Heinz Subject has been a home of horrors for the Cleveland Browns. Together with their 2002 playoff loss to the Steelers, the Browns are 1-19 in Pittsburgh for the reason that Steelers moved inside their new dwelling in 2001. Cleveland’s lone win in Pittsburgh over that span was in 2003, one yr earlier than the Steelers drafted quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Since then, the Steelers have gained 16 straight dwelling video games towards the Browns, who’ve gained simply six video games in Pittsburgh for the reason that league’s 1970 merger.
Sunday would definitely be a superb time for the Browns to finish their drought. After dropping their season-opener to the Ravens, the Browns have gained 4 straight video games and are 4-1 for the primary time since 1994. On Sunday, they’ll face a Steelers crew that’s off to their first 4-0 begin since 1979, a season that ended with Pittsburgh hoisting the Vince Lombardi Trophy. That is the primary of two conferences this season for the longtime division rivals, who’ve performed one another a minimum of twice a yr since 1950.
Earlier than we break down Sunday’s sport, here is how one can observe the motion in actual time.
How you can watch
New head coach Kevin Stefanski has made a fast influence on Cleveland’s offense, because the Browns are at the moment fourth within the NFL in scoring. The Browns have been significantly good within the pink zone, the place they’re fifth within the NFL in scoring touchdowns.
Whereas his completion proportion remains to be not stellar, quarterback Baker Mayfield has considerably reduce down on his turnovers, as he has greater than twice as many landing passes than interceptions by 5 video games. Austin Hooper, a veteran tight finish who was acquired by way of free company, has was a dependable goal for Mayfield in current weeks. Mayfield has additionally continued to construct on his rapport with receivers Odell Beckham Jr. (21 catches, 294 yards, three touchdowns) and Jarvis Landry (21 catches, 279 yards).
The Browns’ offense has been anchored by their two-headed working again combo of Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb. Whereas Chubb’s current harm will maintain him out of Sunday’s sport, Hunt (who leads the crew with 347 speeding yards and 6 whole touchdowns) has confirmed to be greater than able to spearheading Cleveland’s speeding assault. The Browns have additionally leaned extra on fellow working again D’Ernest Johnson, who leads the crew with a six yards per carry common.
Whereas they’ve allowed the eighth-most factors within the NFL by 5 video games, the Browns’ protection confirmed important enchancment throughout final Sunday’s 32-23 win over the Colts. Cleveland’s entrance seven, led by defensive finish Myles Garrett, held the Colts to simply 68 speeding yards. The Browns’ protection additionally recorded a security in addition to a pick-six by security Ronnie Harrison.
Cleveland’s protection can have its work reduce out for them on Sunday, as they’ll face a Pittsburgh offense that’s averaging practically 30 factors a sport by 4 video games. Roethlisberger, who missed most of final season with an elbow harm, has thrown 10 touchdowns and only one interception so far. He has taken full benefit of a deep receiving corps that features receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster, Chase Claypool, Diontae Johnson, James Washington, and tight ends Eric Ebron and Vance McDonald. Pittsburgh’s speeding assault has additionally vastly improved this season, as James Conner, Benny Snell and Anthony McFarland have helped Pittsburgh enhance from twenty ninth in 2019 to eighth within the NFL in speeding heading into Sunday’s sport.
Mayfield will look to remain on his toes as he goes up towards a formidable Pittsburgh go rush that features linebackers T.J. Watt (4.5 sacks) and Bud Dupree (three sacks) and defensive finish Stephon Tuitt (3.5 sacks). Whereas they’re second within the NFL in fewest speeding yards allowed and 10 in pink zone effectivity, the Steelers’ protection has been weak on third downs, as they’re twenty seventh within the league in that division.
Sunday’s sport could come right down to which offensive line can do a greater job defending their quarterback. Whereas Pittsburgh must be conscious of Garrett, the Steelers’ offensive has given Roethlisberger sterling safety thus far, and there isn’t any motive to assume that may change on Sunday. On protection, the Steelers will probably persist with their 2020 components of constructing offenses one-dimensional by stopping the run whereas making use of constant strain on the quarterback. If the Steelers’ protection can shield Massive Ben, include Hunt and maintain Mayfield within the pocket, Pittsburgh ought to enhance to 5-0 for the primary time since 1978.
Rating: Steelers 31, Browns 21