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Old 10-16-2009, 07:55 AM   #1
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Thumbs up Steelers-Browns Matchups / Predictions

Steelers-Browns Matchups
Friday, October 16, 2009
By BOB LABRIOLA
Steelers.com

The following are some of the interesting matchups to watch when the Steelers host the Cleveland Browns at 1 p.m. on Sunday at Heinz Field:

STEELERS C JUSTIN HARTWIG VS. BROWNS NT SHAUN ROGERS: Being that he was born and raised in Texas, was drafted by the Detroit Lions and only is in his second season with the Browns, it’s doubtful Rogers has a deep understanding of what this game means to the people in the respective cities. But regardless of his limited experience with this Turnpike series, Rogers’ play vs. the Steelers is up to the standards of this bitter rivalry. In the first of the home-and-home series in 2008, Rogers had six tackles, one sack and three pressures, including one hit on Ben Roethlisberger that many observers believed was deserving of a penalty; but in the rematch at Heinz Field, Hartwig did a nice job on the 350-pound nose tackle and kept him off the quarterback. Because Rogers lines up over the center on just about every play, his proximity to Roethlisberger alone makes him a dangerous person. Whether the Browns can come to Heinz Field and win is arguable, but there is no doubt that Rogers can do some damage.

STEELERS P DANIEL SEPULVEDA VS. BROWNS P DAVE ZASTUDIL: In the Browns’ 6-3 win over Buffalo last weekend, it’s hard to argue with the assertion that their best player was their punter. The game was played in Buffalo, which is known for treacherous winds, and partly because QB Derek Anderson completed just 2-of-17 for 23 yards, Zastudil was brought on to punt nine times. On nine punts, the Bills had 7 return yards, even though Roscoe Parrish is a dangerous return man. Also on those nine punts, seven were inside the 20-yard line and two of those were downed at the 1-yard line. And his last punt traveled 56 yards to the Bills’ 16-yard line and an ensuing fumble that was recovered by Cleveland led to the game-winning field goal. Sepulveda has been having a fine season, in fact a better statistical one than Zastudil, in both gross average (45.8-44.6) and net average (42.2-38.8). With the weather forecast calling for rain and temperatures in the 40s, field position could become an issue in this game, and if that happens the two punters will have a hand in that.

STEELERS DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR DICK LeBEAU VS. BROWNS QB DEREK ANDERSON: This would seem to be a mismatch to the highest degree, what with the Browns having scored only three offensive touchdowns in their previous 128 series, but sometimes things have a way of evening out in bizarre fashion. Anderson took over in the middle of the season’s third game when Brady Quinn was benched during a game against the Ravens, and Sunday will mark his third straight start of 2009. Anderson’s statistics to this point are almost difficult to believe for someone at the professional level – 46.4 completion percentage, a 39.0 passer rating – but it’s also fair to point out that playmaking receiver Braylon Edwards was recently traded to the Jets and the players who came to the Browns in the deal have had to try to learn a new offense while adjusting to new teammates. There is nothing to suggest that the Browns will be able to mount anything close to a consistent offense on Sunday, but the NFL proves time and again that it’s wise to expect the unexpected.

STEELERS KICK COVERAGE VS. BROWNS KR JOSHUA CRIBBS: Besides Rogers, the most dangerous man in an orange helmet come Sunday afternoon might be Cribbs, who can make a very good case for being the top return man in the NFL. Cribbs comes into the game leading the AFC in punt returns with a 16.3 average, including a 67-yard touchdown, and he is fourth in the conference in kickoff returns with a 26.1-yard average. Including this season, Cribbs has returned seven kicks for touchdowns in his four-plus seasons – five kickoffs and two punts – and two of those five kickoff returns for touchdowns have come against the Steelers. Keyaron Fox is a special teams captain, and his consistent play there since coming to the team in 2008 more than justifies his selection. With eight special teams tackles, Fox currently is second on the team to Andre Frazier, who has 10 and is also one of the core performers on those units. Others who will be important parts of any effort to contain Cribbs include Patrick Bailey, Arnold Harrison, Lawrence Timmons, Ryan Mundy and Joe Burnett.


So it seems the clowns come into Heinz Field riding their current winning streak of just one game. After beating a bad Bills team with a last minute field goal, in a game in which no touchdowns were scored, I'm not losing any sleep over the number of points these guys might put up.

With the departure of Braylon Edwards, Cribbs and Furry may have the most tenure on the team, but I think the biggest threat they have maybe Mohamed Massaquoi who seems to be their go-to guy right now. I believe Taylor and Gay can handle that challenge.

Their running game? Jamal Lewis? He's not as scary as he once might have been...and let's just say I think the loss of Aaron smith, while it's a big hit to us, might be a good opportunity to see where we are for depth at the DE position. I am hoping for a certain rookie to bring his game to the next level and show all why he is worth the round 1 draft pick.

All that being said, this is a divisional game with some long time, bitter hatred. Yes, it's true, "any given Sunday", but this Sunday I think the Steelers will put these clowns in their rightful place. The red-headed step child of the division. Serving them up with the 12th straight loss to the Steelers.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Steelers Win 35-14

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Old 10-16-2009, 08:20 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers-Browns Matchups / Predictions

Have the Browns O scored a TD this year? Either way Steelers win 35-6
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Old 10-16-2009, 08:55 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers-Browns Matchups / Predictions

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Have the Browns O scored a TD this year? Either way Steelers win 35-6
Same score for me. 35-6 Steelers.

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Old 10-16-2009, 09:19 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers-Browns Matchups / Predictions

On Total Access last night they said that Cribbs might be on the trading block. I'd laugh my ass off if they dealt him before Sunday. That would leave Cleveland with pretty much no weapons at all. I doubt that would happen, but it would definitely be funny.

Anyway, I'm hoping Pittsburgh makes a big statement with this one and Ben throws for 4 TDs, while Mendy rushes for 2 or so. Oh, and the defense plays solid for the ENTIRE game.

Final score: 42-6
343 Passing Yards
122 Rush
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Old 10-16-2009, 09:36 AM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers-Browns Matchups / Predictions

The first and the last are the only real concerns. Rodgers is only one of 2 impact players on their entire defense (D'Quell Jackson being the other), so he must be accounted for. Containing Cribbs is the other real challenge, but it's not impossible (the Bills did it last week).

In fact, if we can limit Cribbs returns, we have a strong chance of pitching a shutout...well, that, and eliminating turnovers on our own side of the field...
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Old 10-16-2009, 10:33 AM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers-Browns Matchups / Predictions

The only thing I hope the Steelers do is punt the ball out of bounds every single time.

Joshua Cribbs is their only playmaker. Don't turn this into another Eric Metcalf game....for those of you that remember that game.
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Old 10-16-2009, 02:18 PM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers-Browns Matchups / Predictions

The Steelers have an annoying habit of playing down to their opponent's level.

24 - Steelers
23 - Browns

And I'll duck now ....
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Old 10-16-2009, 02:21 PM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers-Browns Matchups / Predictions

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Originally Posted by The Lakelander View Post
The Steelers have an annoying habit of playing down to their opponent's level.

24 - Steelers
23 - Browns

And I'll duck now ....
LOL...my prediction is that Steelers will be leading 24-0 after 3 quarters. The game will end 24-21 with a Browns drive stalling at mid field.
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Old 10-16-2009, 02:22 PM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers-Browns Matchups / Predictions

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Lakelander View Post
The Steelers have an annoying habit of playing down to their opponent's level.

24 - Steelers
23 - Browns

And I'll duck now ....
WHAT?!?! lol you should be ducking
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Old 10-16-2009, 02:24 PM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers-Browns Matchups / Predictions

30 -Steelers
17- Browns



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