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  1. #1
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    Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers Week 1

    The Pittsburgh Steelers will host a Cleveland Browns team Sunday at Heinz Field that struggled for consistency in the preseason as much as they did. While the slate is clean on the 2014 NFL regular season, both teams enter the matchup with just one preseason win under their belts and questions about performance and personnel on both sides of the field. The contest promises to be one where both teams will look for chinks in each others’ armor for the win. Kickoff begins at 1 p.m. Eastern.

    Preseason Struggles

    The AFC North looks to be a division that will be hotly contested in 2014 and both the Steelers and the Browns want to put their 1-3 preseason records behind them as quickly as possible moving forward. The two teams not only had similar records, but also had difficulty scoring and keeping their opponents from putting points on the board. With their initial 53-man rosters set, the division rivals will test each other in nearly every aspect as they attempt to find cohesion among their core players.

    Browns Offense

    The quarterback controversy appears to be over in Cleveland as Brian Hoyer was named the starting QB over highly-touted rookie draft selection Johnny Manziel. Hoyer spent two weeks on the Steelers roster during the 2012 season after being cut as Tom Brady’s backup in New England, but Pittsburgh is a different creature in 2014. Earlier in the preseason, Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau stated he wouldn’t be surprised to see Manziel start against his defense, but whether that comes to fruition or not remains to be seen. Manziel and Hoyer did team up to pace the Browns offense in their final preseason game.

    The Browns appear to be moving toward a trending NFL standard of pass over run. During the preseason, they utilized running backs Ben Tate, Isaiah Crowell and Terrance West most frequently and put up 441 yards total on the ground. Alternately, Cleveland threw for 750 yards of offense with 41 first-downs coming via the air attack. Taylor Gabriel, Willie Snead and Andrew Hawkins had the most receptions with 26 for a combined 328 yards, but only a single touchdown. The Browns offense only scored eight touchdowns during the entire preseason.

    Browns Defense

    Cleveland is looking for a more dominant defense in 2014 and head coach Mike Pettine put most of his cards in the pile of an exceptionally deep 12-man defensive backfield. First-round draft pick Justin Gilbert, fourth-round selection Pierre Desir and two rookie free agents – Robert Nelson and K’Waun Williams – join veterans Joe Haden, Aaron Berry and Buster Skrine at cornerback. Donte Whitner, Jim Leonhard, Tashaun Gipson, Jordan Poyer and Johnson Bademosi make up the safeties.

    Cleveland snagged five total interceptions during the preseason, two of which were returned for touchdowns. The Browns defensive front will feature Desmond Bryant, Armonty Bryant, John Hughes, Ishamaa’ily Kitchen, Phil Taylor, Billy Winn and Ahtyba Rubin. Cleveland retained eight linebackers, with Karlos Dansby, Barkevious Mingo, Craig Robertson, Paul Kruger, Jabaal Sheard, Chris Kirksey, Tank Carder and Eric Martin. Kirksey, a draft selection from the University of Iowa, led the Browns with 20 tackles (5 assisted). Mingo led the team in sacks, with 2.0. The Browns had a combined sack total of six and caused two turnovers.

    Browns Noteables

    With troubled receiver Josh Gordon’s issues on the burner, general manager Ray Farmer wants to move on and under Norv Turner and Kyle Shanahan, the Cleveland offense wants to use a zone-blocking scheme that will play into the game set of Tate and West. Pettine is excited about the possibilities to use the pair as a committee and throw the elusive Crowell in to keep defenses off balance. Add that to a tandem between Hoyer and Manziel, and the Browns think they can push themselves into true contention. Without Gordon, Pro Bowl tight end Jordan Cameron may have a shot at a 1,000-yard receiving year. Add Hawkins in the slot and Benjamin as a deeper threat, and the Browns may have something.

    Steelers Outlook

    Pittsburgh’s defense has had nearly as much trouble stopping the run as they have the pass during the preseason – enough that veteran Troy Polamalu, a typically soft-spoken leader, was verbal on the sidelines with his teammates. LeBeau and assistant coaches Carnell Lake and Joey Porter will need to dial up some disruptive defensive front plays and blitz packages to keep Hoyer, and possibly Manziel, from getting comfortable.

    Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger appears to have hit his stride and was definitely the most consistent quarterback on the team during the preseason. The Steelers offensive line will need to be quicker and stouter against rushers like Mingo, keeping their feet and pads under them. With good protection, Roethlisberger can use the tandem of Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount to pound the ball with speedy Dri Archer as a multi-talented weapon. Receiver Markus Wheaton will need to step up his play to match veteran Antonio Brown if the Steelers want success on passes thrown for more than short yardage.
    http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2014/...ith-questions/

    The Season is here. Sounds like Tomlin is preparing for both JFF and Hoyer. Also that Bell and Blount will play and play the entire game because why not.

    Will try adding Injury reports throughout the weekend but after watching pre-season:

    Prediction: Steelers 23 - Browns 10.

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  2. #2
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    Look for 8 & 9 men in the box for the Steelers.. they're gonna stuff the line of scrimmage and MAKE the Browns QB beat them.. Someone needs to step it up, big time.. There doesn't appear to be ANYONE capable of doing that.. This one will get ugly early and stay that way.. The best news is that it's only one loss..the first of six in a row...

  3. #3
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    Steelers fans here in NW PA are saying they'll win by at least 21 and Bell will have 4 TD's.

    So there's that.

  4. #4
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    cant wait for sunday.
    ....pleasing the casual fan,while telling the hardcore fan to go to hell since 2006

  5. #5
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    so is rex coming back or not? i cant see any logical reason the browns are only going with 2 qbs who havent done anything all preseason and didnt impress in OTAs

  6. #6
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    I have to come to the Browns forums cause def no Bandwagon fans in here, cant handle the cavs forum lately. Browns defense wins that game. Ben struggling with new receiving core, Browns stack the box, because their new secondary can handle it. Browns win 16-10


    Exposed

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoPattersonGo View Post
    so is rex coming back or not? i cant see any logical reason the browns are only going with 2 qbs who havent done anything all preseason and didnt impress in OTAs
    Compared to Rex who didn't do anything in preseason and couldn't get picked up by 32 teams during OTA's. Come on man, give it a break. We get that you are a Grossman fan but he is no longer on the team so get over it and move on and go root for your Bears. Don't understand the constant need for you to continue to be in here except to continue to troll.
    Last edited by ottograham14; 09-03-2014 at 11:11 AM.

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoPattersonGo View Post
    so is rex coming back or not? i cant see any logical reason the browns are only going with 2 qbs who havent done anything all preseason and didnt impress in OTAs
    The likelihood is that after the four waiver claim guys come in..get evaluated.. another round of cuts will take place.. at that time, Rex Grossman will probably be added back to the roster.. This time of the season sees a LOT of rosterbating and manipulation.. it takes about two or three days for the wheat and the chaff to be separated..

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by FearTheRoo View Post
    Steelers fans here in NW PA are saying they'll win by at least 21 and Bell will have 4 TD's.

    So there's that.
    That sounds about right.. 37 - 16...

    The defense will wear down as they continue their inability to get off the field with 3rd downs. Big Ben is a master (at least against the Browns) of pulling it out of his ARSE as it relates to 3rd down situations..

    The offense will be looking at a stacked line of scrimmage and will be unable to run the ball, playing directly into the hands of the uber-aggressive Steeler front seven..

    That's the way the Steelers like to play, too...

  10. #10
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    Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers Week 1

    Browns - 24
    Steelers - 21

    Why? Because **** it, that's why.

  11. #11
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    Browns 14
    Steelers 10

    Low scoring affair... Defense wins the field position battle and we punch in two TDs. Think we will have more success against the Steelers Old Defense versus what people think. Can't wait for gameday!

  12. #12
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    This game will come down to Tight End Play I believe. I hope that Cameron plays his butt off and we should win this game. Not being a homer, but the Browns have the better roster this year. Here's my stat line:
    Hoyer 15-27 211 1TD 2INT
    Tate 14-59 YDs
    West 8-22 YDs 1 TD
    Cameron 7-104 YDs 1 TD

    Browns win 23-21
    Last edited by kosar4president; 09-03-2014 at 04:42 PM. Reason: forgot a word
    Here comes the NEW BROWNS!!!

  13. #13
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    so.. in summary.. as we hit the middle of the week.. we have six projections..

    Steelers by 21
    Steelers by 21
    Steelers by 13
    Browns by 4
    Browns by 3
    Browns by 2...

    Vegas has the line set at Steelers -6 1/2 and the over under at 41 1/2... we'll see how the odds vary as the end of the week approaches...

  14. #14
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    How are bell and blout playing in this game??

    I don't see a blowout, neither teams offense are good enough and both have good defenses. My knowledge says steelers win but my heart will never pick those scum bags.

    Browns 24-21
    For not honoring a sig bet I now own YEDB90

  15. #15
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    At least the game isn't at First Energy to start the year. Think that might alleviate some pressure on the Brownies but not enough to warrant a W at least from what was seen in the pre-season. Not like the Squeelers played outstanding but they at least have a QB/WR combo you can trust in.

    Really interested to see how Haden does in his match-up against Brown. He usually struggles against more speed receivers so hopefully coming off his layoff & injury he can slow down Brown some.

    On offense I'm looking to see how they find ways to get Hawkins the ball as he should be a main component of the offense moving forward IMO. Also interested to see how much run Gabriel gets as he had a very good camp and pre-season and can see him and Hawkins running a lot of digs and crosses. Also Ben Tate on 3rd Down. How he picks up the rush and is he going to be a threat out of the backfield?

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