The bright lights of Thursday Night Football will have the Steelers charged up, but may be too bright for many of the younger Browns’ players on a short week.
With Cleveland running on fumes and the Steelers pumping on all cylinders, Pittsburgh should run the ball down the Browns throat and win this game easily.
Where: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA
When: Thursday, December 8, 8:20 p.m. ET
Watch: NFL Network
Live Streaming Audio: NFL.com Audio Pass ($29.99 for year, $27.99 team specific, $9.99 a month)
Listen: Sirius Satellite Radio
Betting Line: Haven’t Opened Yet
What's at Stake?
With Cleveland all but mathematically out of playoff contention, this game has nothing but pride on the line for them. Pittsburgh went from a defensive joke earlier this season to fighting for home field advantage throughout the playoffs. That’s something worth fighting for.
Steelers’ Injury Report
Arnaz Battle, WR, Out
Chris Carter, LB, Out
Larry Foote, LB, Questionable
Troy Polamalu, S, Probable
Browns’ Injury Report
Quinton Spears, LB, Out
T.J. Ward, S, Out
Mike Adams, S, Questionable
Montario Hardesty, RB, Questionable
Jayme Mitchell, DE, Questionable
Tony Pashos, T, Questionable
Dimitri Patterson, CB, Questionable
Peyton Hillis, RB, Probable
Fantasy: Start 'Em, Sit 'Em and Sleeper
Start 'Em: Rashard Mendenhall, Steelers
With the Steelers pass offense getting whatever they want across the field, teams are forced to play off the line which opens crease for Mendenhall. While he is not getting the touches or yards we’d like from a sure start, his pension for scoring touchdowns makes him an easy start.
Sit 'Em: Mike Wallace, Steelers
There are only a few reasons why Mike Wallace should be on your fantasy bench. Joe Haden is one of them. The skillful cornerback has turned into one of the best in the entire NFL, and he will stop Wallace on Thursday.
Sleeper: Peyton Hillis, Browns
While the Pittsburgh defense has tightened up, it shows its weaknesses at times and that’s when Peyton Hillis can capitalize. If the powerful back gets into open space he can shed tacklers better than almost any runner in the NFL.
What They're Saying
Key Matchup: Rashard Mendenhall vs. Browns’ Front Seven
The Steelers have to establish the run early and often in this game; More specifically Rashard Mendenhall. With a long playoff run coming up, the Steelers will need Mendenhall to take the starting running back job by the throat. The best audition would be running all over the Cleveland defense.
Prediction: Steelers 34, Browns 13
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