Friday, November 13, 2015

#Browns Preview 11.13.15: Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh #Steelers

By @mrgroce

On Sunday, the 2-7 Cleveland Browns travel to Pittsburgh to face the 5-4 Pittsburgh Steelers. This is the last game for the Browns before they enter their long awaited bye week. Pittsburgh probably feels as though they've been blessed with an extra bye week. Just kidding, sort of. These two teams last  faced each other more than a year ago in a match up Cleveland won 31-10 at FirstEnergy stadium. Touchdowns in that game were scored by Ben Tate and Jordan Cameron, while passes were being tossed by Brian Hoyer. Of course, all three of those players are gone and this Browns team isn't half as good as last year's.
The Steelers will more than likely be without Roethlisberger (participated in light drills on Thursday) which means Landry Jones will start and are without starting tailback LeVeon Bell for the remainder of the season. Fortunately for them, running back DeAngelo Williams and Antonio Brown will be more than ready to face the fourth worst defense in the NFL.

The Browns have their own injury problems and they start at quarterback. If Josh McCown is deemed healthy enough to play he'll get the start, but if he's unable to go Johnny Manziel will get his third start of the season. The fact that McCown has mentioned that he's had trouble breathing and sleeping you would think that the Browns would give him the time needed to allow his ribs to heal. Counting last week he could have up to three weeks to rest. The fact that coach Mike Pettine is rushing him back on the field tells me that they have moved on from giving Johnny the opportunity to lead this team. I can't say I feel sorry for him. Johnny basically wasted last season and has looked average at best during his three stints on the field this year.

Offensive coordinator John Difilippo seems to have no clue what he wants to do when Johnny is on the field. The run game becomes non existent and their best playmakers (Duke Johnson, Gary Barnidge, Travis Benjamin) seem lost. Wide receivers Brian Hartline and Andrew Hawkins return this week which means Taylor Gabriel won't see the field. If McCown plays and is effective the Browns have a chance. If Johnny starts, expect to see a lot of improvising and a lot of sacks from a Steelers defense that is tied for seventh in the league with 22.

The Browns defense gives up 147 yards per game on the ground, so there's no way they'll prevent De'Angelo Williams from surpassing the 100 yard mark. Cornerback Joe Haden and safety Donte Whitner will miss another game due to the fact that they are still dealing with concussions and wide receiver Antonio Brown almost gained 300 yards receiving last week (284). RIP to cornerback Tramon Williams. The simple fact that the Browns can't stop anyone means this game shouldn't be close. Even when the offense plays well, the defense finds a way to blow it.

My prediction: Steelers 31, Browns 10. I really hope this score doesn't happen, but if so, some one is getting fired.

What: Cleveland Browns vs Pittsburgh Steelers
When: Sunday 11/15/2015 @ 1:00 PM
Where: Heinz Field Pittsburgh, Pa 
TV/Radio: CBS, 850 WKNR Cleveland, 92.3 The Fan WKRK Cleveland, 98.5 WNCX.

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