In the season’s first rematch the Steelers face off with the Browns in what people hope will be as exciting a game as the first time they matched up in week 1. The first game saw the Steelers completely dominate the first half while jumping out to a 27-3 lead. At the half most of the country wondered if the Browns would turn to highly touted first round pick Johnny Manziel at quarterback but head coach Mike Petine stuck with starter Brian Hoyer and he rewarded his faith by leading a roaring second half charge that saw 24 unanswered points to tie the game. He did all of this without suspended star receiver Josh Gordon, starting running back Ben Tate who was lost to injury in the first quarter and Tight End Jordan Cameron who was inactive for the game. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger then led a late fourth quarter drive that resulted in a last second field goal and a win for the Steelers. Roethlisberger and the Steelers should have remained as aggressive in the passing game in the second half as they were in the first half. He threw for 365 yards overall and if they had remained aggressive he could have thrown for 500 yards. Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin is very unlikely to make the same mistake twice.
The Pittsburgh defense has learned from the mistakes made in week 1 and the defense has made big positive strides. The defense will have to be prepared for a well-balanced Cleveland offense that will have a healthy Cameron as well as a healthy Tate. Tate had a career high 123 yards on 22 carries last week for the Browns in his first start since returning from injury. Ben Roethlisberger does have an incredible 18-1 record against the Browns, which is good enough for the best record by a quarterback against one opponent with at least 15 starts since 1970. The Steelers also appear to have found their running back in LeVeon Bell who leads the AFC in rushing with 460 yards. His running ability is key in making sure the offense is balanced and his pass protection is amongst the best among running backs.
The Browns could easily be a 4-0 team as opposed to its 2-2 record since its 2 losses are by a combined 5 points but the reverse is also true since their two victories are by a combined 3 points. The team is 5-2 when Hoyer starts and he has been steady this season with 6 touchdown passes and one lone interception. Tate will look to build on his solid play from last week. He signed with the Browns in the offseason after serving as Arian Fosters backup in Houston for the last few seasons. He will certainly win over the Cleveland fans if he is able to put together a big game the Steelers this week. They will still be without Gordon is suspended for the seasons first ten games for violating the leagues substance abuse policy
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