Home Steelers 2023 Season SCB Three-Point Stance: Your Browns-Steelers Gameday Guide

SCB Three-Point Stance: Your Browns-Steelers Gameday Guide

by Steeldad

It’s Week Two and already we have a rivalry game as the Cleveland Browns come to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers in a Monday Night affair. Here’s everything you need to know!

What: Cleveland Browns 1-0 at Pittsburgh Steelers 0-1

Where: Acrisure Stadium, Pittsburgh, PA

When: 8pmET Monday September 17th, 2023

Weather: Partly cloudy and 65 degrees at kickoff

Wagering Information:

Last Week: The Browns opened their season with a 24-3 home win over Cincinnati while the Steelers were humbled at home 30-7 by the 49ers.

TV: ESPN Joe Buck (play-by-play), Troy Aikman (analysis), Lisa Salters (field reporter)

TV Coverage in Your Area: National TV Audience

Radio: Steelers Nation Radio/WDVE Bill Hillgrove (play-by-play), Craig Wolfley (analysis), Missi Matthews (sideline),
Max Starks (sideline)

Westwood One Radio: Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Kurt Warner (analysis)

Head Official: Ron Torbert. The attorney and Michigan State graduate is in his 10th year as a head official. HIs last game with the Steelers was in Atlanta in December. 13 penalties were accepted that day.

Key Injuries/Game Status (courtesy steelers.com) PIT: No. 18 WR Diontae Johnson (Hamstring) – Out
No. 26 RB Anthony McFarland Jr. (Knee) – Out  CLE: No. 2 WR A. Cooper (Non-Injury Related, Groin) – Limited
No. 62 DT S. Ika (Foot) – DNP, No. 1 S J. Thornhill (Calf) – Limited

Injury Notes: With McFarland out I assume Calvin Austin III or Gunner Olszewski will handle those duties. That’s a big blow after McFarland nearly broke a couple of big returns last week.

2023 NFL Ranks:

Total Offense: PIT 30th CLE 11th Passing Offense: PIT 15th CLE 24th Rushing Offense: PIT 32nd CLE 2nd

Total Defense: PIT 26th CLE 2nd  Passing Defense: PIT 21st CLE 2nd Rushing Defense: PIT 30th CLE 9th

AFC North Rankings: Baltimore 1-0, Cleveland 1-0, Cincinnati 0-1, Pittsburgh 0-1

This Week in the AFC North: Baltimore at Cincinnati 1pmET

What You Need to Know: Mike Tomlin is 25-6-1 all-time against the Browns… The Steelers are 21-1 all-time vs the Browns at Acrisure Stadium… Since 2007, the Steelers are 6-1 in games that immediately follow a loss by 23 points or more… Mike Tomlin is 10-2 all-time in games following losses of 20 points or more…

Monday Night Football History: Pittsburgh is 52-25 all-time… They are also 29-5 at home… The Steelers have a 20-game home winning streak on MNF… They haven’t lost since a 1991 defeat to the NY Giants… Pittsburgh’s 52 wins are tied with San Francisco for the most all-time… Mike Tomlin has never lost a home game on MNF.

Cleveland Browns Names to Know: QB Deshaun Watson, RB Nick Chubb, DE Myles Garrett, WR Amari Cooper, OT Dawand Jones, DE Za’Darius Smith, TE David Njoku, CB Denzel Ward, CB Greg Newsome II

What’s at Stake: It’s really quite simple. 37 times since 1970 have teams started 0-2 and gone on to make the postseason. Three of those teams won Super Bowls while just four total actually made it there. I’m not suggesting the Steelers are a S

All-Time Series: Steelers lead 80-62-1

Last Meeting: In Pittsburgh, 1/8/23 Steelers 28-14

Postseason History: Steelers lead 2-1

Steelers Game Highs vs CLEPASSING: Ben Roethlisberger 501 yards 2021 (Wild-Card Playoff)  RUSHING: Willie Parker 223 yards 2006  RECEIVING: Antonio Brown 187 yards 2016 SACKS: Jerrol Williams 4.0 1991 INTERCEPTIONS: Darren Perry 3 INT 1994

Check out the latest Steel City Blitz Steelers Podcast for more on the Steelers.

Three Things We Need to See for a Steelers’ Victory:

1.  Start with the Obvious. After what Christian McCaffery did last week, Nick Chubb must be grinning like the Cheshire cat. Let’s also add the fact that Cam Heyward, the Steelers’ best defensive lineman is also out. What does all of this mean? It means that Teryl Austin better get his poop in a pile or the Browns are going to resemble an old school team from a bygone era that runs the ball 75 times and throws it once. Deshaun Watson still hasn’t looked all that comfortable and he will turn the ball over so why pass if you don’t have to? The Steelers need guys like Isaiahh Loudermilk and Montravious Adams to play better than they did last week. Keeanu Benton and Larry Ogunjobi can only do so much. I feel good about setting the edges but when Chubb cuts it back those D-Linemen have to be in their gaps. If Chubb runs wild this one will be over early.

2. Be Who You Say You’re Going to Be. Ten. Ten carries is all the Steelers had in week one. I get it, a lot of that was due to getting behind and feeling the need to throw more but even when it was just 10-0, Matt Canada and Mike Tomlin seemed determined to forget the run altogether. Down 10 points in the first quarter is no reason to abandon the run but that’s now in the past. Monday night, the offense needs to get the rushing attack going. Whether it’s Najee Harris or Jaylen Warren, I really don’t care. A good running game is a young quarterback’s best friend. It keeps the linebackers and safeties from creeping up and it makes those down linemen hesitate ever so slightly. When they can pin their ears back and come at the quarterback without any regard for the run then forget it.

3. No More Fooling Around. I honestly don’t know what more Mike Tomlin and Danny Sullivan need to see from Pressley Harvin III. He proved once again last week that he’s incapable of flipping the field. You can get away with such things when your defense is one of the best and when your offense can routinely score points. Through one week, neither of those things can be said about the Steelers. If Harvin doesn’t start showing he can be the man then it’s time to move on whether he’s Chris Boswell’s holder or not. Lost yardage leads to lost games.

Prediction: There is so much here that favors the Steelers. A 20-game home winning streak on Monday Night… Mike Tomlin has never lost at home on Monday Night… It should be a much improved crowd from last week and so on but there’s also a lot to be concerned about with Cam Heyward and Diontae Johnson both out. Jim Schwartz’s wide-9 defense looked incredible last week in holding Cincinnati to just three points. In order to take the Steelers, I have to have faith they will run the ball well, stop the rushing attack of Cleveland and force Deshaun Watson into turnovers. It’s possible they could accomplish those things but I just can’t see it after what I saw last week.

Browns 20 Steelers 17

Season Record: 1-0

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