Steeler Nation is a world-wide army that follows the legendary Pittsburgh Steelers. The Six-Time Super Bowl Champions are a franchise whose tradition dictates a standard of excellence, and their fans expect nothing less year in and year out. Those very same ideals translate to the ultimate Pittsburgh Steelers Game Day Preview, a guide that all Steelers fans read weekly to learn everything they need to know about their team and weekly opponent!
Mike Drakulich, the man behind Pittsburgh SportsNation (@PghSportsNation), who covers both Pitt football and the Steelers for NGSC Sports, brings you inside the huddle for both teams providing all NFL fans with The PSN Game Commentary, Score Prediction, Broadcast Information, and a complete breakdown of each team.
Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3) at Cleveland Browns (6-3)
NFL Week 11
Vegas line: Cleveland -2.5
Game-time: Sunday, November 19th, at 1:00 PM
Venue: Cleveland Browns Stadium, Cleveland, OH.
- Field: Natural Grass
Weather at kickoff: 49 and sunny. Winds out of the Northwest at 12 MPH.
The Pittsburgh SportsNation Game Commentary
The season of overcoming the odds continue for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Despite being out-gained in every game this season, and outscored 182 to 156, the Steelers are somehow 6-3, and hold the 2nd spot in the AFC North, and with a win this Sunday over the Cleveland Browns (6-3), they will be a half game out of 1st place.
It is a huge two game stretch for Pittsburgh, who go on the road to face their AFC North rivals in the Browns and Cincinnati Bengals next week.
As if winning despite the statistics wasn’t enough, the team keeps getting major help from injuries suffered by their division foes, including the Browns losing starting quarterback Deshaun Watson, the Bengals with QB Joe Burrow, and Baltimore with tight end Mark Andrews.
All are brutal losses by each team, and now Pittsburgh has to seize this opportunity to their advantage, and that means having no excuse to lose to either Cleveland or Cincinnati in these next two games.
It won’t be easy, as Pittsburgh has also been befallen to the injury bug, losing starters in safety Keanu Neal, linebackers Kwon Alexander and Cole Holcomb, in addition to free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick and defensive tackle Montravius Adams, both out this week vs the Browns.
Fitzpatrick and Adams should be back by the Bengals game, and Neal could come back in four weeks, but Alexander and Holcomb are lost for the year.
Coming in to replace these losses are linebackers Mykal Walker and Tariq Carpenter, and safety Trenton Thompson.
Thompson will be starting and playing in just his 3rd NFL game ever. Carpenter played mainly special teams for Green Bay. Walker has the most experience, playing in 49 games and starting 20 of them. He recorded 107 tackles for Atlanta last year.
The Steelers do get tight end Pat Freiermuth back, and he should hopefully help jumpstart an anemic passing game, that rarely sees passes thrown across the middle of the field, and area Freiermuth excels at.
“We’d love to get him back this weekend,” quarterback Kenny Pickett said. “It’s another aspect that defenses have to respect, him working the middle and doing different things for us. It will help having him back.”
If Pittsburgh could finally solve the issues hampering the air attack, they could become a very dangerous opponent moving forward, especially with running game on fire the past few weeks.
Najee Harris and Jaylon Warren have become a formidable one-two punch, averaging 185.5 yards the last two games, compared to 79.7 in the first seven contests.
As mentioned, the Browns will be without Watson, and that hurts considering they’ve also lost Nick Chubb, who had a season ending injury when these teams last met in week two, a 26-22 Steelers victory.
In Watson’s place will be Dorian Thompson-Robinson, a rookie out of UCLA, who Pitt fans may remember defeating the their Bowl game last December.
The Browns, if they are smart, will rely on playing stout defense, and lean on Jerome Ford and Kareem Hunt to try and pound the ball against an injury ravaged Steelers defense.
Browns coach Kevin Stafanski often outsmarts himself, however, so don’t be surprised if you see Thompson-Robinson drop back to pass more often than not.
If that happens, the Pittsburgh defense has to rise up and punish the young quarterback every time he goes back to pass.
“I think we do a good job in terms of trying to make it rough for a rookie quarterback,” defensive coordinator Teryl Austin said, “and not make it easy for him, not make it simple for him and really try to put pressure on him. I think that’s really the biggest thing for a lot of rookie guys. If you can get them out of their comfort zone, they just — it’s through no fault of their own — they haven’t seen enough snaps at this level to sometimes adjust accordingly.”
Thompson-Robinson, in his only other start, threw for just 121 yards, and was picked off three times. He has been sacked four times.
Pittsburgh is expecting a run heavy attack.
“They are going to try to establish the run pretty well because they are one of the best in the league at doing that,” said linebacker Alex Highsmith. “It’s going to start there first and foremost.”
Though the Browns rushed for 198 yards in week two, Pittsburgh was missing stud defensive lineman Cam Heyward.
Since Heyward returned from injury, the Steelers defense has allowed just 110.5 yards a game on the ground.
When Cleveland does pass, both Highsmith and T.J. Watt will be coming.
“We just have to be aggressive and continue to play ball the way we do,” Highsmith said. “Whoever is in there, we have to cause havoc and get after him and affect him.”
The Browns defense is very good, allowing just 242.6 total yards per game, and just 151.1 yards per game passing, both number one in the NFL. Despite giving up just 18.9 points per game, the Browns have been gashed a few times the past month, giving up 38 to Indianapolis, and 31 to Baltimore last week.
Though it will be tough sledding missing key defensive starters, the Steelers cannot let a rookie quarterback win this game against them.
It’s “next man up”, as they say, and as this team has done so often in overcoming the obstacles, they’ll collectively have to do it again, and raise their level of play to contain the Browns run game, and pressuring their young quarterback into making a few mistakes.
On offense, it’s going to be a slugfest, with the run game trying to control the ball, and continuing to make big plays, which should allow the passing game to open up a bit, especially hitting some passes between the numbers with Freirmuth back, and perhaps a few well timed play action calls that could open up some deep shots to Diontae Johnson and George Pickens.
In the end, the Browns be the Browns, and like always, Pittsburgh will find a way to come home with the win.
Prediction: Steelers 24 Browns 12
TV: CBS (Local: KDKA-TV channel 802 on Xfinity)
- Announcers: Ian Eagle (play-by-play) Charles Davis (analyst) | Evan Washburn (field reporter)
Local Radio: Pittsburgh- 102.5 WDVE-FM & 970 WBGG-AM
- Announcers: Bill Hillgrove (play-by-play) Craig Wolfley (analyst) | Max Starks (sideline) Missi Matthews (sideline)
National Radio: None
Internet broadcast: Steelers Nation Radio (SNR) on Steelers.com
Scouting the Pittsburgh Steelers
Overall record: 6-3 (2nd in AFC North)
Last Game: Steelers 23 Packers 19
Head Coach: Mike Tomlin
- 17th Season with Steelers
- Overall regular-season record: 169-96-2
- Playoff record: 8-9 (Qualified for playoffs 10 times)
- Pittsburgh Steelers Team Roster
- Steelers Team/Individual Statistics
- Pittsburgh Steelers 2023 Schedule
- Points per game: 17.3 (26th)
- Total yards per game: 300.1 (30th)
- Passing yards per game: 196.9 (30th)
- Rushing yards per game: 103.2 (20th)
Kenny Pickett | #8
Pickett has yet to become the quarterback the Steelers envisioned him, but until he is given an actual offensive coordinator, no one will ever truly know what his capabilities are. His detractors are growing by the week. It’s evident by his 4th quarter magic that he has the talent to succeed, but it is up to both the team and himself to play a full game. Has to stop missing easy throws that any NFL caliber QB can make routinely.
Passing Yards: 1,616 | TD Passes: 6 | INT’s: 4 | Sacked: 18
Rushing Yards: 37 | Rushing TD’s: 1
Back-up: Mitch Trubisky | #10
Passing Yards: 156 | TD Passes: 1| INT’s: 2 | Sacked: 2
Rushing Yards: 18 | Rushing TD’s: 0
Najee Harris | #22
Harris and Warren are forming a formidable one-two punch in the Steelers rushing attack. Harris has looked strong and assertive the past few weeks.
Rushing Yards: 464 | Rushing TD’s: 3
Receptions: 18 | Receiving Yards: 115 | Receiving TD’s: 0
Jaylon Warren | #30
Warren always finds a way to hit the hole and get positive yardage, and has become a weapon catching passes out of the backfield.
Rushing Yards: 364 | Rushing TD’s: 2
Receptions: 31 | Receiving Yards: 218 | Receiving TD’s: 0
Anthony McFarland | #26
Rushing Yards: 0 | Rushing TD’s: 0
Receptions: 2 | Receiving Yards: 11 | Receiving TD’s: 0
Diontae Johnson | #18
Johnson has been Pickett’s favorite target since returning from injury.
Receptions: 24 | Receiving Yards: 319 | Receiving TD’s: 1
George Pickens | #14
Pickens leads the team with 33 receptions for 566 yards, but hasn’t been the sharpest route runner, which may explain why Pickett has targeted Johnson so much. That said, the team has to find a way to get Pickens the ball more often, especially down field.
Receptions: 33 | Receiving Yards: 566 | Receiving TD’s: 2
Allen Robinson II | #11
Robinson hasn’t made much of an impact as the team thought he would when signed in the off-season.
Receptions: 19 | Receiving Yards: 154 | Receiving TD’s: 0
Calvin Austin III | #19
The shifty receiver could be utilized in a variety of ways in a competent offense, but…
Receptions: 15 | Receiving Yards: 165 | Receiving TD’s: 1
Miles Boykin | #13
Receptions: 2 | Receiving Yards: 11 | Receiving TD’s: 0
Pat Freiermuth | #88
To say Freiermuth has been under utilized is… well, the understatement of the season. Is expected to return from IR and will hopefully be involved catching passes in the middle of the field.
Receptions: 8 | Receiving Yards: 53 | Receiving TD’s: 1
Conner Heyward | #83
Heyward makes the most of his opportunities when called upon.
Receptions: 17 | Receiving Yards: 137 | Receiving TD’s: 0
Darnell Washington | #80
The world awaits “Mount” Washington to be utilized in the Steelers passing attack.
Receptions: 3 | Receiving Yards: 23 | Receiving TD’s: 0
STEELERS DEFENSE (Base 3-4)
- Points per game allowed: 20.2 (11th)
- Total offense yards per game allowed: 379.6 (28th)
- Passing yards allowed: 248.4 (27th)
- Rushing yards allowed: 131.2 (25th)
- Sacks: 27 (11th)
- Interceptions: 10 (6th)
DT: Cam Heyward | #97
Tackles: 9 | Sacks: 0
NT: Keeanu Benton | #95
Tackles: 22 | Sacks: 1
DE: Larry Ogunjobi | #99
Tackles: 27 | Sacks: 2
OLB: T.J. Watt | #90
Tackles: 30 | Sacks: 10.5 | INT: 1 | TD: 1
ILB: Mark Robinson | #93
Tackles: 5 | Sacks: 0 | INT: 0
ILB: Elandon Roberts | #50
Tackles: 56 | Sacks: 1.5
OLB: Alex Highsmith | #56
Tackles: 32 | Sacks: 4.5 | INT: 1 | TD: 1
CB: Joey Porter, Jr. | #24
Tackles: 20 | Sacks: 0 | INT: 1
FS: Damontae Kazee | #23
Tackles: 39 | Sacks: 0 | INT: 1
SS: Trenton Thompson | #17
Tackles: 0 | Sacks: 0 | INT: 0
CB: Patrick Peterson | #20
Tackles: 25 | Sacks: 0 | INT: 1
STEELERS SPECIAL TEAMS
Chris Boswell | #9
Extra Points: 13-13
Field Goals: 17-18
- 1-19 yards: 0-0
- 20-29 yards: 4-4
- 30-39 yards: 3-3
- 40-49 yards: 6-6
- 50+ yards: 4-5
Anthony McFarland, Jr. | #26
Average: 27.3 | TD Returns: 0
Godwin Igwebuike | #48
Average: 23.3 | TD Returns: 0
Calvin Austin III | #19
Average: 5.9 | TD Returns: 0
Scouting the Cleveland Browns
Overall record: 6-3 (3rd in AFC North)
Last game: Cleveland 33 Ravens 31
Head Coach: Kevin Stefanski
- 4th Season with Cleveland
- Overall regular-season record: 32-27
- Playoff Record: 1-1
- Points per game: 23.8 (11th)
- Total Offense per game: 354.9 (14th)
- Passing yards per game: 207 (26th)
- Rushing yards per game: 147.9 (2nd)
Dorian Thompson-Robinson | #17
Making his 2nd career start. Didn’t fare well in his first, tossing three interceptions.
Passing Yards: 130 | TD Passes: 0 | INT’s: 3 | Sacked: 4
Rushing Yards: 24 | Rushing TD’s: 0
Back-up: P.J. Walker | #10
Passing Yards: 618 | TD Passes: 1 | INT’s: 5 | Sacked: 7
Rushing Yards: 31 | Rushing TD’s: 0
Jerome Ford | #34
Not Nick Chubb, but a very efficient back that is making the most of his opportunity.
Rushing Yards: 532 | Rushing TD’s: 2
Receptions: 21 | Receiving Yards: 141 | Receiving TD’s: 2
Kareem Hunt | #27
Returned to the Browns a few weeks ago and has already contributed six touchdowns.
Rushing Yards: 228 | Rushing TD’s: 6
Receptions: 6 | Receiving Yards: 58 | Receiving TD’s: 0
Pierre Strong, Jr. | #20
Rushing Yards: 152 | Rushing TD’s: 1
Receptions: 2 | Receiving Yards: 34 | Receiving TD’s: 0
Amari Cooper | #2
Cooper is the Brown’s top receiver, leading the team with 41 receptions for 715 yards.
Receptions: 41 | Receiving Yards: 715 | Receiving TD’s: 2
Elijah Moore | #8
Moore has talent, but has yet to flourish as Cleveland envisioned him when they acquired him in the offseason.
Receptions: 34 | Receiving Yards: 314 | Receiving TD’s: 1
David Bell | #18
Receptions: 4 | Receiving Yards: 33 | Receiving TD’s: 0
Marquise Goodwin* | #3
Receptions: 3 | Receiving Yards: 10 | Receiving TD’s: 0
Cedric Tillman | #19
Receptions: 2 | Receiving Yards: 8 | Receiving TD’s: 0
David Njoku | #85
Solid tight end when not injured. Is 2nd on the team with 38 catches.
Receptions: 38 | Receiving Yards: 337 | Receiving TD’s: 2
Harrison Bryant | #88
Receptions: 4 | Receiving Yards: 10 | Receiving TD’s: 1
Jordan Akins | #84
Receptions: 6 | Receiving Yards: 45 | Receiving TD’s: 0
BROWNS DEFENSE (Base 4-3)
- Points per game allowed: 18.9 (6th)
- Total offense yards per game allowed: 242.6 (1st)
- Passing yards allowed: 151.1 (1st)
- Rushing yards allowed: 91.5 (7th)
- Sacks: 29 (8th)
- Interceptions: 9 (9th)
DE: Myles Garrett | #95
Tackles: 28 | Sacks: 11
DT: Dalvin Tomlinson | #94
Tackles: 15 | Sacks: 3
DT: Jordan Elliot | #96
Tackles: 12 | Sacks: 2.5
DE: Za’Darius Smith | #99
Tackles: 18 | Sacks: 2.5
OLB: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah | #6
Tackles: 42 | Sacks: 1.5
MLB: Anthony Walker, Jr. | #5
Tackles: 34 | Sacks: 0 | INT: 0
OLB: Sione Takitaki | #44
Tackles: 18 | Sacks: 2 | INT: 1
CB: Denzel Ward | #21
Tackles: 26 | Sacks: 0 | INT: 2
SS: Grant Delpit | #22
Tackles: 58 | Sacks: 0.5 | INT: 1
FS: Juan Thornhill | #1
Tackles: 36 | Sacks: 0 | INT: 0
Greg Newsome | #0
Tackles: 22 | Sacks: 0.5 | INT: 1
BROWNS SPECIAL TEAMS
Dustin Hopkins | #7
Extra Points: 14-15
Field Goals: 24-27
- 1-19 yards: 0-0
- 20-29 yards: 5-5
- 30-39 yards: 3-3
- 40-49 yards: 9-12
- 50+ yards: 7-7
Pierre Strong, Jr | #20
Average: 24.0 | TD Returns: 0
James Proche | #11
Average: 7.9 | TD Returns: 0
STEELERS vs BROWNS HISTORY
Series History: Began in 1950
Overall Record: 81-62-1
- Home: 55-22
- Away: 29-40-1
- Postseason: 2-1
Streak: Steelers won the last two games.
Last regular-season meeting: Steelers Win, 26-22 (Sept. 18, 2023)
Last postseason meeting: Browns Win, 48-37 (Jan. 10, 2021)
INJURY REPORT (11/17/23)
Out: FS Minkah Fitzpatrick (Hamstring), DT Montravius Adams Sr. (Ankle), S Keanu Neal (Rib)
Questionable: TE Pat Freiermuth * (Hamstring)
Out: WR Marquise Goodwin (Concussion), S Juan Thornhill (Calf)
Questionable: G Michael Dunn (Calf), T Dawand Jones (Knee)
From Midland, "The Basketball Capital of Pennsylvania", located 35 miles NW of Pittsburgh along the Ohio River. This former steel town was home to storied athletes such as Dave Alston, Norm Van Lier, Simmie Hill, and the legendary 1965 Midland High School Basketball Team.
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