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Old 11-19-2006, 07:15 AM   #1
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Default Game 10 Matchup: Steelers vs. Browns

Game 10 Matchup: Steelers vs. Browns
Gerry Dulac breaks down the renewal of the Turnpike Rivalry

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Game plan

What the Steelers will do: Ben Roethlisberger will target the Browns' cornerbacks. They already have lost starters Gary Baxter and Daylon McCutcheon to season-ending injuries and Leigh Bodden (Duquesne University) is not expected to play (ankles). That has forced the Browns to use a lot of zone coverage to protect their inexperienced corners. They rank fifth in the AFC in pass defense, allowing 183 ypg, but the Steelers have run up at least 457 yards offense in four of the past five games while averaging 6.8 yards a play.

What the Browns will do: RB Reuben Droughns has two 100-yard games this season but has not run with the same power of last season. He is also bothered by a foot sprain. The Browns have made more of a commitment to run the ball since Jeff Davidson replaced Maurice Carthon as offensive coordinator Oct. 24, but they will have a difficult time doing that unless QB Charlie Frye (62.5 percent, 9 TDs, 12 INTs) is able to avoid pressure and complete passes. Defensively, the Browns will use a lot of zone coverage that has allowed S Sean Jones to produce five of the team's 10 INTs.

Keep an eye on ...

Browns TE Kellen Winslow:.This will be his first game against the Steelers since being a No. 1 draft pick in 2004. He is having a Pro Bowl-type season. He leads all NFL tight ends with 56 catches and 561 yards and is on pace to become the first tight end in franchise history to catch 100 passes in a season. Winslow will often line up as a wide receiver or in motion to the outside in two-tight end sets for the Browns, forcing the Steelers to cover him with a safety.


Game: Steelers (3-6) vs. Browns (3-6).

When: 1 p.m.

Where: Cleveland Browns Stadium, Cleveland.


Radio: WDVE-FM (102.5), WBGG-AM (970)


The Browns always seem to point to this game as a pivotal point in their season and they never measure up. Since returning in 1999, the Browns are 1-6 vs. the Steelers in Cleveland and were embarrassed last year, 41-0. The Steelers need to build some kind of momentum after last week's victory and at least prove they can win two in a row.

Keys to victory

To win, the Browns must ...

1. Use E-Z Pass. That's how most teams are traveling through the Steelers' defense, which has allowed eight TD passes in the past four games.

2. Force mistakes by the lake. The Steelers did not commit a turnover a week ago for the first time this year, but they still lead the NFL with 24.

3. Stop the run. The Steelers rushed for 368 yards in two games against them last season and had an 80-yard TD run by Parker.

To win, the Steelers must ...

1. Frye Charlie. The Browns' QB has committed 17 turnovers -- 12 INTs and five fumbles -- and has been sacked 34 times, second most in the AFC.

2. Get Willie around Willie. Parker likes to use his outside speed to the right side, where the 34-year-old McGinest will have to contain.

3. Prevent many happy returns. Cleveland's Dennis Northcutt leads the AFC in punt returns (14.8 ypr) and Josh Cribbs is third in kick returns (26.8).


Last edited by 83-Steelers-43; 11-19-2006 at 07:45 AM.
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