The Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns will renew a rivalry from just two weeks ago when the contest ended in a disturbing incident when Myles Garrett ripped Mason Rudolph’s helmet off and hit him with it. The fiasco resulted in Garrett being suspended indefinitely and Maurkice Pouncey forced to miss two games for his part in the mayhem.
Here we are, just two weeks removed from the chaotic final eight seconds of the Thursday Night Football game and the two AFC North rivals are prepared to go head-to-head again, but this time at Heinz Field.
This game will be so much more than just another division game, and not because of how the Week 11 game ended. For AFC Playoff positioning this upcoming contest is ridiculously important for both the Steelers and Browns. If the Steelers win, and advance their record to 7-5, they will further cement themselves in the Wild Card race while also putting a huge dent in the Browns’ hopes of making the postseason.
With that said, who do the people who call themselves “experts” think will win this game? Let’s take a look...
At ESPN, the largest panel of experts, the experts are slightly leaning towards Pittsburgh with 6 experts taking the Steelers and 4 taking the Browns. However, ESPN seems to be a lone wolf in this regard with most of the other sites taking a pro-Browns stance.
At CBS Sports, 5 experts have Cleveland while 3 take the home team to win their 7th game. Of course the haters here at SB Nation are leaning towards the Browns too with only three experts taking the Steelers.
At CBS Sports they give one expert, Pete Prisco, the opportunity to expound upon his selection, and here is how he sees the game going down Sunday at Heinz Field:
They met two weeks ago in the game that ended with the helmet-hitting incident involving Myles Garrett. He is suspended for the rest of the season, but Mason Rudolph, the player he hit, won’t be playing here. The Steelers will turn to Devlin Hodges at quarterback. The Browns are surging, but I think the Steelers defense will impose its will on the Browns. Pittsburgh will win a tough, nasty game.
Pick: Steelers 20, Browns 13
These are just a handful of sites across the internet who make expert picks. What about all the other sites? This is where our friends at NFL Pick Watch come in. They take all NFL expert picks and put them in one easy-to-read graph. According to them 56% of the experts are taking the visitors to beat the Steelers this Sunday.
This game should be a tough, nasty and hard fought game from start to finish, but it is clear the experts are slightly leaning towards the Browns in Week 13. Will their prediction come to fruition? Only time will tell, but if the Steelers want to be considered serious playoff contenders this is a game they can’t lose.
Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black-and-gold as they prepare for the Browns to invade Heinz Field this Sunday at 1:00 p.m. ET.