It is Week 10 in the NFL, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are wrapping up a three-game home stand, as well as finishing their home divisional games with a meeting of long-time rivals Cleveland Browns. This series has been dominated by the Steelers since the Browns returned to the league, but this Week 10 game will certainly have other aspects which could impact the outcome of the game.
For the Steelers, it is unlikely Ben Roethlisberger starts, as he is labeled as questionable for the game, which would give Landry Jones his second start of his young NFL career. The Steelers are a banged up group heading into this game, with James Harrison and several others already ruled out for the game Sunday.
Despite the injuries, the Steelers will still put their dynamic offense on the field after putting up 38 points against the Oakland Raiders in Week 9. Anchored by DeAngelo Williams and Antonio Brown, the offense should have no issues moving the ball against the Browns defense. Complimentary players like Heath Miller, Markus Wheaton and Martavis Bryant will certainly look to make an impact in the game early and often as the Steelers head into their bye week after the game.
As for the Browns, they will be quarterbacked by Johnny Manziel, as Josh McCown's ribs aren't fully healed, causing him to miss his second consecutive start. The Steelers defense will have a new problem on their hands with Manziel at the helm, as the mobile quarterback focuses more on ad-libbing than structured play calls from the pocket. Manziel struggled last week on Thursday Night Football against the Cincinnati Bengals, and failed to lead the offense to points in the second half.
It looks as if the game will be a classic college football headline with Manziel vs. Jones, but there will be a lot more on the line than bragging rights. If the Steelers are capable of defeating the Browns they would continue to be in the driver seat within the AFC Playoff race. For the Browns, Mike Pettine will certainly be coaching for his job in the second half of the season, as well as many of his players.
So, who wins this game? The Steelers are 6-point favorites to win, but what do you think? Place your prediction in the tool below. All scores will be calculated, tabulated and compared to the predictions of Dawgs By Nature (SB Nation's Browns site); therefore, it is time to show which fan base has the more knowledgeable fans.
As for my prediction, I think this game has Steelers written all over it, but it will be closer than many think. Manziel is young enough to not be scared of the situation of playing at Heinz Field against the Steelers defense. Landry Jones will make the necessary throws to give the Steelers a comfortable lead, and the defense should be able to close out the game with the Steelers heading into their bye week 6-4.
Jeff Hartman's (Editor of BTSC) Prediction: