The Pittsburgh Steelers don't play football this Sunday. For many of us, that means we get a week off from stress headaches and football depression. Despite their 3-2 record heading into the bye week, Pittsburgh's performance on the field has hardly instilled confidence in the fanbase.
So far, the Steelers have been able to muster up a record just above .500 -- including a pair of wins against AFC North opponents. However, two of their wins have required defensive or special teams scores. Going back and watching the tape, it's hard to be satisfied with what we have seen so far.
Fortunately, there's still plenty of season for Pittsburgh to turn things around. Maintaining the lead in the AFC North will be key. The Steelers might not be playing this week, but here are three must-watch games with big implications for Pittsburgh's season.
3. 49ers @ Browns
During the 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time slate on Sunday, the Cleveland Browns will be hosting the San Francisco 49ers. So far through five games, no team has been able to touch the Niners with a ten-foot pole, as they have cruised to victory in every contest. Their most recent win is a 42-10 blowout over the Dallas Cowboys in which Kyle Shanahan was able to rest his starters for the fourth quarter.
While I would fully expect the 49ers to stroll to their sixth straight win, the Browns are fresh off their bye week and have had two full weeks to prepare to face the Niners at home. Not only that but Cleveland far-and-away has the best EPA defense in the NFL right now, according to rbsdm.com.
Twice this year, the Browns have held opponents to just 3 points. Meanwhile, 49ers QB Brock Purdy is having a tremendous start to the season. Obviously, Steelers fans should be rooting for San Francisco in this one. With a win, Cleveland would be tied with Pittsburgh with a 3-2 record (though the Steelers would still own the head-to-head tiebreaker).