Week 2 of NFL kicks off tonight with the Pittsburgh Steelers taking on the Cleveland Browns!
The short turnaround for the Browns on Thursday Night Football makes for a big game. Cleveland’s odds of being a playoff team were already shaky due to their quarterback situation, but starting the season at 1-2 would feel like an early dagger in the coffin, especially with how the Week 2 collapse to the Jets went down. If the Browns can be 2-1 heading into an extended week, though — and a victory over the Steelers — then morale would see a bit of a boost.
In terms of injuries, the Browns will be without Jadeveon Clowney and Chase Winovich, making them thin at the defensive end position. There was a report on Tuesday that Myles Garrett’s status for the game would be up-in-the-air with a neck issue, but as of Wednesday, it looks like he’s going to play. Rookies Alex Wright and Isaiah Thomas are expected to fill the void at Clowney’s spot against a shaky Steelers’ offensive line (although they fare worse in run blocking).
On offense, the Browns will see the return of starting right tackle Jack Conklin. Joel Bitonio, who was a question mark on Tuesday, should be able to start against Pittsburgh. Cleveland’s line being at full strength is great to hear, although that was not a problem in the first two games, as James Hudson did an admirable job blocking. The area where we might see a difference is having David Njoku running routes more, with a bit less blocking.
I was wrong last week when I said the Browns would get their communication issues cleared up on defense. It’s crazy how that again could’ve been the difference in losing versus winning by 2-3 touchdowns. How do you predict these games when you know that element exists (giving up free touchdowns), yet also be impressed with the methodical nature of the offense thus far? Pittsburgh has their own struggles, so once again, I’ll hope that Cleveland clears things up on the back end. Browns 23, Steelers 20.
According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the Browns are 4 point favorites against the Steelers.
The rest of the DBN staff picks for the game are below. You can use this as your open thread for the game.
Game: Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns
Date/Time: Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022 at 8:15 p.m. ET
Television: Amazon Prime Video - Al Michaels (play-by-play) & Kirk Herbstreit (analyst)
Local Radio: ESPN 850 WKNR, 92.3 The Fan, 98.5 FM WNCX
This is the official game thread for the Steelers vs. Browns match-up. Any comment regarding the game as it is taking place should go in this thread, and there will be subsequent threads for each quarter of action.
As always, GO BROWNS!!!