NFL Game Previews: Browns-Steelers Matchup

NFL Game Previews: Browns-Steelers Matchup

This article is part of our NFL Game Previews series.

Cleveland at Pittsburgh (+3), o/u 40.5 – Monday, 8:15 p.m. EST

Both these teams are out of the playoff race coming into the week, but important as a win would be for either club, that might take a back seat to it being Ben Roethlisberger's final home game as a Steeler. Nothing's official yet, but this figures to be an emotional night no matter what the final score is. The Browns haven't won in Pittsburgh in the regular season since 2003 — Tommy Maddox started at QB for the Steelers in that one, with Charlie Batch seeing some action as well in a 33-13 rout — but last year's playoff win pretty decisively got that monkey off their back. The vultures are also circling in Cleveland around Baker Mayfield, but if anyone deserves a mulligan on their 2021 it's the guy who's played hurt all year. This is Nick Chubb's offense anyway, and Kareem Hunt might be back this week as well, so any contribution Mayfield gives them should be gravy. As for the Steelers, the institutional failure to plan for Roethlisberger's inevitable departure, when he's seemed on the cusp of hanging up his cleats for two-plus years now, is pretty much inexcusable, especially when you consider the state of the rest of the roster. It's not like the draft capital or free agent dollars not used on a QB has done much to help the offensive line. They're 2-4 since failing to beat the Lions in

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Erik Siegrist
Erik Siegrist is an FSWA award-winning columnist who covers all four major North American sports (that means the NHL, not NASCAR) and whose beat extends back to the days when the Nationals were the Expos and the Thunder were the Sonics. He was the inaugural champion of Rotowire's Staff Keeper baseball league. His work has also appeared at Baseball Prospectus.
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