The Steelers have a talented and healthy roster, but here are four matchups that could cause Pittsburgh to struggle against the Browns.
After a lackluster finish that saw the Steelers close out the year with a record of 1-4, they couldn’t ask to be in a better position than they are in right now. Though Pittsburgh dropped their game to the Cleveland Browns last week, there wasn’t anything on the line and they were able to get some much-needed rest for their starters.
Now, Mike Tomlin’s team gets a home matchup against arguably the worst team in the AFC Playoffs this year and he will do so at nearly full strength. On the other sidelines, the Browns will be without several big names, including head coach Kevin Stefanski, as COVID-19 cases continued to mount.
However, don’t expect Pittsburgh to breeze past the Wild Card round on Sunday night. There are four Steelers with daunting matchups this week that could no doubt shape the outcome of this game. How these players perform could ultimately dictate whether or not Tomlin’s team will progress further into the playoffs:
Stephon Tuitt vs. Wyatt Teller
There may not be a more challenging player to get matched up against along the offensive line than Wyatt Teller. Despite an incredibly dominant season at right guard, Teller was recently snubbed of first-team All-Pro honors (though he did receive votes for second-team). While Stephon Tuitt may have been able to collect 0.5 sacks and 2 quarterback hits in their first matchup against each other, this will be very difficult to repeat.
According to Pro Football Focus, Teller not only graded out as the best guard in the league this year but the best offensive lineman. His 92.9 overall grade topped All-Pro players like Zack Martin and Quinton Nelson, and he drastically outperformed David DeCastro this year (64.1 overall grade). Tuitt is no slouch himself and is coming off the best season of his career. Keep your eyes on this matchup on Sunday night.