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Knee Jerk Reactions to the Steelers’ 38-7 win over the Browns

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/18/2020 - 3:15pm
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Steelers needed a signature win? They just got it.

Let’s get to Week 6, after the Steelers’ Week 5 victory against the cross state rivals from Philly, we took the high road and did not rub it in to Kyle’s two Uncles who are die hard Eagles fans (not my side of the family, but minus the Eagles stuff we like them alright, one even married a Steelers fan). Next up, the Browns from Cleveland. The Steelers are undefeated and yet there are plenty of fans out there who are not confident in the Steelers chances against the Browns. Really people? The game is in Pittsburgh, and it’s the Browns. Let me repeat that one part again: “IT’S THE BROWNS!” The Steelers have owned the Browns in Pittsburgh since the Browns were reincarnated after they disguised themselves and moved to Baltimore (more on that another day). Okay, enough of this, let’s get to the game.

A simple reminder, a knee jerk reaction is an immediate and unthinking, emotional reaction. It’s basically shooting first and apologizing later (forget that, I apologize for none of my emotion I may not actually be from Pittsburgh, but grew up close enough to be a Yinzer). I can safely say that’s a true definition of your’s truly and a good lot of Steelers’ Nation. Here’s my real-time (and possibly a little bit of my son Kyle’s) reactions during the Steelers’ effort to continue the unbeaten streak.

Quarter 1
  • Browns win the toss and defer. Steelers will start with the football.
  • RPO on the second play I don't like the looks of that that was nearly a pick.
  • James Washington beautiful catch.
  • Effective running on this drive.
  • And that's another Pittsburgh Steelers... First down!
  • Ben Roethlisberger threw that pass late, or it might have been a touchdown.
  • The no touchdowns on the opening drive streak continues, but at least Chris Boswell knocks through three.
  • Let Cam Hayward land on Baker Mayfield. That'll feel good on his bruised ribs.
  • Everybody wanted to see Minkah Fitzpatrick make a big play—there it was! Pick 6 baby!!!! 10-0 Steelers!
  • Kyle likes the Cleveland version of the double R double P. Run, run, pass, pick six.
  • Continue the sack streak. Bud Dupree the first one there. Browns to punt.
  • Ben almost threw a pick again. He's got to stop doing that. Look like the same exact play from before.
  • That was an ugly three and out.Not one single play had anything good to say about it
  • Mike Hilton missed a tackle on that run. This is getting to be a streak of his.
  • Will this 3rd and 10 be another version of the soft zone? Joe Hayden forces Odell Beckham Jr out of bounds no catch.
  • Third and four and the Steelers go to that same RPO to the slant. Not nearly intercepted this time but ball batted down at the line. Why have they run the same play three times when it has not worked yet?
  • Should not have given up a first down there. That was a terrible tackling effort by Joe Haden.
  • End of the first period Steelers 10 Browns 0
Quarter 2
  • Steelers are giving up too much offense to the running backs.
  • Almost had a sack on that third down play. But now they might go for it on 4th down. Heyward couldn't quite get Mayfield to the ground.
  • Need a fourth down stop here. False start on Cleveland. That probably ends that fourth down try. The Browns to punt.
  • I will take a 15-yard run on first down. Nice job James Conner.
  • Eric Ebron first down.
  • Chase Claypool long pass sets the Steelers up inside the five.
  • James Conner touchdown!!!!! 17-0 Steelers.
  • Finally they threw the flag for a hold on T.J. Watt.
  • Watt almost makes the sack, Cam Sutton comes up with the interception. Give the ball back to the good guys.
  • First and five they knew the Steelers were going to run it and they lose yards. First and five is the time to throw.
  • 13 yards by Connor on third down and one. I love it!
  • James Washington, grandpa strong wide open for the touchdown!!!
  • 24-0, this is like a McDonald's commercial... Da da da da da I'm loving it. (You know you sang that)
  • How in the world do they leave Austin Hooper that wide open?
  • Devin Bush got dinged up on that first down play. Boy I hope he's all right. He seems to be the heart of that defense.
  • 2 minute warning. Cleveland with a third and five deep into Pittsburgh territory.
  • Devin Bush heading to the locker room early.
  • Browns picked up the first down. Steelers need to keep them out of the touchdown zone.
  • How in the world do you drop eight guys into coverage and leave somebody wide open in the end zone?
  • I was sitting here thinking the Steelers could score with the time left. Instead they go incomplete pass, sack. Now Cleveland's taking a time out because they're thinking maybe they could score some more points.
  • And now James Washington decides to take a pass and go out of bounds to let Cleveland save a timeout. Steelers have not played this last couple minutes very well.
  • Throw in a 5-yd penalty on the punt, and Cleveland really has a good chance to score more points. This is pathetic.
  • Thank goodness for an offensive pass interference call. That might kill Cleveland's efforts to get some more points at the end of the half.
  • That should have been called a sack. They should not let that throw count, but they are because why the referees hate Steelers. At least it forced a punt
  • Steelers take a knee, and take a 24-7 lead to the locker room. The Browns will receive the second half kickoff.
Quarter 3
  • Kyle: "Tony Romo is actually doing something at a football stadium."
  • Browns start inside their own 20.
  • Watt and Dupree combine for the sack.
  • Third down and 23. Did the Steelers have a way that they can give up this first down?
  • Cleveland runs the ball for a loss, it was actually fumbled but Cleveland recovered. Steelers start with the ball on the positive side of the 50.
  • Two James Conner runs leave the Steelers just short of a first down. Need to convert this third down.
  • Not a great looking play there on third down. Looks like the Steelers are going for it on 4th and 1.
  • Conner converts, first down Steelers.
  • Busted play. Ben scrambles for a few yards on 1st and 19.
  • Ebron for a first down on 3rd and 13. Flag! Ebron got called for past interference
  • Steelers have to punt. Would have like to put points on the board there. And then the punt goes into the end zone for a touchback.
  • Mike Hilton missed another tackle, and is now is down on the ground hurt.
  • Cleveland's going to challenge that third down play. Anybody want to put bets on the fact that New York will overturn it and give Cleveland a first down? I'd say chances are pretty high we all know how New York wants to keep games close. Gave the catch, but not the first down.
  • Cleveland with a fourth and one and are going to go for it. Steelers hit it for a loss take over inside the 30.
  • Three straight runs by Connor pick up a Steeler first down.
  • Connor had a nice wiggle on that run to turn a loss into a decent gain.
  • Now 4th and 1 for the Steelers on the 5-yard line and they are going for it. Quarterback sneak for the first down.
  • Claypool with another rushing touchdown!!!! 31-7 Steelers.
  • Kyle: "Back to back games with at least 30 points."
  • Case Keenum in a quarterback for the Browns. Are they trying to rally or is this a white flag?
  • Robert Spillane just blew up that screen.
  • Wow! Could the Steelers have played any softer zone on 2nd and forever to give up a first down? Now is the time to put the pedal down and put an end to this game not let them stick around.
  • End of three....31-7 Steelers.
Quarter 4
  • Steelers start the 4th quarter playing the same soft zone. Stop please.
  • Steelers hold on 3rd and 2, but at this point Cleveland's going for it on 4th and 2.
  • Didn't get it. Steelers take over on downs.
  • On that rush James Conner goes over a hundred yards.
  • Steelers are just running at will on the Browns right now.
  • Claypool gets it down to the one Benny Snell takes it in for Steeler touchdown.
  • Wow! That was a horrible snap on the extra point attempt. Great job to get it down and Boswell does a great job kicking it through.
  • For once I'm sitting here in the fourth quarter and I don't really have much to talk about. This one is pretty much over.
  • Steelers held on another 4th and 1. Steelers get the ball back in good position.
  • You know it's out of hand with Mason Rudolph is coming in to take some snaps at quarterback. This is the way I like to see Rudolph enter a game.
  • Kyle: "Good, Myles Garrett is on the sideline at least Mason Rudolph is safe."
  • Steelers are basically just trying to run clock now. Three and out Steelers will punt.
  • We've reached the 2-minute warning. this game has pretty much been over for the last 9 to 10 minutes.
  • Steelers take over with 1:44 to go, I expect to see some victory formation.
  • Three, two, one, dominating win!!! 5-0 looks good. Who's Next!

Once again, I just fired off what was going through my head at the time. All reactions were in real time. Basically, it is the equivalent of watching the game with me (and Kyle), you just don’t have to go to another room because I am screaming at the television (sometimes Kyle does). Now time process it, some quick analyzing for the Scho Bro Show, and then put it behind me as we move toward Week 7. Make sure you get your voice heard in the comments below.

Final Score: Steelers make statement with 38-7 win over Browns

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/18/2020 - 2:59pm
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers remain perfect after dismantling the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field in Week 6.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns rivalry was re-ignited in Week 6 when the undefeated Steelers hosted the 4-1 Browns at Heinz Field for the home team’s first divisional game of the season.

It had been since 1994 the Browns started 4-1, and 1979 since the Steelers started a perfect 4-0, and after the Browns won the opening coin toss and deferring their possession to the second half it was Ben Roethlisberger and company taking the ball with the opening drive.

Roethlisberger came out of the gates strong with passes to James Washington for first downs, and combined with James Conner’s hard running put the Steelers in the red-zone. A high pass intended for Eric Ebron on third down meant they had to settle for a 31 yard Chris Boswell field goal to make the score 3-0 with 10:35 left in the first quarter.

On Cleveland’s opening drive, facing a third and four, Baker Mayfield’s pass was intercepted by Minkah Fitzpatrick and returned for the pick six.

THINGS. YOU. LOVE. TO. SEE@minkfitz_21 | CBS https://t.co/tI5aUTu7te pic.twitter.com/Su6dvq5Jn2

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) October 18, 2020

Boswell’s extra point made the score 10-0 in the blink of an eye, and with 8:58 left in the opening quarter.

Both teams would exchange possessions as the 10-0 score would hold into the second quarter. The Browns had the ball with great field position to start the second quarter. However, another great defensive stop by the Steelers thwarted Cleveland putting up points and forced another punt.

Pittsburgh’s offense would break the stalemate as Ben Roethlisberger was able to step up in the pocket and deliver a strike down field to Chase Claypool. On the next play from scrimmage it was James Conner plunging into the end zone for the touchdown. Boswell’s point after made the score 17-0 with 10:28 left in the second quarter.

It might be hard to believe, but the Steelers’ defense had not drawn a holding call the entire season, but that ended when T.J. Watt was tackled and put the Browns’ offense behind the sticks. On third down Mayfield was under pressure and threw an errant pass which was intercepted by Cam Sutton, the Steelers’ second takeaway of the game.

The Steelers do what they have done all season off of turnovers, and that would be turn them into points. After a nice run by James Conner moved the offense into striking distance, it was a beautiful Roethlisberger pass to James Washington for the touchdown.

WIDE OPEN @JamesWashington | CBS https://t.co/tI5aUTu7te pic.twitter.com/KThCLo9Ziu

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) October 18, 2020

Boswell’s point after made the score 24-0 with 5:23 left in the first half.

Desperately needing points before halftime, the Browns put together their best drive of the day and reached the red-zone at the two-minute warning. What resulted in the drive was a Baker Mayfield strike to Rashard Higgins to make the score 24-7 with 1:01 left in the first half.

The Steelers had 54 seconds left, and all three timeouts remaining, but were not able to gain a first down before punting the ball back to Cleveland. Despite running a few more plays, the score of 24-7 would hold heading into halftime.

The Browns started the third quarter with the football, but their opening possession was extremely forgettable. Baker Mayfield was sacked and pressured en route to an opening three and out. Luckily for Cleveland, Pittsburgh was unable to do anything with tremendous field position and Dustin Colquitt was punting the ball back to the Browns with 7:40 left in the third quarter.

Cleveland’s next series set up a 4th and short in their own end, and Kevin Stefanski elected to go for it. Kareem Hunt was given the football and didn’t even have a chance to breathe and loss two yards on the play. The turnover on downs set up Steelers deep in Cleveland territory, and they wasted little moving into the red-zone. James Conner and the offensive line moved the ball into the red-zone, and it was Chase Claypool who capped off the drive with a rushing touchdown.

.@ChaseClaypool's second rushing touchdown of the season!

CBS https://t.co/tI5aUTu7te pic.twitter.com/pQmsIYuLxN

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) October 18, 2020

The Chris Boswell point after made the score 31-7 with 52 seconds left in the third quarter.

Stefanski chose to give Baker Mayfield and his banged up ribs a rest as he brought in backup Case Keenum for the fourth quarter. It was a different quarterback, but more of the same for the Browns’ offense. Facing a 4th and two, the pass to Kareem Hunt fell incomplete with another turnover on downs.

The Steelers’ drive following the change of possession featured James Conner, Benny Snell Jr. and even some Anthony McFarland Jr. However, on 3rd down it was a pass to Chase Claypool which moved the offense down to the one yard line. Snell took care of the rest, and the Boswell point after made the score 38-7 with 8:08 left in the fourth quarter.

Keenum was able to drive the Browns to midfield before they turned the ball over on downs again. Mason Rudolph checked in the game in relief for Roethlisberger, and it was a lot of handoffs to Anthony McFarland in garbage time.

It ended with Rudolph executing the victory formation as the clock expired.

The Steelers win moves their record to 5-0 as they now prepare for the Tennessee Titans in Nashville in Week 7. Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes on the black and gold as they continue to roll through the regular season.

Steelers vs. Browns, Week 6: 3rd quarter in-game update

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/18/2020 - 2:23pm
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back, and we keep you up to date with those who aren’t able to watch the game live.

1st Quarter In-Game Update

2nd Quarter In-Game Update

The Browns started the third quarter with the football, but their opening possession was extremely forgettable. Baker Mayfield was sacked and pressured en route to an opening three and out. Luckily for Cleveland, Pittsburgh was unable to do anything with tremendous field position and Dustin Colquitt was punting the ball back to the Browns with 7:40 left in the third quarter.

Cleveland’s next series set up a 4th and short in their own end, and Kevin Stefanski elected to go for it. Kareem Hunt was given the football and didn’t even have a chance to breathe and loss two yards on the play. The turnover on downs set up Steelers deep in Cleveland territory, and they wasted little moving into the red-zone. James Conner and the offensive line moved the ball into the red-zone, and it was Chase Claypool who capped off the drive with a rushing touchdown.

.@ChaseClaypool's second rushing touchdown of the season!

CBS https://t.co/tI5aUTu7te pic.twitter.com/pQmsIYuLxN

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) October 18, 2020

The Chris Boswell point after made the score 31-7 with 52 seconds left in the third quarter.

The score would hold heading into the fourth quarter.

Devin Bush exits game in 2nd quarter with a knee injury

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/18/2020 - 1:56pm
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Steelers’ second year linebacker had to be helped to the sidelines just before halftime.

Pittsburgh Steelers have come out strong on both sides of the ball. While the team was up 24-0 in the second quarter, inside linebacker Devin Bush left the game with an apparent left knee injury. He is questionable to return. This per Burt Lauten of the Steelers PR Department.

#Steelers LB Devin Bush sustained a knee injury and is being further evaluated in the locker room. He is questionable to return to today’s game.

— Burt Lauten (@SteelersPRBurt) October 18, 2020

Bush went down on the Browns’ sideline after pursuing a play in pass coverage which fell incomplete. It’s took assistance from the training staff for Bush to get back to the Steelers sidelines. He was able to walk into the locker room under his own power.

Before leaving the game, Bush had three tackles and 0.5 sacks. He was replaced by linebacker Robert Splaine.

On the ensuing drive, the Cleveland Browns scored a touchdown to bring the score to 24-7 inside the final two minute of the half.

UPDATE: Bush has been downgraded to OUT per Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Devin Bush has been downgraded to out. He did not come out of locker room for start of second half.

— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) October 18, 2020

Stay tuned to Behind The Steel Curtain for continued coverage as the Steelers take on the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field.

Steelers vs. Browns: Second-half live updates, injury news and open thread

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/18/2020 - 1:42pm
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers are back on the gridiron! The 2020 regular season continues with the Steelers and Browns locking horns in Week 6. Keep tabs on all things Black-and-gold with our updates and open thread.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back on the field, and this time for the fifth time in the 2020 regular season as they prepare to face off against the Cleveland Browns in Week 6 at Heinz Field.

Throughout the game, be sure to check back here for score updates, injury news and any breaking news from those on the sidelines following the team live. You can also follow along in the Twitter feed below.

For those wondering, you can enjoy some lively commentary with the best Steelers fans across the globe in the open thread for all BTSC members in the comment section below. Let’s remember to keep it clean, respect everyone’s thoughts and ideas, and ultimately remember we’re all here for the same reason—to root on the Steelers!

In case you haven’t seen it yet, this is a message here from NFL Manager Jeanna Thomas about the new Coral commenting system:

Here are a few features that you might want to include in game day thread articles, to help your community enjoy the game day threads more:

If you change the ‘Sort By’ option to “Oldest,” you can read all the comments in chronological order, and the comment box moves to the bottom. If you leave it as “Newest”, the latest comments will appear at the top.

If you’re using a computer, you can move down the comments using C, and move back up using shift-C by clicking once inside the comments area. This can also be used to ‘load more’ comments.

Under the ‘My Profile’ tab, you can keep track of replies to your comments, and also sign up for email notifications of replies

If you want to auto-show all images/GIFs/Tweets, you can opt into this under My Profile - Preferences

As always, we’re continuing to improve the system, and will be watching how everyone is using it on game days – and if you or your community have suggestions on how we can further improve the game day thread experience, we’d love for you/them to join our commenting feedback group: https://forms.gle/2FTSCHRgnggxH6SR6 or you can email support@coralproject.net.

So enjoy the game and be sure to follow BTSC for all the latest news surrounding the team throughout the game and afterwards!

HERE WE GO STEELERS!

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Steelers vs. Browns, Week 6: 2nd quarter in-game update

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/18/2020 - 1:34pm
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back, and we keep you up to date with those who aren’t able to watch the game live.

1st Quarter In-Game Update

The Browns had the ball with great field position to start the second quarter, but another great defensive stop by the Steelers thwarted Cleveland putting up points and forced another punt.

Pittsburgh’s offense would break the stalemate as Ben Roethlisberger was able to step up in the pocket and deliver a strike down field to Chase Claypool. On the next play from scrimmage it was James Conner plunging into the end zone for the touchdown. Boswell’s point after made the score 17-0 with 10:28 left in the second quarter.

It might be hard to believe, but the Steelers’ defense had not drawn a holding call the entire season, but that ended when T.J. Watt was tackled and put the Browns’ offense behind the sticks. On third down Mayfield was under pressure and threw an errant pass which was intercepted by Cam Sutton, the Steelers’ second takeaway of the game.

The Steelers do what they have done all season off of turnovers, and that would be turn them into points. After a nice run by James Conner moved the offense into striking distance, it was a beautiful Roethlisberger pass to James Washington for the touchdown.

WIDE OPEN @JamesWashington | CBS https://t.co/tI5aUTu7te pic.twitter.com/KThCLo9Ziu

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) October 18, 2020

Boswell’s point after made the score 24-0 with 5:23 left in the first half.

Desperately needing points before halftime, the Browns put together their best drive of the day and reached the red-zone at the two-minute warning. What resulted in the drive was a Baker Mayfield strike to Rashard Higgins to make the score 24-7 with 1:01 left in the first half.

The Steelers had 54 seconds left, and all three timeouts remaining, but were not able to gain a first down before punting the ball back to Cleveland. Despite running a few more plays, the score of 24-7 would hold heading into halftime.

Steelers vs. Browns, Week 6: 1st quarter in-game update

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/18/2020 - 12:41pm
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back, and we keep you up to date with those who aren’t able to watch the game live.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns rivalry was re-ignited in Week 6 when the undefeated Steelers hosted the 4-1 Browns at Heinz Field for the home team’s first divisional game of the season.

It had been since 1994 the Browns started 4-1, and 1979 since the Steelers started a perfect 4-0, and after the Browns won the opening coin toss and deferring their possession to the second half it was Ben Roethlisberger and company taking the ball with the opening drive.

Roethlisberger came out of the gates strong with passes to James Washington for first downs, and combined with James Conner’s hard running put the Steelers in the red-zone. A high pass intended for Eric Ebron on third down meant they had to settle for a 31 yard Chris Boswell field goal to make the score 3-0 with 10:35 left in the first quarter.

On Cleveland’s opening drive, facing a third and four, Baker Mayfield’s pass was intercepted by Minkah Fitzpatrick and returned for the pick six.

THINGS. YOU. LOVE. TO. SEE@minkfitz_21 | CBS https://t.co/tI5aUTu7te pic.twitter.com/Su6dvq5Jn2

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) October 18, 2020

Boswell’s extra point made the score 10-0 in the blink of an eye, and with 8:58 left in the opening quarter.

Cleveland’s second possession didn’t last long, three plays to be exact, before they had to punt the ball away to Pittsburgh, but Roethlisberger’s second drive wouldn’t do any better before Dustin Colquitt was called on for his first action of the game.

Both teams exchange possessions as the 10-0 score would hold at the end of the first quarter.

Steelers vs. Browns: First-half live updates, injury news and open thread

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/18/2020 - 11:45am
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Steelers are back on the gridiron! The 2020 regular season continues with the Steelers and Browns locking horns in Week 6. Keep tabs on all things Black-and-gold with our updates and open thread.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back on the field, and this time for the fifth time in the 2020 regular season as they prepare to face off against the Cleveland Browns in Week 6 at Heinz Field.

Throughout the game, be sure to check back here for score updates, injury news and any breaking news from those on the sidelines following the team live. You can also follow along in the Twitter feed below.

For those wondering, you can enjoy some lively commentary with the best Steelers fans across the globe in the open thread for all BTSC members in the comment section below. Let’s remember to keep it clean, respect everyone’s thoughts and ideas, and ultimately remember we’re all here for the same reason—to root on the Steelers!

In case you haven’t seen it yet, this is a message here from NFL Manager Jeanna Thomas about the new Coral commenting system:

Here are a few features that you might want to include in game day thread articles, to help your community enjoy the game day threads more:

If you change the ‘Sort By’ option to “Oldest,” you can read all the comments in chronological order, and the comment box moves to the bottom. If you leave it as “Newest”, the latest comments will appear at the top.

If you’re using a computer, you can move down the comments using C, and move back up using shift-C by clicking once inside the comments area. This can also be used to ‘load more’ comments.

Under the ‘My Profile’ tab, you can keep track of replies to your comments, and also sign up for email notifications of replies

If you want to auto-show all images/GIFs/Tweets, you can opt into this under My Profile - Preferences

As always, we’re continuing to improve the system, and will be watching how everyone is using it on game days – and if you or your community have suggestions on how we can further improve the game day thread experience, we’d love for you/them to join our commenting feedback group: https://forms.gle/2FTSCHRgnggxH6SR6 or you can email support@coralproject.net.

So enjoy the game and be sure to follow BTSC for all the latest news surrounding the team throughout the game and afterwards!

HERE WE GO STEELERS!

!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

No surprises on the Steelers’ inactive list in Week 6

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/18/2020 - 10:30am
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Other than the two injured players, the remaining four players have only been active for one total game.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have released their inactives for their Week 6 game against the Cleveland Browns. With two players ruled out due to injury, and the Steelers elevating wide receiver Deon Cain off of the practice squad giving them 54 players on the roster, the list is made up of 6 players, 4 of which are healthy scratches.

The #Steelers inactives for today's game vs. the Browns: QB Dobbs, WR D.Johnson, ILB Gilbert, G DeCastro, DL C.Davis, TE Gentry

— Bob Labriola (@BobLabriola) October 18, 2020

The two players who were already known on Friday to be inactive for Week 6 are guard David DeCastro and wide receiver Diontae Johnson. Decastro did not practice all week with his abdominal injury and there was little surprise to his unavailable. As for Johnson, it was hopeful he could return from his back injury after practicing in a limited fashion on Thursday. Unable to practice Friday, Johnson will need another week before returning to the field.

Three players who have been on list every week in 2020 are Josh Dobbs, Carlos Davis, and Zach Gentry. For obvious reasons, Dobbs should be inactive each week with a healthy quarterback room. For Davis, it looks as if he would need one of the five active defensive linemen to have an injury for him to have a helmet. In the case of Zach Gentry, it seems the Steelers are content with only two tight ends for the time being.

The final player on the inactive list for the Steelers is linebacker Ulysees Gilbert III. After being active in Week 5 with Marcus Allen out due to injury, Gilbert returns to the sideline after seeing 13 special teams snaps against the Philadelphia Eagles.

As for the Browns’ inactives, they can be seen below. Players who had previously been ruled out were safeties Ronnie Harrison and Karl Joseph as well as guard Wyatt Teller and linebacker Jacob Phillips. All the players who were questionable for the Browns on Friday such as Baker Mayfield, Odell Beckham Jr., and Jarvis Landry are all active. There are 6 players on the Browns’ list as they elevated safety Elijah Benton from the practice squad on Saturday.

#Browns inactives today: pic.twitter.com/fTmlyUSxax

— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) October 18, 2020

How the Browns plan to counter the Steelers in Week 6

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/18/2020 - 10:00am
Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The Steelers and Browns square off in Week 6, and it is time to look at how the Browns will counter the Steelers on both offense and defense.

When the Pittsburgh Steelers play a team like the Cleveland Browns, an AFC North rival, there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the matchup, despite the familiarity.

Sure, fans know the big name players from their divisional foe, but a lot can change from one year to the next.

With that said, I reached out to Dawgs by Nature’s editor Chris Pokorny and asked him a series of questions about the upcoming game. He was more than generous to provide answers to these questions, and in this article I asked him out the Browns’ plan to counter the Steelers in Week 6.

How will Baker Mayfield and company try to move the ball against the stout Steelers defense, and how will Myles Garrett and others attempt to slow down Ben Roethlisberger and James Conner?

Check out his answers below, and be sure to follow Dawgs by Nature for the latest news and notes from the other side of the fence leading up to the game at 1 p.m. ET.

When the Browns have the ball, how will they try to move the ball?

The Browns rank first in the NFL with 188.4 yards rushing per game (5.48 YPC) and are 29th in the pass (198.2 yards per game). That doesn’t mean their passing attack isn’t effective; it has been efficient and methodical. Prior to last week’s game against the Colts, the running game was Cleveland’s bread-and-butter on offense. The zone blocking scheme implemented by new head coach Kevin Stefanski and offensive line Bill Callahan has been perfect for the team’s offensive linemen. As you can see from the stats, it’s going to be a great match-up of the Browns’ offensive line vs. the Steelers’ defensive line. When Cleveland doesn’t run the ball, they have utilized the play action passing game to not only open receivers up, but buy Baker Mayfield some time to move away from the pocket and so those taller linemen aren’t knocking his passes down. Mayfield has particularly been effective rolling to his left this season, something that he didn’t do once in 2019.

Last week against the Colts, the Browns came out with a pass-heavy attack in the first half. I think it was done for a combination of reasons. First, the Colts are effective at stopping the run, and were loading the box the entire first half. Cleveland caught them off guard by being aggressive with the passing game, and it worked to success. In the second half, Indianapolis started to have a defender back in coverage, but then Cleveland started to run the ball more. Nick Chubb, the team’s starting running back, is out for several more weeks, and the team’s top offensive guard, Wyatt Teller, suffered a calf injury in the first half of last week’s game. Former Steeler Chris Hubbard is expected to start in his place.

Cleveland has a lot of tools in their bag, and that’s the beauty of things right now. They have established the reputation of being a dominant running team, but receivers like Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry are tough to handle in their own right. I think we will see a balanced attack by Cleveland this week, continuing to use the playaction pass heavily. I feel Stefanski loves the team’s strength, but doesn’t want to pit strength vs. strength in the trenches (running game vs. run defense) and hope his guys are better — he’ll use that threat, and try to win with the playaction pass.

When the Steelers have the ball, how will the Browns’ defense attempt to stop Ben Roethlisberger and company?

So far, the strength of the Browns’ defense has been not being gashed in the running game, and Myles Garrett being a threat to single-handedly cause a turnover on any given play — the impact that he and a guy like TJ Watt can have is such a luxury. Unfortunately, beyond relying on Garrett to save the defense, there hasn’t been a high level of consistency for the defense.

One of the biggest issues has been the team’s struggles in short-yardage situations — the Browns have forced a lot of 4th-and-2 or 4th-and-3 type of situations, for example, but when teams are going for them, they aren’t stopping them. The linebackers and safeties haven’t been good enough in coverage to stop those quick passes, and it leads to extended drives. Cleveland’s outside cornerbacks, Denzel Ward and Terrance Mitchell, have done a respectable job when matched up with receivers one-on-one, but sometimes in the back end of the secondary, players are breaking wide open due to communication issues. That’s the defense in a nutshell.

Who is the Steelers’ X-Factor in Week 6 vs. the Cleveland Browns?

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/18/2020 - 9:30am
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Who is the X-Factor for the Steelers in their Week 6 game vs. the Browns?

The Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing for the Cleveland Browns in Week 6. It is the Steelers’ fourth home game in a row, and hopefully their fifth win of the 2020 regular season.

When looking at the matchup between AFC North rivals, there are players who can be viewed as ‘X-Factors’.

What is an ‘X-Factor’?

I would describe an ‘X-Factor’ as a player who can truly alter the outcome of the game, single-handedly. Not just a plug and play type player, but a player who always has to be accounted for, no matter what.

As a clear-cut example of what an ‘X-Factor’ player would look like, think Troy Polamalu. Polamalu’s skill set made him a force to be reckoned with on every play. So, who are the ‘X-Factors’ for the Steelers Week 6 game vs. Cleveland?

Let’s take a look...

Jeff Hartman

X-Factor: JuJu Smith-Schuster

Why: Last week vs. the Eagles it was Chase Claypool who used and abused the defense to the tune of 4 total touchdowns. Think Claypool will sneak up on the Browns in Week 6? Think again. The Browns will wisely throw an extra defender to Claypool’s side when he is on the outside, which should leave players in the slot with a favorable matchup.

If the Steelers are smart, the player who dominates the slot is none other than Smith-Schuster. Throw in the fact the Browns will be without two starting safeties and you can imagine with JuJu Smith-Schuster could do to the defense.

The Steelers’ offense is turning into a pick-your-poison unit, and that means it won’t be the same person every game who beats you. Last week it was Claypool, I think this week it is Smith-Schuster.

Dave Schofield

X-Factor: Tyson Alualu

Why: The biggest thing the Steelers need to do against the Browns on Sunday is stop their rushing attack. Tyson Alualu has been dominating the center of the field for the Steelers in the run game while still helping to get pressure in the passing game. If the Steelers can stick in their base defense more than normal, Alualu needs to continue his dominance in helping the Steelers defense stop the run. If so, it could be a long day for Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland offense.

Chris Pokorny

X-Factor: Myles Garrett

Why: I’ve been using right guard Wyatt Teller in these types of questions each week, but it looks like he is going to miss this Sunday’s game. Therefore, I’m going to take Myles Garrett. Last week against the Colts, Garrett only registered one sack on the stat sheet, but his pressures/hits on the quarterback were also responsible for hurrying Philip Rivers into an intentional grounding (which resulted in a safety) and two interceptions. There obviously exists the potential for some chippiness from Pittsburgh too toward Garrett, given what he did to Mason Rudolph last year, so we need to see him keep his emotions in check (as well as everyone else).

Who would be your X-Factor for the Week 6 game at Heinz Field? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

Bold and Bizarre predictions for Steelers vs. Browns, Week 6

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/18/2020 - 9:00am
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Much to the chagrin of most, BTSC’s Nostradumbass predicts the Steelers’ matchup with the Browns.

The Steelers are back at home and looking to start 2020 at 5-0, but there are many questions to be answered. With inquiries, story lines, and more, I’ve compiled a list of predictions (some basic, and some utterly idiotic) to look for in this opening contest.

Last week, I came close, but ultimately whiffed on most of my predictions. Let’s see if I can rebound this week.

  • Boujee Smith-Schuster, angered that Steelers fans don’t dress up like dogs like those in Cleveland, tries and fails to organize a fan group called “the pedigree posse”. JuJu’s pooch leaves nuggets of protest in Communications Director Burt Lauten’s office chair.
  • A certain co-editor of BTSC concerned about the depth on the Steelers offensive line shows up at Heinz Field to offer his services as a backup. However, after this gentleman receives an endorsement from line coach Shaun Serrett and a contract offer from Mike Tomlin, said gentlemen declines the offer when he is informed that he wouldn’t be allowed to wear his custom-made Kylo Ren Steelers helmet in game action.
  • Ben Roethlisberger is sacked three times on the afternoon, twice by Myles Garrett, and throws for three scores against one pick.
  • JuJu Smith-Schuster catches one of those TD passes from Ben and proceeds to celebrate by lying down with the rest of his receivers as Boujee in a red, white and blue motorcycle jump suit attempts to jump over them riding a Vespa. The gesture is to commemorate the 82nd anniversary of the birth of legendary daredevil Evel Knievel.
  • The Steelers’ fail to hold on to the football one time and the new turnover streak extends to two.
  • With the Browns paying loads of attention to Chase Claypool, Eric Ebron explodes for nine catches, 79 yards and two touchdowns on the day.
  • James Conner goes in to gain over a combined 140 yards on the day with 91 rushing and 49 through the air and a score.
  • Anthony McFarland Jr. finds pay dirt for the first time in the pros taking a handoff 27 yards for a score.
  • Terrell Edmunds picks off Baker Mayfield for his second career interception.
  • T.J. Watt is held without a sack, but the Steelers still get three on the day.
  • Somebody’s going to get fined and somebody’s going to get suspended after tensions flare during the game.
  • Not a lot of defense in this game, but Steelers edge The Land in Week 6, 38-35.

Will any of this actually happen? I’ll bet at least one or two. Heck, maybe every one of them. Be sure to post your predictions — basic or bizarre — below.

The Steelers Heinz Field kitchen will be too hot for the Browns on Sunday

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/18/2020 - 8:30am
Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Do the Browns have a chance to come into the Heinz Field kitchen and cool the Steelers off on Sunday? No, no they do not.

The Steelers and Browns have an epic matchup at Heinz Field on Sunday.

It’s 4-0 vs. 4-1. It’s the veteran quarterback looking for renewed respectability after missing a year with an elbow injury vs. the young quarterback who’s just looking for respectability. It’s the Steelers’ tradition vs. the Browns’ lack of any since returning as an expansion team in 1999. It’s the Terrible Towel vs. the Dog Pound. It’s the whole damn town vs. Myles Garrett.

Just how big is this game? So big, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin even felt compelled to coin a new ism during his virtual press conference on Tuesday:

“This week we are faced with a significant challenge, one that we are excited about because we love being in the kitchen,” said Tomlin, in a quote courtesy of the team’s official website. “AFC North ball is in the kitchen. It’s hot in the North and we have an AFC North home game against the Cleveland Browns, a team that has won four in a row.”

It’s nice that the coach is trying to show respect for a Cleveland team that comes to town on a four-game winning-streak following a Week 1 spanking courtesy of the Ravens.

I’m not going to show any respect for the Browns. Why? They’re the Browns. Remember the late-‘60s and all of the 1970s when the expansion Bengals basically stole the Browns’ team colors? Even if you don’t remember or weren’t born yet, that happened. Remember the past however many years when Cincinnati played the frustrated little brother to the Steelers cocky and obnoxious big brother and lost every meaningful game between the two squads? Even if you don’t remember, the Bengals and their fans certainly do.

Anyway, take the stripes off the Bengals helmets, ugly up the uniforms a bit more, and you have the Browns.

Pittsburgh has owned the Browns just as much as it’s owned the Bengals, only difference is Cleveland hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2002 when it marched into Heinz Field for a pickup game of one-on-one with Big Brother. Despite falling behind by 17 points, the Steelers won that wildcard game in dramatic fashion (even when Big Brother is kind of old and tubby, he still finds a way to win). Most of the wins since that day in January of 2003 have been far-less dramatic, but make no mistake about it, there have been a lot of victories.

Big Bro will claim another one at Heinz Field on Sunday.

Do you really think Baker Mayfield is going to come of age against Ben Roethlisberger? Do you really think Garrett is going to have his way against Alejandro Villanueva? OK, that might happen a time or two. The only difference is, Roethlisberger isn’t Mason Rudolph, and if Garrett knocks Roethlisberger to the turf, he won’t engage him in fisticuffs. Roethlisberger will simply get up off the grass and beat Garrett with his right arm. What poison will Roethlisberger use to take down Garrett and the rest of the Browns’ defense? JuJu Smith-Schuster? Chase Claypool? James Washington? Pick one.

As for Mayfield, he better hope the Browns can run the ball close to their league-leading average of 188.4 yards per game. If not, it will be Mayfield vs. the Steelers relentless pass rush, and the likes of T.J. Watt, Cam Heyward and Bud Dupree might plant Mayfield into the ground like he once planted the Oklahoma Sooner flag into the turf at the Ohio State University.

I must say, I don’t like Cleveland’s chances of being successful on Sunday. Teams like the Browns don’t win these games.

Heinz Field is the Steelers kitchen, and it will be way too hot for Cleveland on Sunday.

The Browns better get ready to call the West Penn Hospital Burn Center around 4p.m.

What are we thinking? BTSC predicts the winner of Steelers vs. Browns

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/18/2020 - 8:00am
Photo by: 2019 Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

The staff at BTSC share their thoughts and predict the outcome of the Steelers home game against the 4-1 Cleveland Browns.

The Steelers four-game home stand concludes on Sunday when the black-and-gold host ptheir long-time division foe, the Cleveland Browns. In the last eleven months, this tepid and one-sided rivalry is now red hot and heated.

The contributors at BTSC have recorded their thoughts and predictions. Let’s see who’s closest to the mark and furthest from reality. Last time, Matty Peverell came closest to the mark by forecasting a 34-20 Steelers win. His partner in crime, Mark Davison, hit the Steelers’ score of 38 on the nose. Who will it be with bragging rights this week?

Michael Beck

The Steelers will face off with their toughest opponent yet on Sunday. Slowing down this top ranked rushing attack will be key for the Steelers success. If victorious you can expect a great all around day by the defense, and Ben Roethlisberger continuing his efficient start to the year. Home field advantage sways this game in the Steelers favor.

Steelers 27, Browns 23

Geoffrey Benedict

If Nick Chubb was healthy I’d be picking the Browns to win. As it is I think the Steelers can hold the Browns run game in check, but the Browns are going to put even more pressure on the secondary than our other opponents this season, and the Steelers aren’t playing great football in the secondary, and the Browns offensive line is legit.

The Steelers win because the Steelers struggling secondary are still better than Baker Mayfield, and those Chase Claypool, Eric Ebron combo routes are too much for the Browns to handle. Watch out for the Browns TEs, the Steelers have one matchup canceler on this team, and the Browns gave them problems last year when they had two.

Steelers 32, Browns 28

Bryan Anthony Davis

While Kareem Hunt and Myles Garrett are still certified pieces of crap, the brand of football can no longer be certified as “when it’s brown, flush it down” in Cleveland. If this game was in Cleveland, I’d almost certainly hang an “L” on our black-and-gold. It bothers me that Hunt is using Garrett’s criminal actions as motivation for revenge this week. If the remainder of the team is buying that garbage, then it’s pretty sad. On the field, the Browns are really good. But I think the Steelers are pretty good as well. The best running game against the finest rushing defense in the NFL makes this a five-star matchup. I think this game ultimately comes down to quarterback play. I’m taking Ben over Baker.

Steelers 38, Browns 35

Mark Davison

Stop the presses! The Cleveland Browns are 4-1! The last time I remember the Browns being relevant in the AFC North was when Peyton Hillis had a huge year in 2010. The Browns finished 5-11 in 2010, and if the Steelers’ players show up on Sunday hopefully they can steer them down that hole again. A massive game between two AFC North teams and a test for both franchises. Will the Steelers show dominance and powder-bomb their little brother? Or will the Browns finally out smart the Steelers and improve to 5-1? I believe the Steelers fix their secondary mistakes and force Baker into a turnover machine.

Steelers 29, Browns 13

Anthony Defeo

The Browns are damn good at running the football (188.4 yards per game), but the Steelers are even better at stopping the run (64 yards per game). That brings me to the defenses for both teams. The Steelers may be struggling a bit, so far, but Cleveland’s defense has been a bit worse, allowing nearly 30 points per game. Gee, that’s about how much Pittsburgh’s offense has been scoring every week. Also, Ben Roethlisberger>Baker Mayfield, and Steelers>Browns in big games like these.

Steelers 34, Browns 21

Jeff Hartman

Many are considering this to be the first real test for the Steelers, and I would agree with that sentiment. The 4-1 Browns pose a legitimate threat to the Steelers’ perfect season, but I see this game as one which will have the Steelers’ full attention. I trust Mike Tomlin in big games more than I do in ones where the Steelers are heavily favored. This is a let’s see what you’re made of type of game, and I think the Steelers respond in a big way.

Steelers 30, Browns 17

Matty Peverell

Steelers are 4-0! So the haters can eat crow. This is the week for the Steelers to get the respect of the NFL and mainstream pundits by sending the Browns down a losing spiral. It ain’t going to be easy for our men in black and gold, every Steelers player has to do their bit, whether its Watt electrocuting Baker with QB hits and sacks, Bud ‘Debris’ Dupree laying waste to their backfield and Steven Nelson shutting down Odell Beckam Jr. or Jarvis Landry. As what seems like every week so far this season, I’m predicting it to be a close game at half-time before the Steelers breakaway in the third quarter, don’t be surprised if the Browns start strong and the Steelers are forced to respond.

Steelers 34, Browns 28

Dave Schofield

Last week I predicted the Steelers defense coming out in “shut down mode.” Needless to say I was very disappointed, although how bad can it be when the Steelers get the win and cover the spread? As much as I want to see that “shut down” game, I’m not banking on it until I see it. This game could get out of hand either way depending on which team comes out firing. I took the middle route and said it will be close, and as bad as Baker Mayfield has been in the fourth quarter this season I think it will allow the Steelers to get the narrow victory.

Steelers 31, Browns 30

K.T. Smith

The Steelers are still undefeated because they’ve been better than each of their opponents and they’ve played fairly well in each game. When the better football team plays well, they almost always win. The Steelers are still better than the Browns - not by much anymore, but they are better - and I think they’ll rise to the challenge of playing in their biggest game of the season so far. Pittsburgh withstands a challenge and plays well enough to win again.

Pittsburgh 30, Cleveland 24

Shannon White

The Cleveland Browns have been stock piling talent for years, but didn't have the QB and coaching staff to utilize it properly. HC Kevin Stefanski and QB Baker Mayfield are in the process of developing chemistry and trust, but the early results are promising. To be the man, you have got to beat the man. Ben Roethlisberger is the man, and he has owned the Browns in his career. Last season's Browns win in Cleveland was meaningless because Ben was out injured. The Steelers can't afford to be Cleveland's signature win.

Pittsburgh 35, Cleveland 31

Chris Pokorny (Editor, Dawgs By Nature)

We’ll see if my answer changes before Sunday, but I’ll take the Steelers. Pittsburgh’s defense has the best sack rate in the NFL, and while Baker Mayfield has been kept pretty clean by his offensive line, he is currently dealing with a rib injury suffered in last week’s game. Wyatt Teller likely being out is a big loss for the running game in this type of game with how well he was playing. I don’t see the Browns’ offense being as explosive this week with those factors in mind, and despite Myles Garrett’s game-changing ability, Ben Roethlisberger should do like most other teams have done and take advantage of the linebackers and safeties in coverage.

Pittsburgh 27, Cleveland 24

What is your prediction? Which BTSC contributor is most on the money? Let us know in the poll and the comment section below!!

Know Your Enemy: Steelers vs. Browns, Week 6

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/18/2020 - 7:00am
Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The complete break down on the Cleveland Browns, from the Steelers perspective.

The Pittsburgh Steelers open up AFC North play against the Cleveland Browns Sunday. The matchup is higher profile than normal as the Browns are bringing a 4-1 record into Heinz Field to take on the 4-0 Steelers with a share of first place on the line.

Location/Time Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

1PM EDT Sunday, for the first time since the merger the Pittsburgh Steelers will play a fourth consecutive game at home. The Steelers have won 16 consecutive games against the Browns at Heinz field. Ben Roethlisberger has actually never lost a game against the Browns in the city of Pittsburgh. The Steelers home winning streak against the Browns dates back to 2003 when Tim Couch and the Browns knocked off Tommy Maddox and the Steelers 33-13.

Browns Best Player Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

Five weeks into the season their is little argument to be had about who has been the best defensive player in football. Yes, this even includes Pittsburghs own T.J. Watt. Myles Garrett has been a game wrecker to the level of Aaron Donald. He currently has six sacks, three forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries on the year. Garrett also forced Philip Rivers into conceding a safety in the Browns Week 5 victory over the Colts but that stat won't end up on any stat sheet. Garrett has the ability to be a one man wrecking crew and Alejandro Villanueva will need to have a great game to keep Garrett in check.

Weakest position group Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

This was a toss up between linebacker and safety. However, duo to the injuries at the top of the Browns safety depth chart I'm going with the guys on the back end of the defense. The Browns will come into Pittsburgh with out Grant Delpit, Ronnie Harrison, or Karl Joseph all of which are out with varying injuries. Instead Andrew Sendejo, Sheldrick Redwine, and Jovante Moffatt will be tasked with stopping the Steelers big play receivers. The early look at this matchup would suggest another huge day for Chase Claypool, and a Steelers breakout game for Eric Ebron is on the horizon.

Coaching Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

Kevin Stefanski has gotten more out of the Browns than maybe any other head coach in team history (since they rejoined the NFL in 1999). Stefanski has masked the weaknesses of quarterback Baker Mayfield by establishing a dominating rushing attack that has given Mayfield time and space to throw the ball on play action. Stefanksi has also figured out the recipe tomato sure all of his offensive weapons get the ball enough as to not create any on field drama within a locker room full of divas... He’s one of the front runners for NFL cache of the year.

How will the Browns attack the Steelers defense Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

A healthy does of Kareem Hunt is on the horizon. With Nick Chubb out for the forceable future the former Kansas City Cheifs star runner will be given the majority of the carries. The Browns come into this game with the number one rushing attack in the entire NFL and will try to turn their rushing success into down field play action strikes. The Browns have also been a gadget team of sorts running successful trick plays in almost every game they have played this year. The Steelers taking away the run and building a lead will be the keys to the game, because once Mayfield is forced into straight back drops, that's when he’s at his worst.

How will the Browns defend the Steelers offense Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The strength of this Browns defense starts with its pass rush. Myles Garrett is obviously the focal point but stopping Olivier Vernon and Sheldon Richardson in one on one matchups is the next key to the game. Ben Roethlisberger will have multiple mismatch receiving options on every snap so the Browns will need to drag down the future hall of famer to keep points off the board.

X-Factor Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

My Browns X-factor this week goes to Austin Hooper. While in Atlanta Hooper was a receiving threat and was a favorite target of Matt Ryan’s. In Cleveland however Hooper has been tasked to be more of a block first tight end. In recent weeks the tight end match up has been highlighted as one that could potentially kill the Steelers defense and this week won't be any different. Terrell Edmunds will have to continue his solid start to the season and put the clamps on yet another big bodied weapon.

Sunday, 1PM EDT. We will see how this all plays out.

Crunching the Numbers: The Steelers stout rushing defense and the challenge ahead

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/18/2020 - 6:00am
Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

The Steelers have are one of the best at stopping the run, but the Browns top the NFL with their ground game.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have come out of the first quarter of the 2020 season with a 4-0 record. Additionally, Pittsburgh has been one of the best teams in the NFL it stopping the run. But the teams they have faced so far haven’t been tearing up the rest of the NFL either. On Sunday, the Steelers will go up against the NFL’s top rushing attack in the Cleveland Browns.

In this installment of Crunching the Numbers, we’ll take a look at some of the numbers in regards to the Browns ground game compared to the Steelers stout rushing defense.

64

In four games in 2020, the Steelers have given up an average of 64 rushing yards per game. With a total of 256 yards in four games, the only team who has given up less yards per game on the ground of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with 58.4 yards per game. If it were not for the 74-yard touchdown run the Steelers gave up last week which consists of 29% of the yards they have surrendered on the season, the Steelers average would only be 45.5 yards per game.

188.4

The Cleveland Browns are leading the NFL in rushing with 188.4 yards per game. In their five contests, they’ve gone over 200 yards rushing twice with 307 rushing yards against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 4. But last week against the Indianapolis Colts, and without Nick Chubb, the Browns had their lowest rushing total of the season of 124 yards.

1.93

One thing which has really helped the Steelers defense in 2020 is their effectiveness on first down. The Steelers have only allowed an average of 1.93 yards per rushing attempt on first down in 2020. The next closest team is Tampa Bay with 2.62 yards per attempt. The only team to have a total anywhere chose to this in the last 10 years was the 2010 Steelers who only allowed 2.6 yards per carry on first down.

6.16

To counter the Steelers strength, the Browns have the best rushing attack on first town in the NFL. Cleveland has been averaging 6.16 yards per attempt on first down. For comparison sake, the Steelers have rushed for 4.63 yards per attempt on first down.

65

In five games in the 2020 season, the Cleveland Browns have 65 plays where they have rushed for 5 yards or more. This averages to 13 plays a game where they run the ball at least 5 yards. Their average was 14.25 plays per game before last week when they only had eight plays of 5 yards or more rushing against the Colts.

18

When it comes to the Steelers, they have only given up 18 rushing plays of 5 yards or more in 2020. This total equates to 4.5 plays per game.

20

This number is just thrown out there for fun as it is the difference between the Browns lowest rushing total of 2020 compared to the Steelers largest rushing total surrendered on the season. The Browns are coming off their lowest rushing performance of a 124 yards against the Colts, while the Steelers have only given up a 100 yard game one time in 2020 and it was 104 yards to the Denver Broncos.

So there are some numbers in regards to the Steelers and the Browns when it comes to the strength-on-strength matchup Sunday at Heinz Field. Something is going to have to give for one of these two teams as either the Steelers will surrender more rushing yards than usual or the Browns will not be nearly as effective. Even if the Steelers do give up their most rushing yards on the season, if it’s not by much they should still be in great shape to push the record to 5-0.

Distribution Map: Check out if you will get to see the Steelers vs. Browns game in Week 6

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/18/2020 - 5:00am

The Steelers are hosting the Cleveland Browns in Week 6. Will you get to see it?

If you were like me, before I decided to sign up for the DirecTV Sunday Ticket package every week I was wondering whether I’d be able to watch my beloved Steelers in the comfort of my own home, or if I’d have to go elsewhere to watch the game.

Before there were websites devoted to this, it meant a lengthy trip on the television guide screen to see which game was scheduled to air, but now it’s just a click away.

So, will you get to see the Steelers and the Browns go head-to-head in Week 6? Check out which games you’ll see in your local viewing area.

For those who want to know which game they’ll see, check the map below, courtesy of 506 Sports:

Week 6 CBS

RED: Browns at Steelers
GREEN: Broncos at Patriots
ORANGE: Texans at Titans
BLUE: Ravens at Eagles
YELLOW: Jets at Dolphins (Late)

So, are you lucky enough to be able to watch the game live in your own home, or are you one of many who will have to find other means to view the game? Either way, today is the day to get pumped!!

HERE WE GO!!

The Steelers keep winning, and their fans are losing confidence in the team

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/18/2020 - 4:30am
Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers fan base has spoken, and their confidence level in the team heading into Week 6 is waning.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns are about to square off in a huge AFC North battle on Sunday, and it is important to keep a finger on the pulse of Steelers Nation.

How confident are they in the Steelers advancing their record to 5-0, or are they having their doubts facing Baker Mayfield and company?

The Steelers have dominated the Browns in the Ben Roethlisberger era, but some fans can’t get the stain of Week 10 of last season, Thursday Night Football, out of their heads. Thankfully, this game will be played at Heinz Field, with fans in the stands for the second time in 2020. Sure, it will be just 5,500 fans, but it will provide an energy the team has missed throughout this season.

As it pertains to the confidence the fan base has in their favorite team, here at SB Nation they gauge the confidence in the weekly Reacts Poll. This week the chart shows a fan base who is losing confidence in their team, even though they are undefeated.

If you want to know just how the fan confidence has changed since the end of the 2019 season, you can see the percentages below:

End of 2019: 59%
Pre NFL Free Agency: 72%
Post 2020 NFL Draft: 81%
Heading into Week 1: 90%
Heading into Week 2: 94%
Heading into Week 3: 87%
Heading into Week 4: 90%
Heading into Week 5: 83%
Heading into Week 6: 82%

The Steelers are 4-0, and yet there are clearly fans who are not confident in their ability to remain perfect, even against the Browns this Sunday. Even after beating the Eagles in Week 5, the confidence level in the team somehow went down.

No one ever said Steelers fans aren’t a fickle bunch.

What do you think about the team moving forward? Are you confident in their ability to continue to improve? Or have we seen the best of this Steelers team? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they host the Browns this Sunday in Week 6.

Saturday Night Steelers Open Thread: Stains, Studs and Duds

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sat, 10/17/2020 - 6:15pm
Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing for the Cleveland Browns in Week 6. Time to talk it out with fellow fans!

As we are mere hours away from the first of (hopefully) two Browns weeks we can discuss the game between what is considered by many to be the definition of how to run a successful sports franchise (hell many businesses model themselves after our Steelers) and the franchise that is considered by essentially everyone to be the laughing stock of the league for what seems like forever.

With the weather turning, it certainly feels like football. Sadly, Heinz Field will only have approximately 5,500 fans in attendance to enjoy the continuation of what looks to be a competitive game, which is a huge departure from recent history in which Ben has like 355 wins to go against 3 losses to the Browns.

Let’s get to the questions...

  1. Earlier this week Cam Heyward spoke about Baker Mayfield. He was misquoted by the Cleveland media and as a result the Browns have some ‘bulletin board’ material. This begs the question though...does bulletin board material even matter to pro athletes to the degree the media makes it up to be?
  2. What are your thoughts on one Le’Veon Bell? After signing with the Chiefs what are your thoughts on how his season plays out? Does he become a featured part of their ‘O’, a third down specialist, or an insurance policy??
  3. Ben has owned the Browns over his career. This certainly is a special part of his legacy. Does this ‘aura’ he holds over them play a factor on Sunday? If so, how specifically?
  4. On Sunday the plan at the canuck residence is to make cabbage rolls. Beef and pork for everyone but Mrs. Canuck who will be making hers with ground turkey or chicken. It is still a project that I am learning and am ready and willing to take advice or hints on. However, my question here is, what is your favorite cold weather meal?
  5. When we have talked music, we have talked about it from a serious perspective. This week I heard Weird Al Yankovic’s cover of ‘Smells like teen spirit” and I was in tears from laughter by the time it was over.

My question to you is what is your ‘favorite’ goofy, spoof or otherwise ‘not so serious’ band?

How a Fantasy Football hunch out of desperation turned into Chase Claypool making Steelers history

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sat, 10/17/2020 - 4:30pm
Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Chase Claypool was clutch for the Steelers on Sunday, but he was also clutch for my fantasy football team. Actually, I was more clutch than him.

Admit it, you saw “fantasy football” in the headline and immediately clicked on the bait, didn’t you?

See, that’s where you’re different than me. I never get excited when I see anything about fantasy football. I usually just roll my eyes, shrug my shoulders or throw my hands up and say, “Fine, I’ll join your league.”

I also rarely win.

Let’s face it, I don’t have time for all that fantasy football jazz. I’m obligated to write four articles a week, prepare for three podcasts and also make time each day to do other things that generate enough money to pay the rent and bills.

Who has time to worry about advantageous fantasy football matchups or which backup I should have on my bench just in case the starter gets injured and/or catches COVID?

Speaking of COVID-19, how many games got shuffled around last Sunday thanks to that virus that has been more detrimental to a player’s eligibility than Johnny Manziel’s night life (no offense to the Browns)? I lost count at a million, but I do know I had to immediately drop Broncos’ running back Patrick Lindsay three minutes after adding him to my fantasy roster thanks to Denver’s game against the Patriots being postponed due to the virus.

I’m not sure if any of my homegrown running backs were affected by COVID on Sunday (as I said, I don’t pay enough attention), but I do know three receivers were out between the two leagues I’m involved in. Davante Adams was on a bye, Julio Jones must have caught a case of the Falcons and Michael Thomas punched a teammate. I had nothing, other than the JetsJamison Crowder who I wasn’t confident enough in to start (save your fantasy criticism for someone who would be wounded by such nonsense).

I began to search the fantasy waiver-wire for one of the two leagues that needed a receiver very badly (I honestly don’t know which one it was), and I spotted Steelers rookie Chase Claypool. I said, “Hmmmmmmmm, I’m going to play a hunch, pick this guy up and start him.” (I’m not sure if that exact quote went through my mind, but the sentiment is accurate.)

I started him, and the rest is history. As you know by now, Claypool caught three touchdown passes and ran another in for a fourth in Pittsburgh’s 38-29 victory over the Eagles at Heinz Field on Sunday, becoming the first Steelers’ rookie to accomplish such a feat in the very-long history of the franchise.

In my opinion, it was my greatest fantasy football move since I attended the live draft of my 2018 league (this was in the Before Time, when such things were possible), and I said to my uncle and co-owner, “Some guy on the radio said Patrick Mahomes might be good this year.”

We went on to win the title that year thanks in large part to Mahomes’ MVP season.

Will I win this year? I don’t know.

Win or lose, however, it was still a clutch move by yours truly.

Thank you, Chase Claypool.

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