clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Steelers vs. Browns: Keys to Victory

I'm short on time, at least for this afternoon, but I wanted to open up a bit more discussion about what we need to do to take down the Brownies this Sunday and secure a firm grip on the AFC North race.

1) Win The Pressure Battle

The 'pressure battle'? Just made that term up, but what I mean is we need to be the better team protecting the quarterback. I know we're going to limit their rushing attack and we'll most likely establish our running game as well, but we'd really be in good shape if Derek Anderson was hurried more frequently than Big Ben. On the year, the Browns have notched only 7 sacks, while their opponents have 13. The 7 sacks are awfully low, but I wouldn't say the 13 surrendered are anything to complain about if you're a Browns fan. I can't wait to see James Silverback Harrison's encore performance.

2) Good luck Ike, Deshea, et. al

Who would have guessed the Brownies would be our most formidable test to date on the defensive side of the football. Perhaps I should settle down about the potency of this Cleveland attack - they have after all only taken care of business against putrid defenses. Still, there's no denying that Braylon Edwards, Kellen Winslow, and Joe Jurevicious present matchup problems for many secondarys. Ike Taylor, who's seemingly on a mission to earn a trip to Honolulu, will face off against Edwards much of the day, and if he can take away big plays on the perimeter, I'm confident Troy Polamalu and A. Smith will take care of business over the middle. We've had issues with slot receivers...i.e. Brandon friggin it wouldn't surprise me if Winslow is used as a decoy at times to hide Joe Jurevicious. Let's get it done secondary.

3) Improved Kick-Off Return Coverage A Must

As datruth4life has mentioned on several occasions this past week, Cleveland has a nifty toy in return man Josh Cribbs. Cribbs is averaging 30.2 yards per return, and has already taken one to the house this year. Cribbs is the table-setter for this Browns offense, and we'd be well served playing fundamental football in kick coverage by staying in our lanes, taking good angles, and wrapping up.

4) Cleveland Must Win The Turnover Battle To Win This Game

If Willie Parker doesn't lay the rock on the carpet, and if Big Ben doesn't push his luck trying to make a play when things break down, Cleveland can forget about it. Our offense is playing far too efficiently for this Browns defense if they're not able to turn us over. The Steelers' 7 INTs are only good for 20th best in the league, but our 9 fumble recoveries are tied for 5th best. Our +6 turnover ratio is ninth best, while the Browns enter Week 10 with a suspect -2 ratio. If those trends hold this week, I like our chances. A lot.

What else guys? Get excited, big, big opportunity for this team to show it can stay focused and handle their business coming off a short, emotional week.

Go Steelers!