The Pittsburgh Steelers travel to Cleveland to take on the Browns in the latest installment of the Turnpike Rivalry. Here’s everything you need to know about this Thursday Night match-up
What: Pittsburgh Steelers 1-1 at Cleveland Browns 1-1
Where: First Energy Field, Cleveland, OH
When: 8pmET Thursday, September 22nd, 2022
Weather: 59 degrees with a 60% chance of rain at kickoff
Wagering Information: Steelers +4 O/U 38.5
Last Week: Cleveland blew a double digit lead in the final two minutes to lose to the NY Jets 31-30. The Steelers struggled offensively while losing to New England 17-14 in Pittsburgh.
TV: Amazon Al Michaels (play-by-play), Kirk Herbstreit (analysis), Kaylee Hartung (field reporter)
TV Coverage in Your Area: You can only find the game on Amazon Prime.
Radio: Steelers Nation Radio/WDVE Bill Hillgrove (play-by-play), Craig Wolfley (analysis), Missi Matthews (sideline),
Max Starks (sideline)
Westwood One Radio: Ian Eagle (play-by-play), Jason McCourty (analysis)
Head Official: Clay Martin. He is in his fifth season as a head official in the NFL. He hasn’t officiated a Steelers’ game since 2019 when he called their game December 1st in Cleveland. His crew had 15 accepted penalties that day.
Key Injuries/Game Status (courtesy steelers.com) PIT: None CLE: Jadeveon Clowney, Ankle-Out
Injury Notes: Other than the guys already hurt like T.J. Watt, Calvin Austin III and Damonte Kazee, the Steelers are pretty healthy overall. Myles Garrett and Joel Bitonio will play despite some nagging injuries.
2022 NFL Ranks:
Total Offense: PIT 20th CLE 7th Passing Offense: PIT 28th CLE 26th Rushing Offense: PIT 26th CLE 1st
Total Defense: PIT 12th CLE 26th Passing Defense: PIT 30th CLE 25th Rushing Defense: PIT 22nd CLE 4th
AFC North Rankings: Baltimore 1-1, Cleveland 1-1, Pittsburgh 1-1 , Cincinnati 0-2
This Week in the AFC North: Cincinnati at NY Jets 1pmET, Baltimore at New England 1pmET
What You Need to Know: The Steelers have lost all five games in which T.J. Watt did not play due to injury… Pittsburgh has won 16 of their last 23 games in Cleveland including one tie… The Browns are averaging 125 more yards per game than are the Steelers right now… In their meeting in the season finale last January the Steelers sacked Baker Mayfield nine times… Pittsburgh is 11-12 all-time on Thursday Night Football… They are 3-10 in away games on Thursday Night as well… Pittsburgh has played 22 games on three days rest and they are 9-13 in such games. Under Mike Tomlin, the Steelers are 7-7 on three days rest but are 2-6 on the road.
Cleveland Browns Names to Know: QB Jacoby Brissett, RB Nick Chubb, RB Kareem Hunt, WR Amari Cooper, DE Myles Garrett, CB Denzel Ward, LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, CB Greg Newsome II, G Joel Bitonio
What’s at Stake: In the short term, first place in the AFC North and a chance for the Steelers to move to 2-0 in divisional play. The Browns know they need a win with Deshaun Watson likely back for the second meeting in January.
All-Time Series: Steelers lead 79-61-1, Browns lead 39-29-1 in Cleveland.
Postseason History: Steelers lead 2-1
Steelers Game Highs vs CLE: PASSING: Ben Roethlisberger 501 yards 2021 RUSHING: Willie Parker 223 yards 2006 RECEIVING: Antonio Brown 187 yards 2016 SACKS: T.J. Watt 4 2022 INTERCEPTIONS: Darren Perry 3 1994(most recent)
Last Meeting: January 2022 in Pittsburgh Steelers 26 Browns 14
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. Deep Shots. Matt Canada reminds me of a guy playing not to lose. Mitchell Trubisky reminds me of a guy playing not to lose. Mike Tomlin is living in his fears. It’s past time to open this offense up and give guys like George Pickens and Chase Claypool opportunities to run some deep routes where the ball is actually thrown to them. The Cleveland secondary is good, but they’ve been torched at times through the first two weeks mostly due to communication issues. The Steelers need to add to those issues. The offensive line has been so-so in pass protection but there have been several occasions where Trubisky had time to go deep and didn’t. It’s time to be aggressive.
2. Stop the Run. The number one ranked rushing attack in the NFL will not be easy to stop but if the Steelers are going to have a chance in this game the defense must rise to the occasion. Linebackers must get their fits and the defensive front has make sure lanes do not develop. We’ve seen what Minkah Fitzpatrick can do when he doesn’t have to focus on stopping the run. That has to continue because if he has to move up in the box then it opens up the passing game. Nick Chubb is going to get his yards but limiting them is huge.
3. Hit the Holes Najee. If you’ve followed the news this week at all then you know Najee Harris did an awful job of hitting holes and lanes created by his offensive line. He has to get that corrected this week. When the offense is struggling as much as it is, every yard becomes that much more critical. If he’s giving up yards by bouncing things outside then potential third and two or three’s become third and five’s or more. That hurts an already bad offense. Najee knows what he’s doing and what he’s capable of, he just has to trust the line and himself.
Prediction: I’m a big believer in the idea that I won’t truly believe something until I see it. As this pertains to the Steelers’ offense, I can’t trust that they’ll actually use the middle of the field and throw the ball deep at all until I actually see it. Defensively, I’m not convinced the defense will stop the run often enough to make a difference. That will allow Jacoby Brissett to use play-action and keep the Steelers pass rush off of him. The Steelers will figure out a way to keep the game close but ultimately I see the Browns hold serve at home.
Browns 24 Steelers 16
Season Record 1-1