Browns vs Steelers: 3 Predictions for Thursday Night Football's AFC North Battle
The 9-3 Pittsburgh Steelers host the 4-8 Cleveland Browns tonight in a game that certainly has playoff implications for Ben Roethlisberger and Co.
They need to keep pace with the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC North as each club and actually, both teams have a shot at the No. 1 overall seed, which would give them home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Staying true to what we've seen from the majority of prime time games in the NFL this year, this game doesn't exactly excite a ton of people outside the Pittsburgh and Cleveland markets.
However, it still carries importance. Here are three predictions for tonight's contest.
Antonio Brown Will Have at Least 100 Yards Receiving
This has been the go-to prediction of this Thursday night matchup.
Joe Haden will be locked up the ever-so-dangerous Mike Wallace all evening, allowing Brown to work against Cleveland's lesser cornerbacks and on underneath from the slot position.
Pittsburgh has become a pass-first club, and they'll use Brown's yards-after-the-catch ability to get out to a considerable lead against their AFC North rival this evening.
Don't be shocked if Ben Roethlisberger connects with him on a deep ball or two, as well.
Colt McCoy Will Throw 2 Interceptions
McCoy hasn't progressed as a passer in his second season, but the Browns haven't done much to put talent around him.
Pittsburgh's defense is finally getting healthy and we are all fully aware of the ingenious blitz packages Dick LeBeau will throw McCoy's way.
Because of the continual pressure, the Browns quarterback will be forced into some hurried decisions that will result in two critical interceptions tonight.
What else is new, right?
Pittsburgh Will Win by More Than 10 Points
It could even be worse.
The Steelers offense has explosive tendencies but can be slowed down by the better secondaries in the league.
Oddly enough, the Browns allow the least amount of passing yards per game in 2011.
The reason why I see Pittsburgh winning big is their defense and the ineptitude of the Browns offense.
Cleveland is scoring less than 15 points per game this season and the Steelers' vaunted defense surrenders a shade over 16 points per contest this year.
The Browns simply do not have enough offensive firepower to overcome Pittsburgh's talent and experience on the defensive side of the ball.
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