Steelers vs. Browns: 3 players to watch in Week 13 revenge game
The Pittsburgh Steelers are looking to stay seated in a wildcard spot this year. Here are three players to watch as they seek revenge against the Browns.
The Cleveland Browns may have emerged victorious over the Steelers on Thursday Night Football in their first matchup of 2019, but it was a game that felt like nobody won. The Browns added another win and are now coming off three straight victories, but they lost perhaps their best player, Myles Garrett, for the season in the process.
The upcoming game between these two teams is a contest that promises to be heated, as both teams seek revenge for the incidents that insured in the closing seconds of their first matchup. The Steelers and the Browns are both very alive in the AFC playoff race, and the winner of this game could dictate who ends up with a wildcard spot and who falls short.
The Steelers will have some young faces on the field for Sunday’s contest in Pittsburgh. Here are three players all eyes should be on:
Every fan is no doubt chomping at the bit to get an extended look at the undrafted quarterback, Devlin Hodges. Mason Rudolph really struggled over the past two games – tossing five interceptions. He looked nervous in the pocket and was only able to muster up 3 points in one half of play against the league’s worst defense.
Hodges should provide the Steelers with a spark, but the former Samford quarterback is still very much a mystery. Keep your eyes peeled as we see how his story unfolds against Cleveland.
I am a firm believer that running backs are typically only as good as the guys in front of them. However, Kerrith Whyte was impressive against the Bengals in limited action. Whyte is a smaller back than the Steelers are used to (5’10” and 197 pounds), but he provided a spark and a burst we haven’t seen from a Pittsburgh running back in quite some time.
The former 7th round draft choice of the Bears never touched the ball in an NFL game before last week in Cincinnati, but he was certainly impressive. He managed to gain 43 yards with just 6 carries (7.2 yards per carry) and was able to break away for a 21-yard scamper. With Conner still injured, keep an eye on him this week.
James Washington has been the Steelers leading receiver over the past four weeks by a large margin. JuJu Smith-Schuster has been banged up, and was ineffective over each of his last three games, while Diontae Johnson’s play has plateaued as of late.
Hodges seemed to favor Washington when he entered the game in the second half against the Bengals, and they play of the game was a 79-yard touchdown catch by Washington from Hodges. It will be interesting to see what kind of chemistry these two players develop moving forward.
There are plenty of other players to keep an eye on during the game, but I am especially interested in seeing the progress of these three offensive weapons. If they can continue to be productive, this Steelers team might be able to stand a shot in the playoffs after all (if they make it that far).