The Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers will face off in Week 2 of the 2023 NFL Season. Cleveland is coming off a huge win over the Cincinnati Bengals and is looking to start 2-0 for the first time since 1993.
Pittsburgh was defeated by the San Francisco 49ers and they're trying to avoid their first 0-2 start at home since 1952.
With that being said, here are three players Cleveland needs to keep an eye on as they look for win No. 2.
3. George Pickens, WR
With Diontae Johnson missing 2-4 weeks with a hamstring injury, second-year wide receiver George Pickens will handle the WR1 role against the Cleveland Browns.
Pickens opened his 2023 season without a touchdown on five receptions for 36 yards.
Cornerback Denzel Ward will be covering Pickens on Monday, who is coming off his dominant performance against the Bengals in week one.
George Pickens debuted against the Browns in 2022 with a spectacular one-handed grab in Martin Emerson’s face.
Pickens is looking to live up to the hype around his name since being drafted and has the perfect chance against a Pro Bowl defender.
2. Patrick Peterson, CB
Patrick Peterson had a rough debut with the Steelers last Sunday after he spent the week leading up to the game predicting an interception and claiming the 49ers give tells on their plays.
As the clock hit zero, Peterson left the field without an interception and two 49ers touchdowns that he gave up.
Peterson, a 13-year veteran, hasn’t backed down from his comments on Purdy and the 49ers and looks to lockdown the Browns receiving corp.
Peterson is on record saying Amari Cooper will be an even more challenging test for the Steelers and will make sure he’s ‘on his P’s and Q’s’ when covering the four-time Pro Bowler.
Peterson will be hungry on Monday and is looking to tighten up his coverage against Cooper and the Browns receivers when facing them off the line.
1. TJ Watt, OLB
T.J. Watt is entering Monday’s matchup with the Browns coming off a game against San Francisco, where he tallied up four tackles, three sacks, and two forced fumbles.
Watt is no stranger to the Browns offensive line but this will be his first time facing off against 6-foot-8 rookie OT Dawand Jones.
Watt has 15 career sacks against Cleveland quarterbacks, which could ultimately be the difference between the Browns once again relying on the run or Watson sitting in the pocket and finding his rhythm.
Watt is on a trajectory to become the Steelers' all-time sack leader and would love nothing more than to have that come against Deshaun Watson and the Browns.
Look for Watt to try and expose Cleveland’s monstrous rookie OT and get to Watson every chance he gets.