Cleveland Browns Wild Card Preview: Pittsburgh Steelers

Back again, once again. The Cleveland Browns are facing the Pittsburgh Steelers for the third time this season after splitting the series 1-1. The Browns will have to bring out everything in this team to win, but divisional games are always tougher, so Cleveland’s odds are higher than normal.

Let’s get into exactly what the Browns need to do to pull off the upset against the Steelers.

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Run the Football

This one is simple enough. You have Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. You rushed for almost 200 yards against this very same defense. Don’t overthink it at all; keep the gameplay simple, effective, and efficient, and the Browns can make this a winnable game. Even Baker Mayfield has shown his rushing ability/athleticism, so if that’s what it takes, make it happen.

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Prevent Long Drives

Another simple concept. Ben Roethlisberger hasn’t had as much success throwing downfield, along with fewer deep shots. To counter that, their short passing game has increased drastically in efficiency and attempts. The secondary is questionable, but they can mitigate that with surefire tackling and minimizing third-down conversions.

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I’ve said it countless times and it will not change: stay disciplined, don’t overthink the play calling or the opponent, and come out with a win. The Browns have had penalty issues all year, and now it’s win or go home. As much as it’s huge to even make the playoffs, the team and fans can’t be content with only an appearance, especially against a division rival.

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Final Thoughts/Score Prediction

Overall, this will come down to the defense locking down Big Ben. If that happens, most likely the team wins. If not, they’ll lose. It’ll be tough, but I don’t see a win coming out of this game.

Prediction: Steelers win, 24-20

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