The staff at BTSC share their thoughts and predict the outcome of Steelers vs. Browns in the AFC Wild Card game.
Who will it be with bragging rights this week against the Browns?
Michael Beck, Deputy Editor, The Live Mike, Know Your Enemy, The Mike Tomlin Post-Game Press Conference Recap
The field is tilted in the Steelers favor. Just think the Browns have barely practiced, have a list of players on the COVID-19 list, will be without their head coach and multiple assistants, and have a ton of injury issues. The Steelers doing anything but winning this game handedly would be a shocker.
Steelers 27, Browns 10
Geoffrey Benedict, Know Your Enemy
Baker Mayfield has yet to convert a set of downs against Pittsburgh this year when the Steelers get a second OR third down longer than 10 yards. The Browns are no threat to the Steelers secondary. T.J. Watt has only one payoff game to his name, and didn’t have a tackle for loss or a sack in that game. Oh, and the Browns are in awful shape to play this game? Yeah.
Steelers 31, Browns 13
Bryan Anthony Davis, Podcast Producer, The Hangover, Steelers Preview, Steelers Post-Game Show, The Steelers Retro Show, Fact or Fiction, The Rooting Guide, BTSC Radio Wire, Here We Go Steelers Pre-Game Show
Here’s the deal, I don’t think that the Steelers are back completely and absolutely on offense, but I truly feel if Randy cedes the play calling to one Benjamin Todd Roethlisberger…they could be closer to fine. The defense may need to score some points here, but poking a hole in the confidence of Baker Mayfield and stopping Nick Chubb is paramount. I think losing Kevin Stefanski is huge, but I was picking the Steelers before his name was placed on the COVID list. I look for the Steelers to get as right as they can be, but it is going to be tight.
Steelers 29, Browns 24
Mark Davison, Steelers Touchdown Under
This is the first time in my Steelers fandom seeing the Cleveland Browns in the Playoffs. The last time the Browns played a NFL playoff game was in 2003. Eighteen years have passed by and If your a Browns fan I bet you are excited!
I would have loved nothing more seeing the Browns fall short and continue the streak without making the playoffs. Luckily enough we here at Behind The Steel Curtin are not Browns fans. We are diehard black and gold Pittsburgh Steeler fans from all around the globe. This is the moment to show our true colors and support our team.
Steelers 37, Browns 13
Anthony Defeo, Steelers Friday Night Six Pack with Tony, The Hangover and The Steelers Retro Show
It will be a good night for the Steelers as they exact their “revenge” for Cleveland’s victory in Week 17.
Steelers 30, Browns 17
Jeff Hartman, BTSC Co-Editor, Let’s Ride, Steelers Preview, Steelers Post-Game Show, Steelers Injury Report Podcast, Mike Tomlin Press Conference Recap
The Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns split their season series, but it is hard to think the COVID ravaged Browns will be able to win this game. However, there is something to a team with its backs against the wall. With nothing to lose. I wouldn’t be shocked if this game was close to start, but eventually the Steelers’ defense will overcome the Browns and be the deciding factor in this contest.
Steelers 31, Browns 17
Matty Peverell, Steelers Touchdown Under
Last week’s 22-24 said more about the strength of this Steelers team with 7+ starters either out due to rest, injury or COVID-19, in which they showed they could keep up with the best the 11-5 Browns could offer. Like other BTSC contributors, let’s hope Ben can throw it deep this week after seeing various WRs step up for Mason Rudolph last week.
Ultimately, this team’s success rises on our great defense, so I’m keen to see how Heyward, Alualu and Tuitt can pressure the Brown’s o-linemen who will be preoccupied blocking Highsmith & Watt. We need James Conner to run hard and fast, soaking up the clock if we are holding a lead.
Steelers 27, Browns 17
Big Bro Scho, The Scho Bro Show
This will be a very different looking Steelers team from the team that played in Cleveland last week. All the players who stayed in Pittsburgh to rest last week will be back, plus we bring Matt Feiler, Eric Ebron, Cassius Marsh, and Robert Spillane back to the lineup. The biggest difference here might be Spillane. Ben learns from what he saw Mason do last week, and the offense gets rolling. Even missing Joe Haden, the defense plays a spectacular game and Robert Spillane helps slow down the Cleveland running game. In the end, I don’t think this game ends up being anywhere as close as the game last week. Steelers win and move on to go to Buffalo next weekend.
Steelers 31, Browns 17
Dave Schofield, BTSC Co-Editor, The Scho Bro Show, Steelers Preview, Steelers Post-Game podcast, Steelers Stat Geek
When it comes to the postseason, defense seems to rule the day when it comes to the Pittsburgh Steelers. In the Steelers 13 postseason wins in the Ben Roethlisberger era, they have not given up more than 24 points and only surrendered more than 18 on three occasions. I think the defense rules the day again and the offense doesn’t have to do much to secure the victory.
Steelers 27, Browns 10
K.T. Smith, Here We Go Steelers Pre-Game Show
The Browns are a franchise on the rise. Their best days are ahead of them. Sunday may not be one of them, however. A Pittsburgh team resting key veterans, including quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, nearly won at Cleveland last week in a game they had nothing to play for and in which the Browns needed to win to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in 18 years. I don’t see Cleveland beating the Steelers for a second consecutive week against a rested Pittsburgh squad at nearly full strength.
Pittsburgh 26, Cleveland 17
Shannon White, Editorial Contributor
This is the moment that Ben Roethlisberger has been thinking about since he went under the knife to have his elbow surgically repaired in the early stages of last season. It served as constant motivation through all the pain and mental anxiety. The overwhelming desire to return to the field and lead the Steelers back to the playoffs were they belong, and the chance to compete for another Lombardi Trophy. He admirably altered his playing style through the regular season to avoid unnecessary punishment, and his strategic adjustments proved successful. Now that the playoffs are upon us, I believe we will see a more traditional Big Ben looking to drive the ball deeper down the field. The Steelers defense is as close to full strength as it has been since mid season, and the team as a whole seems on the verge of hitting their stride. It’s now or never for the Black and Gold.
Steelers 30, Browns 17
Chris Pokorny, editor, Dawgs by Nature
The odds are against Cleveland. I think the reasonable thing to say is that Pittsburgh wins this week, but I don’t think it is a clear cut lock by any stretch. Two quarters aside, Roethlisberger is coming off of a bad month of football. If that’s the quarterback who shows up on Sunday, the Browns could definitely advance to the second round. However, if he is on the money and confident like we saw earlier this season, then he should have time to throw and time to find his receivers much of the day — and while I expect Cleveland’s offense to throw some creative looks at Pittsburgh’s defense, they won’t be able to rely on that all afternoon to where they can get in a shootout.
What is your prediction? Which BTSC contributor is most on the money? Let us know in the poll and the comment section below!!