The NFL season has come and gone as we enter the postseason. Now every team is back on the same playing field as any game can have them sent home. To finish out the weekend of action, the Cleveland Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers will meet up. These two divisional rivals will look for a big win in this one to move on. This game will kick off at around 8:15 PM Eastern time on NBC.
The Browns have put up a record of 11-5 throughout the regular season, which had them finish in sixth place of the AFC. Cleveland is coming off a win against the Steelers in Week 17 and will look to bounce back in this one. The Browns have lost two of their last four games and will look to come out strong in this one to move on.
Pittsburgh finished out the regular season with a record of 12-4, which helped them secure the third seed in the AFC. The Steelers lost four of their last five games after starting the season 11-0. Pittsburgh will look to put this losing streak behind them though as they enter the postseason. If the Steelers can gain momentum early in this one, it could help them earn the win.
These two teams have put up strong records throughout the regular season and are now looking to earn a huge postseason victory. Cleveland is already facing controversy entering this one with their head coach and three others out after testing positive for COVID-19. The Browns have not made the postseason since 2002 and will look to make the most out of this appearance.
The Steelers and the Browns met up for the first time in Week 6 in Pittsburgh. Baker Mayfield had a touchdown pass for Cleveland, which was not enough. Ben Roethlisberger had a touchdown pass as well in this one. James Connor, Chase Claypool and Benny Snell Jr. all had rushing touchdowns on the day. Minkah Fitzpatrick had an interception returned for a touchdown as Pittsburgh won 38-7.
The second game of the season was in Cleveland in Week 17. Mason Rudolph had two passing touchdowns, while Matthew Wright had three field goal kicks for the Steelers. Baker Mayfield had a touchdown pass on the day. Nick Chubb and Jarvis Landry each had a rushing touchdown for the Browns. Cleveland was able to earn a 24-22 win to secure their spot in the postseason.
These two teams met up twice throughout the regular season with each team winning once. The Browns were able to win in Week 17 after Pittsburgh benched their starters. Cleveland still only snuck away with the win. The Browns will need to come out much better in this one if they want to avoid losing to the Steelers in the Wild Card round. I expect Cleveland to come out much better in this one as they try to knock off the Steelers.
Baker Mayfield has stepped up this season for Cleveland, which has helped them get back into the playoffs. Mayfield has thrown for 3563 yards, 26 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. Mayfield also rushed for 165 yards and a touchdown run on the season. Mayfield went 17-27 for 196 yards and a touchdown last week in the win.
Ben Roethlisberger will get the start under center for the Steelers in this one. Roethlisberger has had a strong season so far to help lead Pittsburgh back to the playoffs. He has thrown for 3803 yards, 33 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Roethlisberger sat out last week, but went 34-49 for 341 yards and 3 touchdowns two weeks ago against the Colts.
These two Quarterbacks have done solid throughout this season and will look to both get the leg up in this one. If either Quarterback can get off to a fast start, it will help their team a lot in this one. Mayfield had a solid performance against the Steelers last week, but will need to put up stronger numbers in this one if he wants to help knock off Pittsburgh.
Offense vs Defense
The Browns offense has been solid throughout this season, while their defense has struggled at times. Cleveland has scored 408 points so far this season, which is 14th in the league. The Browns have gained 5913 yards of offense, which is 16th in the NFL. Cleveland has held opposing teams to 419 points and 5735 yards, which are 21st and 17th in the league.
Pittsburgh’s offense has also been solid this season, but their defense has been their stronger side. The Steelers have scored 416 points and gained 5354 yards, which are 12th and 24th in the NFL. Pittsburgh’s defense has held their opponents to 312 points, which is 3rd in the league. The Steelers have also given up the 3rd least amount of yards with 4893 on the season.
This matchup will be a classic battle between offense and defense. Pittsburgh’s defense has been better this season in comparison to the Browns offense. If Cleveland can get momentum on the offensive side early though, it could give them the edge in this one. The Steelers offense will look to get going against the Browns defense as well to push them over the edge.
These two teams are coming into this one after meeting up in Week 17. This should lead to both teams coming out quick and carrying momentum over from last week. I think that the Browns will play with an extra chip on their shoulder after losing their head coach. If Cleveland can use that to their advantage, I think they can go toe to toe with the Steelers to finish off Wild Card Weekend.
BetOnline has Pittsburgh listed as a -6 against the spread in this one. This gives a solid edge to the Steelers coming into this one. I do not agree with this line. These two teams met twice throughout the regular season and with it being a playoff game, 6 points is a lot to cover. These two teams know each other well, making 6 points an appealing pick with the Browns.