The 2019 Pittsburgh Steelers are a tough team to predict. During the Killer B’s era you could at least look to the offense to provide some juice to the games, and lean on one side of the ball to help lead your prediction.
Now, it isn’t the offense, but the defense, which is the crutch you can lean on when talking about whether the Steelers might win, or lose, any particular game on their regular season schedule.
With the Steelers having to operate on a short week preparing for their Week 11 game vs. the Cleveland Browns on Thursday Night Football, I do what I always do with my predictions — trust my gut.
For those who listen to our podcasts, you know a few weeks ago, prior to the Steelers’ three game home stand, I said I thought the Steelers would lose to the Rams in Week 10. The prediction had them finishing the three game stretch 2-1. But before the game, when it came time for my prediction, my gut told me this Steelers defense should dominate the Rams’ offensive front and wreck their game plan. I changed my pick to the Steelers.
My gut was right.
So, what does my gut say about this Week 11 game against the Cleveland Browns?
Before getting to my prediction, this week I was fortunate enough to ask Dawgs By Nature’s editor Chris Pokorny some questions, and of course I asked him what his prediction for the game was, and you can check out his response below:
The Steelers’ defense has been opportunistic, and the offense has done enough, all things considered (losing their QB, injuries at RB, and wide receiver depletion). It is really a credit to Mike Tomlin for how he kept this group motivated, and now has them playing as hungry as ever. With that said, Cleveland came up big in their only division game against Baltimore this season and have started to reduce the number of mistakes made on offense. Pittsburgh’s winning streak ends this week in a low-scoring game that the Browns have the leg up on with their ground game.
I would expect nothing more than for Chris to take the Browns at home on prime time, but I can hear Dave Schofield in my ear telling me how rookie coaches fail more than they succeed on a short week.
Freddie Kitchens is a rookie head coach, for your information.
This game scares me for a lot of reasons, mainly the running game of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. The Steelers have historically struggled against zone blocking schemes, and the Browns will have life if they can run the ball.
But I expect the Steelers offense to throw their defense a bone in Week 11 and provide a lead which will make the Browns one-dimensional. Once the ball is in Baker Mayfield’s hands every down, the Steelers’ defense can pin their ears back and do what they did vs. the Rams in Week 10 — dominate.
Steelers - 24
Browns - 13
What is your prediction for the game? Let us know in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black-and-gold leading up to kickoff.