Steelers vs Browns: Keys of the game for Thursday Night Football
As Cleveland prepares to host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday Night Football, let’s look at a few major points ahead of the matchup
In an old-school AFC North rivalry, the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers meet in the Week 3 edition of “Thursday Night Football’'. Both teams are coming off narrow losses in Week 2, after they had picked up victories in the concluding moments of the game the week before. The Browns lost to the Jets by one point at home, 31-30, while the Steelers were defeated 17-14 by the visiting Patriots last weekend.
The game is set to take place at the FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, on Thursday, Sept. 22 at 8:20 p.m. ET.
Here are three key points ahead of the Thursday Night Football matchup:
1- The Steelers’ rookie wide receiver, George Pickens, is likely to play a big role in Thursday night’s rivalry against the Browns, either positively or not so much. In Pittsburgh’s first two games, we’ve seen the 21-year-old only catch two passes for 26 yards on six total targets, and in 95 total offensive snaps played. That’s way less than Pickens needs to catch against a team that’s looking to make up for their loss against the Jets last week, after blowing a 13-point lead in the last two minutes. The second-round draft pick would need to snatch at least five catches on Thursday to even consider beating the Browns.
2- Pittsburgh has been feeling the absence of their recently retired quarterback Ben Roethlisberger as Mitch Trubisky struggles to get the ball to his receivers. What we’ve seen so far from the QB is limited mobility while running into unnecessary sacks. With the Steelers barely having moved the ball against New England last week, now is the time for Trubisky to use his legs, and give Pittsburgh’s offense what they need.
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3- Cleveland has been struggling on defense since the beginning of the 2022 season. In last week’s matchup against New York, the Browns were unable to slow Joe Flacco and the Jets down. On the other hand, Pittsburgh’s offense has been thriving in ball security, giving up only two turnovers so far. Even if the Steelers are still getting a feel for their starting quarterback, they have a dangerous dynamic duo of 2021 Pro Bowl selections, Najee Harris and Diontae Johnson. Harris racked up more than 1,600 yards last season, sitting in fourth place in the league, while Johnson is averaging over 95 catches and 1,000 receiving yards per season over the last two campaigns.
In the end, this game will likely come down to which offense can better move the ball.
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