Is is just me, or does the over/under for tonight's Steelers vs. Browns match seem quite low (about 32-33)? Maybe not, considering how both teams might struggle to throw the ball effectively with the wind, but it is the lowest over/under of Week 14.
Anyway, the Steelers are extremely vulnerable right now. After starting the season at 6-2, they have dropped four straight, including losses to the Kansas City Chiefs, the Baltimore Ravens, and the Oakland Raiders. A victory over the Steelers wouldn't completely rectify our 1-11 season, but it would heal some of the wounds left by Eric Mangini's first season as our head coach.
|PITTSBURGH STEELERS (6-6)
|CLEVELAND BROWNS (1-11)
|December 10, 2009
|8:20 p.m. ET
|Steelers by 10
|WTAM, 1100 AM
|Behind the Steel Curtain
|NFL Network Guys
|Ben Roethlisberger hasn't been the Steelers' problem. In his past two starts, he's completing about 75% of his passes for 340 yards and more touchdowns than picks. Brady Quinn is improving too, but let's see how he does in his first start against the Steelers.
| Rashard Mendenhall took over the starting RB job in Week 4, and the Steelers went on to win five straight. After that though, they've lost four in a row -- a span in which Mendenhall's production still remains consistent. Jerome Harrison gets the start tonight for Cleveland and could be a factor in the short passing game all game long considering the wind.
|It doesn't look as if Hines Ward is going to play tonight, but Santonio Holmes and Heath Miller should be able to pick up the slack. For the Browns, it's time for Evan Moore to prove he wasn't a one-hit wonder, as he might again be the target of many short passes. Joshua Cribbs should throw from the Wildcat too, but in the first half.
|It seems like Ben Roethlisberger has taken a pounding this year, but it's no more of a pounding than he has taken the past several years. Quinn had time to throw last week, but he can't start getting too comfortable at times (like when he was stripped last week).
|With C.J. Mosley done for the year, the Browns will likely start Robaire Smith, Ahtyba Rubin, and Corey Williams this week. Amidst all of our defensive line injuries, I honestly forgot Williams was on the team.
|The Steelers are still more equipped at linebacker than the Browns, but they aren't sealing a game list they used to. James Harrison still outweighs any of the Browns' linebackers in terms of production.
|The Steelers are not able to keep a lead anymore, and it's a result of their secondary. With Troy Polamalu out, starting corners William Gay and Ike Taylor may also be out (or benched). Safety Ryan Clark may be benched as well in the near future. The Browns are getting torched too, which is why I'm giving the "even" ranking.
|The Steelers are pretty bad on special teams. They aren't a threat to break a big return, and they give up a lot of kick returns for scores. Joshua Cribbs hasn't broken one for awhile, but the number of kickoffs out of bounds have still played a factor in aiding our starting field position. Neither kicker might be able to kick beyond 35-40 yards today if the wind is swaying left to right or vice-versa.
As much as I want to pick the Browns in an upset, I still have to preserve my picks record and go with the Steelers. Pittsburgh has been victimized by opposing teams coming back with their passing games, but I don't see Quinn being able to move the ball very quickly in tonight's weather. It'll be a smash-mouth ground attack game, and with how depleted the Browns' defense is up front, Pittsburgh will wear us down enough for a win.
CHRIS' RECORD IN PICKING BROWNS GAMES: 10-2
CHRIS' OVERALL NFL PREDICTIONS RECORD: It's very good (I need to get to my home computer to find the actual record).
This is the official gameday thread for the Cleveland Browns in Week 14 as they take on the Pittsburgh Steelers for Thursday Night Football. All comments regarding the game should be posted in this thread. Enjoy the game, and GO BROWNS!!!