Cleveland Browns score predictions: Going for the knockout in Pittsburgh Week 13
Writer: Mike Lukas
Know what’d be great on Sunday when the Cleveland Browns play the Pittsburgh Steelers?
A Browns’ win, yes, of course – that would take both of these AFC North second-place teams to .500 and negate (for now) all of those annoying Steelers’ Wild Card predictions that have been polluting the airwaves lately.
Plus, a win would make it four victories in a row for the previously struggling Browns, not a bad run for their oft-doubted head coach Freddie Kitchens and his oft-maligned orange and brown clad crew who faced a viciously competitive first half of the season. Especially given that they were such a newly formed team.
And a win in Week 13 over the Steelers would mean the Browns would have season-swept them for the first time since 1988, back when Bernie Kosar was the Browns’ Baker Mayfield and Earnest Byner and Kevin Mack were the Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt of the team. And Reggie Langhorne and Webster Slaughter were Cleveland’s Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry. And the bespectacled Marty Schottenheimer was the Freddie Kitchens of the bunch.
Ahh, orange and brown memories.
Not to mention a win on Sunday would be sweet for all the NFL gamblers who took advantage of the fact that the Cleveland Browns (-2) were favored by the oddsmakers over the Steelers (+2) IN Pittsburgh for the first time in FOREVER.
No, besides a Browns’ win, what’d be REALLY great on Sunday when the Cleveland Browns play the Pittsburgh Steelers for the second time this season is if the Browns would make zero references to that embarrassing Thursday night helmet-striking debacle that just happened. If the Browns commit no penalties exacting revenge for what the benched and under-punished Mason Rudolph started and the suspended and over-fined Myles Garrett finished. It’d be great if the Browns took zero cheap shots at his stand-in, the Duck, or took any late hits or made verbal jeers referencing what happened.
What’d be great on Sunday is if the Browns just simply did their job and won the game on their way to a Wild Card Playoff spot. If they took care of business (like the more talented team is supposed to do) without making a big to-do about it. The same way the Patriots and Saints and Ravens get it done.
What that would do is make the Cleveland Browns a more professional team that expects to win and knows it deserves the postseason. Isn’t that the ultimate goal for John Dorsey’s Browns?
The Browns WILL beat the Steelers in Week 13 – the question becomes about how they’re going to do it.
Like a team that is shocked that they can win? That feels surprised (and lucky) to be more talented? That needs to overcompensate for its shortcomings and past regrets by shouting loudly and making a scene?
Or like a team that has realized it’s playoff-worthy. That has the talent and the leadership to win the big games. That can remain silent in its excellence and let its performance to the talking.
It’d be great if the Browns swept the Steelers on Sunday and planted no flags and pointed no fingers and sought zero retribution for baiting our best defensive player into suspension, but instead gave the other sideline a quiet wink and a nod the way the better teams do. The way Tom Brady and Drew Brees and Bernie Kosar and now Lamar Jackson would do it.
With a knowing, silent smile. That’s the most devastating move of them all.
That’d be great.
Score Prediction: Browns 24, Steelers 20