Both these teams come into this game off close losses. The Steelers lost to the New England Patriots last week 17-14, and the Browns imploded in the last two minutes of the game against the New York Jets, blowing a 13 point lead to lose 31-30.
Neither of these teams has much going for them in the passing game. The Steelers feature failed Chicago Bears retread Mitchell Trubisky at quarterback, and that has gone about as poorly as expected, with the Steelers ranking 28th in the NFL in passing yards and 30th in total yards on offense. The Steelers have been outgained on offense by 130+ yards in each of their first two games. An offensive juggernaut this Steelers team is not.
The Browns have been a much better offensive team. Like the Steelers, the Browns are starting a backup level quarterback in Jacoby Brissett as they await the return of Deshaun Watson, currently serving an 11 game suspension. Brissett, like Trubisky, has struggled, putting up just 188 yards per game in passing offense. However, unlike the Steelers, the Browns’ running game has been superb. The Browns’ ground attack, led by Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, leads the NFL in rushing yardage through two games. As a result, the Browns have had no trouble scoring, despite the anemic passing attack. In fact, had the Browns not completely melted down in an inexplicable comedy of errors against the Jets, the Browns would be undefeated and looking like a real contender coming into this game.
The Steelers have won the last two matchups between these two teams and three of the last five, but the Browns look like the better team tonight, and they have home field advantage. The Browns need to get over a devastating loss on a short week, so that could be an issue, but I’m taking the Browns over what looks to be a toothless Steelers team.
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