The Pittsburgh Steelers will take on the Cleveland Browns tonight to start Week 11 for the NFL in what should ultimately be a highly-contested game. After all, the Browns took down the Buffalo Bills last Sunday, 19-16, and have proven to be full of surprises all season and they could keep rolling tonight. Going up against the Steelers, who have to play without quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, is going to create an interesting story.
Browns to Keep Rolling vs Steelers?
With Roethlisberger on the field, the Steelers have a 23-2-1 record against the Browns. However, his season-ending surgery has brought Mason Rudolph to the field and he may not prove as resilient against Cleveland. This could be the year that the Browns break their losing streak against the Steelers, which has been in place since 2014.
Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens had a lot to think about after his team’s win over the Bills. The victory came as a surprise to most and wasn’t exactly pretty – the Browns had a horrible time in the red zone. Kitchens, who divides his time between keeping track of all the action and calling offensive plays, will have spent the better part of the last few days figuring out how the team can reach the end zone after marching all the way down the field.
The Steelers defense has been able to stay relatively on point this season, keeping their opponents to less than 17 points a game, except once, since Week 3. If the Browns are going to keep rolling with a victory, they have to figure out how to get past safety Minkah Fizpatrick and the rest of the secondary, or they’ll never make it.
There’s little doubt that the Browns defense is going to do whatever it can to make things as unpleasant for Rudolph as possible, and will try to exploit one weakness of the 6’5” quarterback. Rudolph doesn’t like to scramble unless he has to. With his height, he doesn’t have to move around as much, but the Browns need to work the outside in the secondary and keep pressure up the middle in order to get him out of his comfort zone. If they can do that, the Browns can keep things rolling, and will have already scored a victory.
Keeping running back James Conner in check is going to help, as well. He’s had a strong NFL season, pulling off key plays exactly when they’ve been needed and seems to know how to find the right hole at the right time. Conner and Rudolph rely on each other heavily and controlling their movements is going to lead to a tired Steelers offense that the Browns can exploit.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Browns have a little more difficulty. They like to run, but the Steelers know how to put up the steel curtain just when it’s needed. When you meet a way, the best option is to try to run around it, and this is where Cleveland needs to go. They will most likely try to work the outsides more and break through the weaker links on the Pittsburgh defense.
The money is divided on the game, but the Browns have a really good chance at walking away with a bloody victory, and we fancy them to keep rolling onwards. It will be a tight battle that Cleveland ultimately conquers.