The Pittsburgh Steelers have had plenty of success against the struggling Cleveland Browns in recent years.
The Steelers won both games this past season, but by small margins. The first time it was a defensive battle until around the third quarter when the Steelers pulled ahead, and the second time the Steelers won despite sitting their stars Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown and Maurkice Pouncey. Despite the Steelers not having something to play for, the Steelers still won the second game in overtime.
The Cleveland Browns look to be better than last year, but that is not saying much as they were the first pick in this year’s draft. With the top pick in the draft and a bunch of other picks, we could see an upward swing. However, the Browns are still rebuilding.
It will be interesting to see who emerges to be the quarterback this year. Cody Kessler was serviceable last year. Brock Osweiler was the quarterback of the Texans until he was benched for Tom Savage. They drafted Kevin Hogan last year as well. There is a chance the DeShone Kizer is the quarterback they have been looking for, but he is believed to be a year or two away from starting after struggling in his last year at Notre Dame.
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On paper, the Cleveland Browns offensive line seems improved. The big addition was Kevin Zeitler, their new right guard. From left to right the Browns have Joe Thomas, Joel Bitonio, J.C. Tretter, Kevin Zeitler and Shon Coleman. All five have had some success in the NFL.
The Browns also added David Njoku in the draft, and he could be a stud tight end. The problem is this rookie may be the Browns biggest weapon. I would guess that the Browns offense could moderately improve this year with a better line, but they still don’t know who their quarterback going forward is.
The defense for the Browns looks to be about the same as last year. The only difference is the addition of the number one overall pick Myles Garrett. He will improve their pass rush. It will be interesting the kind of impact Jabril Peppers will have in the league. I don’t think the defense is fixed, but I believe they are moving in the right direction.
Overall, I expect the Browns to be a bit better, but I still expect the Steelers to beat them at home and in Cleveland. The Browns are rebuilding, but the accumulation of draft picks may add up to something down the line.