Cleveland Browns: 5 bold predictions vs. Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 17

Cleveland Browns. Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports
Cleveland Browns. Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports /
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Cleveland Browns
Oct 31, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns tight end David Njoku (85) sheds a tackle from Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Joe Schobert (93) during the fourth quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports /

Cleveland Browns bold prediction No. 2: Kevin Stefanski will use all of his timeouts in this game

Last week, Kevin Stefanski had three timeouts in his pocket with just over a minute to play and the team driving for a potential game-winning drive. They were at midfield and Baker Mayfield was not playing his best game.

At that moment in time, the very least he could have done is give his team a break, a time to regroup and take a breather, especially for his quarterback who seemed to play on the edge all night.

Stefanski impressed so many a year ago with how he seemed to guide his team in every area of the game and thus his team was succeeding like never before. He won the NFL Coach of the Year Award and he’s been the talk around town the last two years. This year though the conversations or arguments amongst the loyal fan base have circled around his play calling.

At the start of the season, it seemed like he was having his offense go for it on fourth-down plays all the time, even though his team showed little success.

In other games, he’s struggled with trying to force plays for his quarterback, a player that has been a shell of himself this season.

I continue to be bewildered by the coach’s lack of using his running backs more in games, especially in the late part of the year. All in all, it’s been a long and drawn-out season for the coach. I certainly hope he can get back and be in control of this team next fall. This prediction is that he does a better job managing the game and uses all the timeouts to set things up for success late in the game.

Cleveland Browns bold prediction No. 1: Browns will beat Pittsburgh

Yes, I’m an optimist and I believe this team we all love will beat the Steelers Monday night. Emotions will be very high for all parties because so much is on the line. Like I’ve said many times before, the Browns need to get off to a good start because they aren’t a team that can come from behind. The team needs to establish the run game early and give their running backs more than 15 carries in the first half.

If Chubb has five carries at the half, as we’ve seen before, then this team will be in trouble. Stefanski needs to trust his run game.

I also look for Mayfield to try and go vertical on his throws down the field a few times to try and open up the run game. Even if the Steelers decide to crowd the line of scrimmage, Cleveland will block better and call a better set of plays that will give their players a better chance at running. The Steelers gave up over 200 yards of rushing to the Chiefs last week and the Browns will make it two weeks in a row come Monday.

Final score prediction: Browns 30, Steelers 25

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