The Cleveland Browns are going to Pittsburgh on Sunday to face off with the Steelers in what may be the biggest regular-season game between them in decades.
The Cleveland Browns are rolling right on from their 4-1 record and straight on into Pittsburgh for a regular-season meeting for the ages against the dastardly Steelers. The Browns have as much momentum possible heading into this meeting against the Steelers. A new and refreshing thing for the fans of Cleveland when it comes to the Browns vs. Steelers feud.
The Browns are banged up, however, so despite the teams having similar records and seasonal aspirations, the Browns are not going into this fight at full strength. Nick Chubb, Wyatt Teller, and a slew of other players are either out or questionable for the game.
So that means the expectations for the game have changed. Sure, the Browns are still capable of winning but the “how” and “why” may change. Both for the good and the bad.
These are the five expectations against the Pittsburgh Steelers
125 Rushing Yards
The Steelers aren’t a defense to be truly afraid of, not like the Colts but the Browns have had a problem getting Kareem Hunt going up the middle, so unless the Browns give D’Ernest Johnson more rushes up the middle, this isn’t going to be a game we’re used to seeing.
T.J. Watt to get the best of Jedrick Wills
Jedrick Wills has a slow lateral step and it’s costing him against faster pash rushers. T.J. Watt is going to be a problem for Wills all day. If Wills can hold off Watt, then that’ll be a sign that Wills is in fact putting it all together finally and becoming the tackle many hoped he would be.
Austin Hooper and tight ends have a big day
Despite an illness, Odell Beckham is looking like he’s likely to play Sunday, while Jarvis Landry is still an uncertainty with more hip issues. Because of this, it’s solid reasoning to think they’ll turn to Austin Hooper more than usual to develop a passing game. If they do that early and often they may just see Hooper have a huge day.
Three sacks (at least) on Ben Roethlisberger
If Myles Garrett is having the legendary year that so many PFF-marks keep proclaiming, it’s fair to assume Garrett can get one or two sacks on old-man-Ben. If he can get two, it’s not out of the realm of possibility to think the rest of the team can supply another one. Four sacks are the bar to achieve to be impressive.
Baker Mayfield’s best game of the year
This one is the most in doubt like Landry, Beckham, Baker Mayfield is also listed as questionable for the game. Beckham’s the most likely to play due to his status revolving around illness and not an injury. Mayfield and Landry are dealing with movement restricting injuries. For Landry, it’s his surgically repaired hip. For Mayfield, it’s severe bruising on his ribs that was a result of a Justin Houston hit.