The 2021 regular season is upon us, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing for the Cleveland Browns in Week 8. While the Steelers get ready for their latest home game of the season, it is time for the BTSC staff to put on their prognostication hats and guess the winner of the contest.
Who will get closest? We will be keeping tabs, so let’s get the picks. Check out the staff picks below, and even a pick from an enemy guest!
This game is huge, and everyone already knows that. I am curious who the starting quarterback will be for the Browns, and I’m honestly hoping for Baker Mayfield. Why? Because I’ll take a banged up Baker over a healthy Case Keenum. If Keenum plays, this game will go down to the wire. If Baker plays, and the Steelers are able to get to him early and often, he might not finish the game. Either way, I like the Steelers to find a way to win.
Pick: Steelers 24, Browns 20
I could see the outcome of this game hitting anywhere along the spectrum of a blowout win to a blowout loss. I just don’t know what to expect from this team coming out of a bye. Instead of going with my head, I’m predicting the outcome with my heart. I have the Steelers coming out strong as ever and taking care of business in Cleveland in what could be Ben Roethlisberger‘s last trip to the Mistake by the Lake.
Pick: Steelers 24, Browns 13
Bryan Anthony Davis
The Steelers can make a huge stride and leap helmets-first into the playoff picture with a win. They can also dent the Browns in the process. Will it be easy. No way! That Browns offensive line is so good that Tony Defeo could have a 100-yard game. But there comes a time in every team’s season where they stake their claim. I’d like to quote and revise a speech done by our once great president, Thomas J Whitmore in the 1996 documentary Independence Day.
“Perhaps it’s fate that today is Halloween, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom or a bag of Skittles. Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution, but from annihilation. We are fighting for our right to live. To exist. And should we win the day, Halloween will no longer be known as an excuse to gorge ourselves on fun-size Snickers when we are allegedly inspecting our kids candy, but as the day when the world declared in one voice: We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We’re going to live on! We’re going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day…err Halloween.”
The Steelers have that ability to celebrate both Independence Day and Halloween by flushing down what is brown.
Pick: Steelers 27, Browns 26
This is a revenge game for the Steelers through and through. On top of that, it really feels like whoever loses this game falls out of the AFC playoff race. This is as close to a must-win game as you can get in Week 8. With the Browns being beat up, and revenge on the Steelers mind, I think the black and gold squeak out a slugfest.
Pick: Steelers 16, Browns 14
This is a tough game to pick. So many variables — a great Cleveland run game versus a banged-up Steelers DL; injuries for the Browns at several key spots (RB, QB); the Steelers coming off of a bye, where they’ve been pretty good in recent years; a road game for the Steelers in the division, which is always challenging; a chance for Pittsburgh to avenge their embarrassing playoff defeat to Cleveland last January. How does one choose?
When indecision reigns, go with your gut. I like the way the Steelers have played recently and I think the bye gave them the chance to work on some weaknesses (tackling, run-blocking). I think they’ll win a close one.
Pick: Steelers 23, Browns 20
Browns vs. Steelers...Everything on film says the Steelers are in trouble here. The best run team in the NFL even with injuries versus a run defense that has some big weak points. The Browns are fantastic at play action passing, on the surface this could be an ugly game.
But I’m holding out hope that Ben Roethlisberger has one more big game in him, and it comes this week. Because honestly, I don’t have much hope otherwise.
Pick: Steelers 35, Browns 21
Rich Schofield (Big Bro Scho)
I am making some small tweaks to my prediction to what it was on The Scho Bro Show on Tuesday, now that there is some more information going into the game. I still feel that the difference will be some wrinkles thrown in on the defensive side of the ball more so than on the offensive side. The Steelers chances in this game actually increase in my eyes now that we are hearing that Baker Mayfield is likely to play, as we see the defensive wrinkles I anticipate having more impact on Baker than they would have had on Case Keenum. No change in my winner, but the Steelers do have a bit more cushion in this one. And to quote the Pittsburgh Dad shirt I hope someone gets me for Christmas “Cleveland Never Rocked”.
Pick: Steelers 27, Brown 21
The Steelers offense was destined to struggle in the early portion of the 2021 NFL season, with so many new faces in new places. The Steelers excellent defense and special teams were being counted on to carry more than their fair share of the load. The formula proved successful Week 1 against Buffalo, but injuries to superstar T.J. Watt and multiple other defenders disrupted the best laid plans. There has been notable improvement in all three phases since the three game losing streak; with the rookies gaining valuable experience, and the walking wounded beginning to heal. It feels as if the Steelers are starting to develop an identity, and bonding as a collective group after being read their last rites by the national sports media and many in their own fanbase. This game isn't only an opportunity to remain relevant in the division, but a chance to prove they are very much alive and kicking. Fresh off the bye, maybe even a trick play by the Steelers on Halloween.
Pick: Steelers 24, Browns 17
During Mike Tomlin's tenure as head coach, the Steelers tend to come out slow after extended rest. While it is true that Cleveland's backfield is banged up, they proved last week that you do not need a great running back to have a successful running game. That offensive line is one of the best in the league, and considering that I have not correctly predicted a Steelers game yet this season, why would I jinx us and pick us to win?
Pick: Browns 24, Steelers 20
While it isn’t a season-ending blow if they lose, if this Steelers want to seriously contend - even for the AFC North, a win this week is a must. Starters or backups, banged up or fresh, it’s all the same, they need to ride home singing the team song and celebrating a win. I think this team has the steel, veteran and rookie, to get it done, now they just need to prove they can.
Pick: Steelers 27, Browns 21
The Pittsburgh Steelers are coming off a well deserved BYE and hopefully the whole team Is ready to compete. Watching the Cleveland Browns victory last week was nothing special. The Browns only managed to score 17 points and won against A bland Denver Broncos team. I expect better football to be played In this week’s AFC North football game. The Browns VS Steelers Is always fun to watch and I can’t wait to see the Steelers come out of this bye with all guns blazing.
The Steelers will win and score 30 points for the first time this year.
Pick: Steelers 31, Browns 16
Needless to say that if the Steelers win this game, it’s game on for the rest of the season. The Steelers have a habit of bringing the worst out of Baker Mayfield, who will officially be starting on Sunday after spending the week on Cleveland’s injury report. However, Pittsburgh’s defense hasn’t been nearly as effective against the run as of late. I have a “feeling” about this game. I can’t put my finger on it, but I think the Steelers will pull out a close game.
Pick: Steelers 21, Browns 17
Chris Pokorny (Dawgs By Nature Contributor)
The Steelers are trying to rally, but I still don’t believe in Roethlisberger at this stage of his career, including some of his decision-making. I think the Browns’ defensive line causes some disruptions and forces some mistakes, while Cleveland’s running game puts together enough good drives for a victory.
Pick: Browns 24, Steelers 17
What is your prediction? Let us know in the comment section below, and feel free to tell the contributors above why they are dead wrong, or spot on!