The Pittsburgh Steelers have another tough test ahead of them in Week 8 of the 2021 regular season when they travel to play the Cleveland Browns. The Browns are 4-3 after a Week 8 win over the Denver Broncos last Thursday night, and with players like Myles Garrett and Jarvis Landry, the Steelers will have their hands full.
With all the talk about the big name players for Cleveland, it isn’t as if their roster is perfect. In fact, there are plenty of issues on both sides of the ball. Every unit has their weaknesses. This week I was able to ask Chris Pokorny of Dawgs By Nature several questions leading up to the Week 8 matchup. One of those questions was where he thought the weakness on the Browns’ offense resided.
Here is what he said about the offense:
On offense, the weakness has been getting Odell Beckham Jr. into a groove. Coming off of his torn ACL injury and now battling through a painful shoulder injury, Beckham has had some untimely drops and just hasn’t been able to get on the same page as the quarterbacks throwing him the ball. I still affirm that it’s important to keep Beckham in the lineup and keep trying to get him involved, because once it clicks with him, it’ll be a big help down the road for the offense.
The Browns’ offense, in general, is a very good unit, especially when it comes to running the football, and the stout Steelers’ defensive front will have their hands full. But what about the Cleveland defense? Where are the kinks in their armor?
On defense, it has been the weird communication breakdowns with the safeties. Those issues particularly came up in losses to the Chargers and Cardinals, where a wide receiver was wide open — as in, no one within 20 yards of them — for a long touchdown pass. Browns fans have been used to a lack of talent issue over the past few years, but not the repetitive communication issues. It’s one of those things that is hard to predict whether it’ll be “fixed” or not too, because it’s happened to several different safeties, not just one of them (Cleveland often plays John Johnson III, Ronnie Harrison, and Grant Delpit at the position).
While the weakness on the Browns’ defense falls in their secondary, the biggest challenge will be with the Steelers’ offensive line. If they can provide Ben Roethlisberger time to throw, then he can exploit the weakness in the secondary. If Myles Garrett and company harass Roethlisberger, it will cover up the weaknesses in the secondary.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for Week 8 of the 2021 regular season.