The Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns will square off in Week 1, and the NFL wasted no time getting the AFC North grudge matches underway. So, while the Ravens and Bengals will square off, the Steelers and Browns will be going head-to-head in the Dawg Pound.
So, who will win?
Clearly, I like the Steelers, but not because I’m the editor, and fan, of a huge Steelers website, but because I have two eyes and know a moderate amount about the game of football.
I see the Browns getting better. They absolutely are doing things the right way, or are trying anyways, by stock piling draft picks and bringing in young talent. The Browns are headed in the right direction, but they are far from at their destination yet.
As for the Steelers, they are at the destination and are looking back at the Browns, like they have since the Browns re-entered the NFL. The Steelers are better at almost every position except for left tackle, Joe Thomas is an amazing player to watch if you enjoy offensive line play, and this is a game Pittsburgh should impose their will on the Browns.
Offensively, Ben Roethlisberger will have all his weapons at his disposal, and this group should be able to run or throw whenever they want. Yes, there will be some miscues in this game, after all the offense hasn’t played more than two series together this season, but the Steelers offense is as lethal as anyone when all pieces of the puzzle are healthy.
Defensively, the Steelers going against rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer, and this is a game where the Pittsburgh defense has to make Cleveland one dimensional. Stopping the run is paramount, and putting the game in the hands of a rookie is the equation for success in Week 1. I expect a sack party in the second half of this game.
With that said, the Steelers are just the better team. Hands down, no debate necessary.
So, what is the final score?
Pittsburgh — 34
Cleveland — 17
The Steelers roll, and there is no need to play Le’Veon Bell more than necessary to start he 2017 seasaon.
Extra AFC North Pick:
Cincinnati — 20
Baltimore — 17