4 in the AFC. With the Bills win over the Jets Thursday night, the Steelers are are tied with those two teams at 5-4 yet would be the 7th seed based on AFC records. The Steelers cannot afford another AFC loss.
All-Time Series: Steelers lead 66-58 all-time. Pittsburgh is 41-21 all-time at home. The Browns have only won once in 13 tries at Heinz Field but did defeat the Steelers in their last meeting 31-10 last season.
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’
KIST (Keep It Simple Todd) The Browns are dead last against the run and Landry Jones is most likely going to get the start at quarterback. Therefore Todd Haley needs to let go of his usual “how to out-think himself” strategy and keep things simple. Run the ball and keep Jones in third and short situations which should help limit his need to go through his progressions which is not a strength.
Make Johnny Beat You We know that Johnny Manziel is getting the start, his first against the Steelers, so I expect Keith Butler to make it as difficult as possible for him. Pre-snap reads of the Steelers’ defense is vital to success and Manziel has never been known to be a guy who outs in a lot of time off the field. All that said, the Steelers must not allow Manziel to get creative. With no James Harrison, Jarvis Jones has to set the edge and force Manziel forward rather than to the outside.
Special Teams Needs to Contribute After one week of the Jacoby Jones experiment, nothing has changed from Dri Archer. The Steelers have seen very little in the way of big plays from the return units and with a back-up quarterback you need all the help you can get. To be fair, the Steelers have blocked a field goal and a punt in back-to-back weeks but the lack of splash plays from the return teams is troubling. This game would be an excellent time to break off some big plays.
Game Prediction: Steelers 23 Browns 13