Rivalry week is upon us here in Cleveland as the 4-1 Browns saddle up to go head to head with the 4-0 Pittsburgh Steelers this Sunday at Heinz field in which many people would consider the game of the week.
This hasn’t been much of a rivalry in recent history with the browns record standing at 7-32 since their return in 1999. These two franchises have met a total of 136 times. The Steelers lead the franchises in wins with a record of 76-59-1 with only two of those games appearing in the postseason.
The Browns were able to split the season series last year beating Pittsburgh in their first meeting 21-7 and Cleveland went ballistic. Although Cleveland got the win on the scoreboard it ultimately was a loss losing Myles Garrett due to a suspension after getting into a fight with Qb Mason Rudolph where Garrett rips off Rudolph’s helmet and swing it at his head after allegedly being called a racial slur. It doesn’t justify Garrett’s actions but it should be noted that during the altercation mason attempted to rip Myles’s helmet off first. Here is A clip of the NFL broadcast when it took place.
It seems as Myles Garrett has matured since then but this is the first time Myles will be playing against Pittsburgh since the incident. Will Myles come with a vengeance this Sunday just to prove a point? Here is a video of Garrett opening up about the altercation on ESPN.
Will the Browns win this Sunday? There are some key points why I think they take home the win this week. Number 1 the browns have the best rushing offense in the league. Pittsburgh is ranked 14th in rushing defense this year.
Even without Nick Chubb who is still out with a knee injury, I believe Kareem Hunt and company have what it takes to methodically march down the field on the Pittsburgh defense.
Number 2 is Cleveland’s offensive line. I know that may be a surprise to many due to the fact the O-line has struggled in recent years. Jedrick Wills seems to be a great fit as Wyatt Teller, J.C. Tretter, and Bitonio have been giving baker the time he needs in the pocket to make big plays only giving up 7 sacks thus far. The offensive line as a true test this week guarding the league’s 5th best pass rusher T.J. Watt.
Last but not least the third key to the browns victory will be Myles Garrett of course. He said the past is behind him but I think he wants to make a statement on why he’s the best pass rusher in the game sitting at number 2 in sacks only behind Aaron Donald that leads Garrett by a sack and half. What better time cement you’re the best then against your division rivals. I believe there is still bad blood here above the rivalry although Mason Rudolph is not playing, when Myles Garrett is the person rushing the quarterback no one is safe.