That cannot happen against this week’s opponent, the Pittsburgh Steelers. Now, it shouldn’t deter fans at all since the Browns are now 4-1 and tied at second place for the AFC North, but this game is the most important on the schedule since Week 1.
Arguably the best defensive line going against the best offensive line, means that this is going to be, in my personal opinion, the game of the week: divisional match-up, both teams have winning records, and a lot of hype to live up to with two historic franchises.
Win the Line of Scrimmage
The Browns come into Week 6 with the best-graded offensive line in the entire league, and I’m sure it’s making Joe Thomas proud. This is a line that came into the season with a lot of questions due to the lack of a preseason and lack of practices and they have exceeded expectations and then some. Against this Steelers front-seven with the likes of T.J. Watt and Cameron Heyward, this offensive line will need to win every snap to allow Baker Mayfield and the rest of the Browns offense to take full advantage of the playbook. We all know how great both defensive lines are, so whichever side performs better in the trenches, will be the biggest indicator of the better team.
The Steelers offense boasts a multitude of wide receivers and they have Hall of Fame quarterback Ben Roethlisberger throwing the football. The Browns secondary is not the strongest part of their defense, but if they can be physical and disrupt the receivers’ routes from the line of scrimmage, it could give help to the safeties and give the defensive line a better chance at getting pressure on Roethlisberger and cause some mistakes.
Win the Turnover Battle… Again
Baker Mayfield has been pretty good at not turning over the football compared to last season. The offensive line has helped him be more comfortable in the pocket as well, which is exactly what you want for your young franchise quarterback. If Mayfield can stay calm under center and go through his reads, I’m confident that he can have a good — maybe even a great — game. Mayfield’s ability to throw on the run is good as well, considering who he’s going to have to avoid on the Steelers defensive line. I don’t mean to exclusively call out Mayfield on the turnovers; this sentiment goes towards the entire offense. This Steelers team is more balanced than in previous years, and with how Roethlisberger is playing (10 TDs, one INT, 69% completion), this will be the toughest test in the division for the Browns.
Final Thoughts and Score Prediction
I don’t see the Browns pulling off the win. I do see a match-up that is, in my own opinion, the game of the week. If the Browns do surprise me and pull off this win like they surprised me last week, I will officially be predicting a Browns win every week until proven wrong.
Score prediction: Steelers win, 35-30
(Featured Image Credit: ClevelandBrowns.com)