On Sunday night, it’s going down in Pittsburgh between division rivals the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers for the second week in a row. We saw the Steelers come away just short last week while resting several starters, unable to convert a two-point conversion in the final moments. The loss set up a rematch with the Browns, whereas they would have drawn the Indianapolis Colts with a win in that contest.
The Steelers had a very odd year, starting 11-0 but finishing the year at 12-4. The one win in that span was a game against the Colts, where Pittsburgh overcame a significant second-half deficit, showing the signs that perhaps the team hadn’t completely fallen apart. The Steelers’ loss to Washington set them on a losing course, which they have hardly been able to break out of, but if they are finally healthy, we’ve seen what they can do.
Cleveland (11-5) will be without head coach Kevin Stefanski for the franchise’s first playoff game since 2002. Special teams coach Mike Priefer will be taking over, making his debut as the man in charge. The Browns have a few key players on the COVID list as well, but Cleveland has been overcoming injuries and other forms of adversity all season long.
The spread for Sunday night favors the Steelers by six points. The over/under is set at 47.5.
Browns Seek First Playoff Win in 26 Years
It has been 26 years since the Browns have won a playoff game, going back to when they defeated the New England Patriots in the 1994 Wild Card game. They earned that win by a 20-13 score. This game marks their third consecutive playoff game that will be against Pittsburgh. They lost in a shootout, 36-33, in their last playoff appearance in 2002.
Baker Mayfield hopes to cement his legacy as THE Browns quarterback to take the team out of two long decades of franchise turmoil. He has them in the playoffs, something we can’t say for any of the other 25 quarterbacks that have started a game in the last 19 years. Four quarters of strong football and they’re moving on.
If they can’t establish Nick Chubb and the run game, it will be on Jarvis Landry to have a big game.
Steelers Looking to Advance in Playoffs
There have only been three coaches for the Steelers since the 1970s. Chuck Noll, Bill Cowher, and Mike Tomlin. They all won championships, leading the team to consistent years of winning. Whether it was the defense or the quarterback leading the way, Pittsburgh has been a model of organizational success for years.
To win, Pittsburgh will need a strong performance from Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers have the worst rushing offense in the NFL at 84.4 yards per game. While they don’t necessarily need to establish the run, getting any contribution from the ground game would be a huge boost.
Look for the Steelers’ dynamic receivers and pass-rush to make a big impact on this one. Diontae Johnson, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Chase Claypool all had at least 800 receiving yards and at least seven touchdowns this year.
SURPRISE! Browns Will Advance
No head coach, and down a few key guys, the Browns will find a way to get it done for their first playoff win since 1994. History!
Free Play: Cleveland Browns (+6).
Check Out Other Related Posts on 4Flush
100% up to $3,000 Bonus
Bovada is our most recommended ONLINE CASINO and POKER ROOM for US players with excellent deposit options. Get your 100% signup bonus today.