Cleveland Browns vs Pittsburgh Steelers Monday Night Football Bet Preview

Cleveland Browns vs Pittsburgh Steelers Monday Night Football Bet Preview

Barry Devoe
1 year ago
3 min read
Cleveland Browns vs Pittsburgh Steelers Monday Night Football Bet Preview

The AFC North has been competitive all season long, the Cleveland Browns are out of the AFC playoff race with two games to go and the Steelers have just a four percent chance to make it in.

This week, the bottom two teams in the AFC North will square off on Monday Night Football, with the Steelers entering this clash as a three point favorite.

The focus of this game will be on Ben Roethlisberger, who could be playing his final game at Heinz Field.

Cleveland Browns

The Cleveland Browns have lost two straight games heading into this Monday Night Football matchup with Pittsburgh. Their consecutive losses to the Raiders and Packers moved them to 7-8 on the season, which ultimately took away the control of their destiny. As a result, Cleveland will not get into the postseason following the Bengals win over Kansas City yesterday afternoon.

When it comes to this game, the Browns will look for a better offensive performance than they got against the Steelers when they met in Cleveland earlier this season. The Browns lost that game 15-10 and couldn’t get their passing game going. Baker Mayfield and Cleveland’s receiving corps will need to be better in this game against a stout Pittsburgh defense in an emotionally charged environment.

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Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh enters this week at 7-7-1, a win behind the four-team logjam chasing the final playoff spot in the AFC. The focus for this game will undoubtedly be on Pittsburgh’s chase for an albeit unlikely playoff run, but the career of Ben Roethlisberger will also be in the spotlight on Monday night. Roethlisberger acknowledged that this would likely be his last home game as the quarterback of the Steelers, which should lead to an emotional crowd in the Steel City in the final game of Week 17.

Roethlisberger has struggled for much of this season, as he is clearly not the same player he used to be at this stage of his career. Whether or not he can turn back the clock and recapture some of the magic that made him such a highly-regarded quarterback remains to be seen. But the Pittsburgh defense will likely need to play at a high level in case Roethlisberger has trouble delivering.

Keys To The Game

For Cleveland, the top key to this game will be not succumbing to the emotion at Heinz Field on Monday night. The crowd in Pittsburgh is likely to be loud from start to finish, both because of everything on the line in the playoff race, as a loss officially eliminates Pittsburgh, and to show their appreciation for Ben Roethlisberger. Cleveland can’t afford to fall into an early hole due to the crowd’s enthusiasm and a Steelers team that will feed off of the emotion.

Pittsburgh’s biggest key to this game will be shutting down the Cleveland running game. The Browns are at their best when they can create short yardage conversion opportunities so as not to make Baker Mayfield do too much on third-down situations. If Pittsburgh can force the Browns into third and long situations, forcing Mayfield to beat them with his arm, the Steelers could complete the season sweep of the Browns.

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