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Browns vs. Steelers key matchup: WR Markus Wheaton vs. CBs Skrine/Gilbert

While most fans have heard about the Joe Haden vs. Antonio Brown matchup, the matchup on the opposite side of the field may have more of an impact on the outcome of the game.

Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

While the Antonio Brown vs. Joe Haden matchup might be the most talked-about matchup in the Week 1 game between the Cleveland Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers, it might not be the most important.

It's almost a certainty the Browns will give Haden safety help in some form or fashion on Sunday in an effort to stop the prolific wideout. If and when that happens, it'll be up to Markus Wheaton to win his one-on-one matchup on the opposite side of the field against either Buster Skrine or rookie Justin Gilbert.

Wheaton has shown flashes of maturation in his second year and the ability to create separation from his defender, but he has also shown there are times when he isn't on the same page with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

The Steelers need Wheaton to not just win this matchup, but force the Browns to roll coverage his way. Ultimately, this will leave Brown one-on-one against Haden, a matchup that has always gone Brown's way in recent years.

Whether Wheaton lines up across from Skrine or Gilbert is irrelevant. One is a second-tier corner and another is a fresh-faced rookie playing in his first NFL game. Wheaton simply has to do his job, execute his routes and make the plays that present themselves throughout the football game.

Wheaton's ability to work the no-huddle offense and to exploit a very favorable matchup could lead to the Steelers' offense having success on Sunday.

This facet of the Steelers vs. Browns game was highlighted in the latest BTSC podcast "The Standard is the Standard" which you can hear below.

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