It’s tough to know what exactly to take from the previous two matchups between the Steelers and Browns. Last week, Pittsburgh rested most of its key starters and the Browns were able to pull out the victory. In Week 6, the Steelers had Devin Bush and Bud Dupree in the lineup. Both are now done for the season.
The Steelers will also be without cornerback Joe Haden this weekend, while the Browns will be without left guard Joel Bitonio and Head Coach Kevin Stefanski. Each of those are key losses, but it’s tough to understate just how impactful it can be to lose your head coach. (See the Lions-Buccaneers Week 16 Game).
Stefanski has done a great job of using play-action to calm Baker Mayfield’s game down this season. A big part of Mayfield’s success has been the play-calling in general. While Alex Van Pelt will take over the play-calling duties and utilize the same offensive playbook that has been used all season, the timing of his playcall decision-making undoubtedly won’t be the same as Stefanski’s. We’ll see how that impacts the Browns Offense against a Steelers Defense that isn’t easy to decipher.
The Steelers Offense, on the other hand, had been on a downhill trajectory for much of the second half of the season. They seemed to put something together in the 2nd half against the Colts in Week 16 with route concepts that stretched the field and put defenders in conflict. We’ll see if they can build off of that success against the Browns on Sunday.
You can see how these two teams match up head-to-head below:
Steelers Offense vs. Browns Defense
Browns Offense vs. Steelers Defense
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