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 second 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:
It should be about finding out the best ways to confuse a rookie quarterback. It would be one thing if the Steelers had their top weapons at their disposal, but James Conner and JuJu Smith-Schuster figure to be out again. Mason Rudolph is terrible and going away from him is the right decision, but Pittsburgh’s ground game won’t be able to take off and Devlin Hodges’ receivers are bound to make some mistakes that lead to tipped passes.
This game has all the looks of a game where the true matchup is the Browns’ offense vs. the Steelers defense, but the other side of that coin still has plenty of intrigue.
Devlin Hodges now captains the Steelers’ offense, and this unit has been anything but consistent all season, even when Ben Roethlisberger was under center the first game and a half of the year. The team will be without two of their best playmakers in JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Conner, both out with injuries.
I look for the Steelers to try and run the ball early and often to ease some of the pressure off of the rookie Hodges. However, let’s not suggest the team doesn’t need to throw the football to win, because they will. Can Hodges deliver when it matters most? The red-zone? The team has struggled mightily in this area in 2019, and the quarterback will have to be better for this team to win their 7th game and advance their record to 7-5 heading into Week 14.
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.