Predicting three games the Steelers will win and lose in 2020

(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) T.J. Watt
(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) T.J. Watt /
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SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 22: JuJu Smith-Schuster #19 James Washington #13 and Diontae Johnson #18 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates after Smith-Schuster caught a pass and broke away for a 76-yard touchdown play against the San Francisco 49ers during the third quarter of an NFL football game at Levi’s Stadium on September 22, 2019, in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

Week 17: Steelers at Browns

The final game of the season pits a 9-6 Steelers vs a 9-6 Browns team, with the winning team set up to be the 6th seed in the playoffs. The Steelers are still without Conner, who the team plans on starting in the playoffs if they win, but turn to an impressive Snell, who ran 23 times for 117 yards and 3 scores against the Colts in the previous week. As well, the Steelers place Vance McDonald on IR after he tears his ACL in the previous week.

The Browns are coming off a hot streak, winning four of their last five games and almost looking like a competitor. That streak snaps against the Steelers though, as the team is impressively dominant. Snell follows up his strong week with an even stronger one, running 25 times for 142 yards and a TD. Roethlisberger has a vintage day, tossing 4 TDs in the first half (along with another early in the third) and only playing midway through the third before taking a seat. Smith-Schuster finds the endzone twice while Johnson, Washington, and McFarland each snag a TD catch apiece.

The icing on the cake is midway through the 4th. Mason Rudolph has subbed in for Roethlisberger, and after breaking a Garret sack, finds Claypool for a 29-yard TD, giving the Steelers 49 points on the day. The Browns offense is horrible, only mustering 174 total yards. Fitzpatrick, Bush, Nelson, and Joe Haden all land an interception while Baker Mayfield is sacked 8 times. The Steelers rout the Browns 49-10 and find themselves back in the playoffs.

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While the 2020 season should have its shares of highs and lows, six games stick out as obvious wins/losses for the Steelers. While the above scenarios are just projections, the outcomes of the games are the important part. The Steelers seem likely to find success against the Texans, Ravens, and Browns, but likewise seemed poised to struggle against the Giants, Browns, and Bengals. Only time will tell how accurate these predictions turn out to be.