Cleveland Browns vs. Steelers Predictions: Can the Browns score the upset?

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Browns
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – AUGUST 09: Head coach Hue Jackson of the Cleveland Browns watches his team in the fourth quarter against the New York Giants during their preseason game on August 9,2018 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Writer: Matt McFatridge

Summary: The Cleveland Browns offseason has been one to remember, in both good and bad ways. New general manager John Dorsey has made many bold moves to bolster the roster in his first season, including bringing in the veteran Tyrod Taylor and drafting Baker Mayfield number one overall.

Pair that with the plethora of moves on the defensive side of the ball, and you can see why fans and media members are saying the Browns are on their way out of the NFL cellar.

But as always with the Browns, there was some drama this offseason that distracts from the good surrounding the team. First, it was Antonio Callaway’s arrest for possession of marijuana and handgun parts in his car. Whether you believe the story that it was his friends who had borrowed his car or not, the kid didn’t come forward to the team with the information and tried to hide it.

There was also Josh Gordon’s absence from training camp to focus on his own mental health. While that should be applauded, as he was taking care of himself to not disappoint his fans and coaches again, it still caused a distraction. Gordon has yet to prove he is able to be counted on consistently.

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Thankfully, there is a lot of drama surrounding the Browns week one opponent, the Pittsburgh Steelers aswell. With Le’veon Bell holding out and his teammates calling him out publicly, it seems that the Steelers players are all just about done with Bell’s behavior. They just want clarity on when he’ll be returning to the team. Until then, the weight of the success of the team relies on quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and star wideout Antonio Brown.

The Browns are much improved as far as skill goes, and even have made strides on the coaching staff, bringing in former Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley. Haley will definitely want to get some revenge on the Steelers for not retaining him and will have some tricks up his sleeve in this one. While that is the case, the defense still needs to prove they are different than last year.

After finishing last in turnover differential in 2017, Greg Williams will have to get his defense to be more aggressive and force turnovers. Taylor won’t turn the ball over as much as Deshone Kizer did last season, that’s for sure. But can the defense force a few mistakes from Big Ben and give Taylor and the offense enough chances to make a difference?

In the end, I don’t think the Browns will be able to do enough to win. They’ll be competitive in this one, but you’re only as strong as your weakest link. And in this case, that weak link is the head coach, Hue Jackson. His seat will only get warmer after mismanaging the end of the game, causing the Browns to lose.

Final Score: Pittsburgh 27, Cleveland 21