Pittsburgh, PA – The Pittsburgh Steelers, still licking their wounds from a disappointing Week 1 loss, will play host to the Cleveland Browns in a highly anticipated AFC North clash on Monday Night Football. The matchup of the Browns vs Steelers features storylines and key injuries that could impact the outcome. Tonight is an exciting double header after a record setting Monday night matchup last week.
The Browns kicked off their season with a resounding 24-3 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals, showcasing a potent defense that limited Joe Burrow to a mere 82 passing yards. Despite the victory, questions loom over the performance of their passing game under quarterback Deshaun Watson. The run game, led by Nick Chubb, remains a strong asset for Cleveland.
In contrast, the Steelers had a disastrous Week 1, suffering a 30-7 defeat at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers. Offensive struggles plagued the team, with five consecutive three-and-outs to start the game. Quarterback Kenny Pickett managed 232 passing yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. The Steelers’ offensive coordinator, Matt Canada, expressed disappointment, stating, “Five three-and-outs are not what we expected.”
One bright spot for the Steelers was outside linebacker T.J. Watt, who recorded three sacks and two forced fumbles in the opener, tying the franchise’s all-time sack record with 80.5 sacks.
The Browns are heading into this matchup with the goal of breaking a historical trend. Cleveland has not started a season 2-0 since 1993 when Bill Belichick was the head coach. Their struggles against the Steelers in Pittsburgh are also well-documented, having lost 23 of their last 25 visits to Heinz Field. Quarterback Deshaun Watson emphasized the need to focus on the present and break the tradition, stating, “It’s the 2023 year, and we can’t focus on the past. We got to try to break that tradition they have going.”
Browns vs Steelers injuries
Injury concerns add complexity to this matchup. The Steelers lost defensive tackle Cam Heyward for up to eight weeks, placing him on injured reserve. Wide receiver Diontae Johnson and running back Anthony McFarland have also been declared out for the game. In contrast, the Browns have listed key players like Amari Cooper (groin), Siaki Ika (foot), and Juan Thornhill (calf) as questionable.
Browns vs Steelers odds
The oddsmakers have pegged the Browns as two-point favorites, with the over/under set at 38.5 points. Despite the Steelers’ home-field advantage, they find themselves in an unfamiliar position as underdogs. An impressive 77% of the handle and 75% of bets have been placed on the Browns to cover the spread, while 75% of the handle and 52% of bets lean towards the under.
As the stage is set for this crucial AFC North showdown, football fans across the nation are eagerly awaiting Monday night to see whether the Steelers can rebound from their Week 1 woes or if the Browns can defy historical odds and start the season 2-0. The stakes are high in this rivalry matchup, promising a thrilling night of football in Pittsburgh.