Teams: Browns vs. Steelers
Time: 1 p.m. ET
Date: Dec. 30, 2012
Location: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Matchups: Steel City Insider
TV Schedule: CBS regional broadcast
Announcers: Spero Dedes (play-by-play), Steve Beuerlein (color)
Radio stream: Steelers Radio Network WDVE-FM (102.5)/WBGG-AM (970)
Odds: Steelers -11
Weather: 28 degrees, winds west at 13 m.p.h.
Are the Browns choosing to sit their starters for some kind of ulterior motive? If they did, odds are good it was a decision coming from their front office - the entire coaching staff is likely to be removed by this time Monday.
The new ownership group, led by former Steelers minority owner Jimmy Haslem, will end their transition from the old to the new after this game and look to build on what's been another disappointing season in Cleveland.
And the Steelers lost to this team the last time they played, a 20-14 decision highlighted by seven Steelers turnovers when the game mattered (they had a total of eight turnovers including the one on the last play of the game, a desperation razzle-dazzle that ended very much like the rest of their plays did that afternoon in Week 12).
The Steelers will be without wide receiver Mike Wallace, who, for the first time in his NFL career, will miss a game with injury. Let the conspiracies fly, but Wallace also held out of training camp and the preseason this year for the sake of staying healthy. With his numbers in the toilet this year anyway, he really doesn't have anything to play for, if he's motivated financially.
Let's just say his injury comes at a very curious time, and leave it at that.
As it is, the Steelers are 11 point favorites, the highest of the season, but these games have been within one score the last three times these teams have played. It's not out of question to expect a tight, competitive game from those are on the field.
In that group is Browns quarterback Thad Lewis - a practice squad addition earlier this week - who replaces Brandon Weeden and Colt McCoy.
He's never played in an NFL game, let alone started against the Pittsburgh Steelers, who could end up today the first team since 1991 to lead the NFL in both pass and rush defense. Cleveland's offense is without running back Trent Richardson, strongly suggesting if they wanted to hold them to under one yard a carry - like they did against a Bengals team that had to win last week - they could do it.