1. Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers
The Browns will open and close the season against the Pittsburgh Steelers, quite possibly the consensus arch rival of fans. Pittsburgh, coming one win short of a Super Bowl appearance in 2016, has not changed much and will still bring offensive weapons at every position.
Last season, Pittsburgh finished seventh in total yards and fifth in passing yards, with 4,202. Thanks to weapons all around, the Steelers are one of football’s most balanced offenses. Combine that with a running back the caliber of Le’Veon Bell, and opposing defenses have a major dilemma on their hands.
In their Week 17 clash last season, Pittsburgh rested Bell in preparation for their postseason run. But in the two teams’ other contest at FirstEnergy Stadium in Week 11, Bell led his team to a comfortable victory with 146 yards and a touchdown on the ground and 55 yards through the air.
Even putting this particular performance aside, Bell is without a doubt the most talented running back the Browns will be facing this season. Unfortunately, they will need to face him twice, and even worse, he may not even be the most dangerous weapon the Steelers have.
The Browns better get it together defensively or else their streak of season-opening defeats is bound to continue.