Cleveland Browns Host Pittsburgh Steelers for Thursday Night Divisional Battle


The Cleveland Browns (3-6) host their rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers (5-4), on Thursday night. The Browns hold as 2.5-point favorites in the primetime. Yet, the Steelers roll into the game with a four-game winning streak.

The game will be the first of two matchups between these two squads this season. Although the next one is a couple of weeks out, this game is crucial for both teams.

The Browns come in under expectations. They will look to defeat a red-hot Steelers team and creep back into the AFC Wild Card race. The Steelers, on the other hand, hold on to the sixth seed by a thread. Due to a win over the Colts two weeks ago, the Steelers are on the brink of the playoffs.

How will both teams take the 1-0 lead in the rivalry?

The visiting Steelers need to continue the defensive pressure.


Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers’ edge rushers, Bud Dupree and T.J. Watt, have forced quarterbacks to throw harmful passes. While going against a weaker offensive line this week, they need to create pressure early and control the air game.

The pressure will lead to the Steelers defensive backs doing what they’ve been doing: creating turnovers. Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield has struggled with containing the ball on drives. If the Steelers can provide Mayfield with stress and hurries, Minkah Fitzpatrick and the defensive back core will steal some passes.


Offensively, the ground and pound game early helps quarterback Mason Rudolph. Rudolph has developed tremendously during the season, but placing him in throwing situations early or on third down is not ideal. Plus, it will draw the Browns to stack the box and go run-heavy. If that occurs, Rudolph can utilize his bread and butter, throw deep.

Lastly, if the Steelers cannot score, they must put the Browns in long drive situations.


How can the Browns counteract though?

Cleveland Browns

Offensively, Mayfield needs to utilize wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., who sits with one touchdown in nine games. Although the Steelers’ defensive back core is controlling the air, they have not faced a debatable top-five receiver yet.

Since the Steelers are using man coverage more than usual, Beckham can beat his coverage. Even if Beckham gets a handful of catches and a touchdown, it keeps the Steelers’ defense honest.

Defensively, Rudolph handles the ball longer than about 90 percent of quarterbacks in the league. The Rams struggled to break through the Steelers’ offensive line. Yet, the weakness of the Steelers is the wide receivers who fail to scramble when covered.

If the defensive backs can cover their receiver or running back they are guarding for four seconds, then the Browns’ line can make plays. The Browns can also get risky and stack the box, and sit a safety deep. This can possibly work because Rudolph’s weak spot is intermediate passes.

Lastly, the Browns need to force the Steelers’ offense to have long drives as well.


The over/under is at 40.5. These games usually are trap games for the better team and tend to be close. No matter how good each team is each year, they play up to each other. The Steelers’ hot streak will not end with Freddie Kitchen’s hot mess.

Final Score: Pittsburgh Steelers 20, Cleveland Browns 10



Check us out on our socials:   
Twitter: @PTSTNews and @TalkPrimeTime
Facebook Page: Prime Time Sports Talk
Join our Facebook Group: Prime Time Sports Talk 
Instagram: @primetimesportstalk


Share this:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Browse by Category:

Visit for
hard-hitting KC Chiefs coverage.