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Keys To Victory For Steelers Against Browns On MNF

Updated: Oct 2, 2023

Well, here we are, Steelers Nation. A classic Mike Tomlin spot. 0-1 heading into a Week Two matchup with a division rival, and you already know it’s hot in the AFC North kitchen, as always. None of the AFC North teams looked great last week, all looking somewhat stale. The Cleveland Browns beat the Cincinnati Bengals and the Baltimore Ravens beat the Houston Texans, but neither was pretty. It would be huge for the Steelers to get back on track with a win in week two against the Browns.

Steelers Must Win Battles In The Trenches

The Steelers got mauled in the trenches last week against San Francisco. If Pittsburgh wants to be successful this week, it all starts in the trenches. The offensive line has to keep guys like Myles Garrett and ZaDarius Smith out of Kenny Pickett’s lap. While Pickett wasn’t great last week on his own, the offensive line did him no favors. It felt like three 49ers just spawned in front of him as soon as he snapped the ball on some plays.

Winning in the trenches will also serve well for the Steelers run game. We all know that Najee Harris loves playing the Browns and Ravens. Those seem to be the games he gets up for the most. Harris only saw six carries last week but hey fantasy nerds, he averaged five yards a carry so hopefully you’re happy now. Getting Harris and Jaylen Warren going will open things up for the offense and help Pickett out a ton.

We all know TJ Watt is going to show up on Monday night too. He also loves playing the Browns. Unfortunately, Baker Mayfield isn’t there for him to torture anymore, but Watt should find himself in a favorable matchup this week as he should be set to face rookie Dawand Jones after the Browns lost Jack Conklin for the year.

Keep Chubb In The Stable

Last week the Steelers watched Christian McCaffrey run wild on them all day. But who didn’t last week? It’s a new week and containing Browns running back Nick Chubb will be no easy task as he is one of the best running backs in the league. Chubb racked up 106 rushing yards on 18 attempts last week in the Browns win against the Bengals and caught all four of his targets for 21 yards but didn’t find the end zone. The Steelers have to find a way to slow Chubb down, which could be tough without Cam Heyward but it’s next man up for Pittsburgh. Keeanu Benton time.

Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson is a rushing threat himself at times, and should also have an eye kept on him (for multiple reasons). The Browns will be looking to set up passes to guys like David Njoku and Amari Cooper while mixing in the deep shot to Donovan Peoples-Jones. Chubb is the nucleus of the offense.

Take Care Of The Ball

Pickett ended last week with two interceptions, which is pretty good considering the 49ers should’ve had about four if they didn’t drop a couple. You can chalk it up to whatever. Diontae Johnson was slipping and falling because schedule makers thought it’d be a great idea to let Pitt and the Steelers play on the field back-to-back nights with rain in between or just some miscommunication. But either way, Pickett and the Steelers must take care of the ball Monday night. The Browns had the best-rated secondary in week one, holding Joe Burrow and the Bengals to just 82 passing yards. Insanity for a guy of that caliber.

Monday night’s division showdown with the Cleveland Browns is a winnable one for Pittsburgh. They can’t sit and dwell on last week. It’s time to flush it and move on. The Browns are looking to start 2-0 for the first time since dinosaurs roamed the earth. You can’t let that happen if you’re Pittsburgh. Get out in front of this ring and let’s get back to 1-1 on the year heading into Vegas next week. It hopefully won’t be the Steelers last trip to Vegas on the year.


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