The Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers will play Monday night with numerous storylines and both teams pushing for a playoff birth.
A rivalry that dates back decades, the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers have never gotten along. For years, this battle has been on-sided with Pittsburgh having its way in the 1970s.
Cleveland got back into winning the games between the two franchises later in the 1980s and early 1990s when the team’s franchise folk hero quarterback Bernie Kosar was leading the charge. When Cleveland returned to the NFL as a reborn franchise in1999 they again struggled to beat the Steelers much. They have only beaten them seven times in that time, before last season’s two wins.
The Browns lost a tough game earlier this year 15-10 after the team couldn’t move the ball offensively. For their next game this Monday night, they will have to play a Steeler team working off the emotion of their quarterback Ben Roethlisberger retiring soon and will likely be playing in the last home game of his storied career.
I believe the rivalry got a boost last season after the Browns won the back-to-back games. It would be great to see this series get back to being a hotly contested matchup. If the Browns want to stay in the playoff picture, they’ll have to win Monday.
Some of the air might come out of the balloon however if the Cincinnati Bengals beat the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. Both Cleveland and Pittsburgh are chasing that division title still and a win by the Bengals would end any hope for that title. Nonetheless, neither team will be eliminated from the playoff race yet so let the Monday night battle be a classic duel between two old rivals.
With that let’s make our weekly bold predictions on the game.
Cleveland Browns bold prediction No. 5: Run game will go over 200 yards
The last time these two teams played, Pittsburgh only allowed 83 rushing yards to Cleveland running backs Nick Chubb and D”Ernest Johnson. That was very unusual considering the Steelers are statistically the worst team defensively against the run in the NFL.
They give up on average 142 yards a game and in their last three games, the Steelers gave up over 190 yards a game. On the other hand, the Browns run game has been one of the best all season. They average 145 yards a game. They had 219 yards against Green Bay.
If Kevin Stefanski will stop second-guessing his play-calling and has his quarterback Baker Mayfield hand the ball off, let’s say 30 times, then the team will be in excellent shape. I’m counting on Stefanski to “do better”.