Browns vs. Steelers Week 2: Who holds the edge in each positional group?

The Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers will meet on Monday Night Football in Week 2. Who has the edge at each position?
Cleveland Browns v Pittsburgh Steelers
Cleveland Browns v Pittsburgh Steelers / Justin K. Aller/GettyImages
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Browns: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah/Anthony Walker Jr./Sione Takitaki/Matthew Adams/Mohamoud Diabate/Tony Fields II
Steelers: T.J. Watt/Cole Holcomb/Kwon Alexander/Alex Highsmith/Nick Herbig/Elandon Roberts/Mark Robinson/Markus Golden

The Brown's linebackers had a strong performance Sunday, along with the rest of their defense. They attacked and made plays to stop Joe Mixon and caused a few headaches for Joe Burrow. JOK looked aggressive and made some plays. Takitaki played disciplined, and Anthony Walker went out and did his thing, leading the defense.

The Steelers group starts with sack machine and former Defensive Player of the Year T.J. Watt. With Watt around, it's easy to forget the man on the other side of the group had 14.5 sacks in 2022. Even though the Steelers had no chance, Watt never let up and had three sacks. He goes against rookie right tackle Dawand Jones this week. Jones will need help. The problem is, so will Jedrick Wills on the left side.

The Steelers finally grab an advantage at a position. Much like the Browns having Myles Garrett to elevate their line, the Steelers have T.J. Watt to elevate their linebackers and give them the edge.


Browns: Denzel Ward/Martin Emerson Jr./Greg Newsome II/Mike Ford/Cameron Mitchell/Kahlef Hailassie
Steelers: Levi Wallace/Patrick Peterson/Chandon Sullivan/James Pierre/Joey Porter Jr.

Cleveland's corners are on a mission in 2023. Finally playing to their strengths in man coverage the Browns trio of Denzel Ward, Gregg Newsome II, and Martin Emerson Jr. all were fantastic Sunday allowing Joe Burrow and his dynamic trio of wideouts to just 82 yards passing. If they are half that good the rest of the year they will be the best group in the NFL.

The Steelers have a solid group of corners that now how to do their job. None of them posses the talent the of the Brown's top three. Patrick Peterson is long past his prime and Levi Wallace might not even beat out the guys the Browns have after their best.

The Browns hold a clear advantage at cornerback with some of the best in the league at what they do.


Browns: Grant Delpit/Juan Thornhill/Rodney McLeod/D'Anthony Bell/Ronnie Hickman
Steelers: Keanu Neal/Minkah Fitzpatrick/Elijah Riley/Damontae Kazee/Miles Killebrew

The Browns got a career game from Grant Delpit, and Rodney McLeod was a solid presence. Ronnie Hickman also got some run. Hopefully the Browns get Juan Thornhill back for this one, as that would be a huge boost, especially if Delpit continues to shine.

The Steelers have one of the best safeties in the NFL in Minkah Fitzpatrick. He is a playmaker. The rest of the secondary leaves something to be desired, as Keanu Neal has never been what he was his first two years in Atlanta. Kazee had ten interceptions between 2018 and 2019 but only four since. Elijah Riley has 12 NFL games under his belt.

While Minkah Fitzpatrick is clearly the most talented player in either safety group, if Thornhill is healthy, the Browns would boast three guys who could start over any other safety on the Steelers roster. The Browns have the edge if Thornhill plays. It would lean toward the Steelers if he is out again. That is the difference Fitzpatrick makes.

The overall advantage falls highly in the Browns' favor heading into Monday Night Football. The Browns win this one 31-21 and start 2-0 for the first time since Bill Belichick was around.

Next. AFC North Power Rankings Week 2: Browns make a statement against Bengals. AFC North Power Rankings Week 2: Browns make a statement against Bengals. dark