On Sunday, October 18, 2020, Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns are heading to Heinz Field to take on “Big Ben” Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Going into this game, the Steelers sit atop the AFC North with a perfect record of 4-0 while the Browns find themselves in third place in the division with a record of 4-1. The Baltimore Ravens also hold a record of 4-1 and they are in second place in the division separating Pittsburgh from Cleveland. Now, the reason that Baltimore is ahead of Cleveland is because of the beating the Ravens put on Cleveland in Week 1, 38-6 at M&T Bank Stadium. So, depending on what happens with the Baltimore Ravens and Philadelphia Eagles from the City of Brotherly Love, the Browns could potentially move up in the standings. Perhaps, they could even climb up the ladder to first place.
Coming into this game, the Browns are riding a four-game winning streak. However, is it really that impressive? Think about whom they’ve beaten during this stretch. Week 2 home against the Cincinnati Bengals (Thursday Night Football), Week 3 home against the Washington Football Team, Week 4 at “America’s Team” the Dallas Cowboys, Week 5 home against the Indianapolis Colts. The Bengals are most likely going to be the doormat of the AFC North and the NFC East only has four combined wins. Last week they beat the Indianapolis Colts at home 32-23, but Cleveland seemed to get away from their identity. It makes sense to a certain extent because they were going up against the number one defense in the league, at least according to statistics.
However, this Steelers defense on Sunday is going to be more difficult than Indy was last week. Pittsburgh’s defensive line features the likes of TJ Watt, Cam Heyward, and Bud Dupree amongst others. Devin Bush has played well at the linebacker position. Finally, Pittsburgh has a very good back end with former Miami Dolphin Minkah Fitzpatrick and of course the former the Cleveland Brown, CB Joe Haden. Heyward, Watt, and Dupree are all excellent at creating havoc in the backfield and causing problems for the opposing quarterback. So, it’s imperative that QB Baker Mayfield gets rid of the ball quickly, perhaps they should institute more screen passes for this game.
However, the Browns’ defense is nothing to sneeze at. They also feature a solid defensive line with Myles Garrett, Larry Ogunjobi, Sheldon Richardson and Oliver Vernon. Mack Wilson and B.J. Goodson are decent at the linebacker position; they both make plays when called upon to do so. The back end of Cleveland’s defense is injury-riddled but there are some good pieces like Denzel Ward, Terrance Mitchell, and Karl Joseph. Will all of them be healthy and be out on the field for Sunday’s game? That’s to be determined, which could go a long way in deciding the outcome of Sunday’s game.