Steelers vs. Browns: 5 things to know about Pittsburgh's Week 2 matchup

Pittsburgh Steelers, Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers, Steelers / Joe Sargent/GettyImages
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Well, that wasn’t what I was expecting to see. Looking completely overmatched, the Pittsburgh Steelers suffered a humbling 30-7 loss to the visiting San Francisco 49ers in the season-opener for both teams.

Now, the Steelers have to turn the page to their week 2 Monday Night Football matchup with rival Cleveland, which posted a dominating 24-3 victory over pre-season AFC North favorite Cincinnati last Sunday.

It wasn’t a matter of simply losing to the 49ers, as I believed that could happen. After all, San Francisco was one win away from the Super Bowl last season and if Brock Purdy didn’t get hurt the 49ers may have won the whole thing. With Purdy’s healthy return, this was a team that was primed to start the season with a statement win, and they did just that.

But the way in which the Steelers lost against the 49ers was worrisome, to say the least. It was a “no-doubter” for much of the game and most definitely not the close game I expected. Credit the 49ers, who kept moving the ball down the field on offense and held up their status as the NFL’s top-ranked defense last season.

Steelers’ QB Kenny Pickett didn’t play well, but neither did anyone else outside of maybe OLB T.J. Watt (three sacks). It was evident that the Steelers’ revamped defense is a work in progress, and perhaps they need a little more time to jell. 

However, time waits for no man, and the Steelers had better be ready for what looks to be an improved team in Cleveland. The Browns beat the Bengals about as bad as the 49ers beat the Steelers. The big difference is that Cleveland’s win came at home during periods of heavy rain, while Pittsburgh couldn’t defend its home field despite grey skies, but dry weather.

There were tons of 49er fans at Acrisure Stadium, and there could be a lot of Browns fans there this week. Especially since “the sky is falling” according to Steelers “X” (formerly Twitter), where it seems that more than half of the fan base wants to either a) tank for USC QB Caleb Williams, b) fire offensive coordinator Matt Canada, c) fire head coach Mike Tomlin, d) sign the retired J.J. Watt, or e) all of the above.

Yet, fear not Steelers fans, as despite some key injuries to the likes of starting DT Cam Heyward (groin) and WR Diontae Johnson (hamstring), I believe Pittsburgh matches up better with Cleveland.

Here are 5 things to know about Pittsburgh’s Week 2 matchup with the Browns: