The Pittsburgh Steelers are gearing up for the Cleveland Browns in Week 13 of the 2019 regular season. Entering the game with a 6-5 record, the Steelers prepare to host the Browns at Heinz Field for a 1:00 p.m. ET kickoff.
Since this is a familiar matchup for the Steelers, playing an AFC North rival, many fans might think they know everything there is about this matchup. But there are some new names and faces in this grudge match.
So, I wanted to get a lowdown on what the Browns might have in store for the Steelers in this rematch by talking with Dawgs By Nature, SB Nation’s Browns website, editor Chris Pokorney to pick his brain on the upcoming matchup.
In the first of many installments, I asked Chris what he thinks the Browns will do when they are on offense and trying to move the ball on the Steelers’ defense. Check out his response:
Cleveland’s offense will continue leaning heavily into the dual utilization of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, and the wrinkle that has gained more and more traction over the past three weeks has been the use of the run-pass option to Odell Beckham or Jarvis Landry. Most of the time, that involves the quick slant, but we’ve also seen Cleveland use it to isolate Beckham and Landry in some one-on-one fade opportunities (and I’m not talking about in the end zone). Unrelated to the run-pass option, after not hitting Beckham on post routes all season, it’s now happened twice in back-to-back weeks for big gains too, so that’s also something to look out for.
The Steelers’ defense will have their hands full when it comes to the Browns’ running game and their weapons on the outside, but there are many facets of this equation which could help the defense thrive on Sunday.
First, can the offense actually get a significant lead? The best thing that could happen to the Steelers’ defense is the offense finally wakes up and is able to take a multi-score lead in this game. Doing so would eliminate the Browns’ desire to run the football and put the emphasis on Mayfield and the passing game. It is here where the Steelers can dominate the questionable Browns offensive front and impose their will.
Second, stopping the run should be paramount...even with Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry on the roster. The Steelers ability to slow down Chubb and Hunt will likely dictate whether this game is a close contest, or not.
Lastly, while Hunt being in the backfield is a still a relatively new look, there is at least some tape out there now of how the Browns might deploy the offensive package. The Steelers should be prepared for this and adjust accordingly.
This game will be anything but a cakewalk, and if the Steelers don’t get a lead and/or stop the run it could be a long day for Keith Butler’s unit.
Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below, and be sure to keep tabs on BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the Browns in Week 13.