The Browns Will Win If…

Well, the silver lining is that the Browns won’t go 0-16. That’s all I’ve got up here today.
Browns and Bills
The Steelers suffered a big loss with DE Aaron Smith going down for the season with a rotator cuff injury. However, the Steeler defense tends to be a different animal with Captain Head and Shoulders back in the defensive backfield, and as Scott pointed out earlier this week it looks like S Troy Polamalu will play. The Browns have a tough offense to stop with Rashard Mendenhall looking better (though battling illness this week) and Fast Willie most likely coming back this weekend—and Big Ben always able to shred a defense that can’t get any pressure on him. Without further ado…

The Browns Will Win If…

Scott: …they play defense like they did against Buffalo, and run an offense like they did against Cincinnati…two years ago.  Truth be told, this team needs an absolute miracle to win against the Steelers on the road.  Pittsburgh is becoming healthier by the day and the only news about the Browns continues to be who will be traded by Tuesday afternoon.  Derek Anderson needs to complete a few dozen passes more than he did last week.  The wide receivers/tight ends need to catch every single pass thrown their way.  We need to open up holes on the run game, and tackle in the open field.  Oh, who am I kidding…

DP: …someone other than Dave Zastudil steps up. In all seriousness, after last week’s abomination of offensive football, the Browns has better hope that their offense can get back to at least moving the ball as they did against Cincinnati. While the defense was solid against the Bills, the Steelers are a completely different animal on offense, so repeated Browns 3-and-outs from DA and company will spell disaster. If the Browns can take advantage of the Steelers losing Smith on the DL and are able to run the ball, it will certainly help. On defense, Cleveland just HAS to get some pressure on Big Ben. The Browns have been stout against the run early in games, and if they can continue that and also not let Big Ben get comfortable, they have a chance to keep themselves in the game. But, a lot has to go right for the Browns to have a realistic shot to win.

RockKing: …they shutout the Steelers. Giving up 3 points to the Steelers probably won’t be good enough against the Towelies. So, the only way the Browns win this weekend is if they hold the Steelers to 0 points. Don’t get me wrong, the Browns still won’t score any points either, but at this point, a tie against the Steelers would feel like a win.

Rick: …a combination of things happen. First, the Steelers look past this week. Having beaten the Browns 11 straight times you could see how that might be easy to do. Next, the Browns continue to make progress in the running game. Two weeks in a row the Browns have had a 100 yard rusher. They will probably need another one if they are to beat Pittsburgh. Third, they need to make the Steelers one-dimensional. It could be easier with the report this morning that Mendenhall is battling the flu. Apply pressure to Ben and they could possibly pull it out.

Denny: …the Steelers really aren’t all that good.  Honestly there have been very few signs of life from this Browns team.  Yes – they’re pretty good on special teams.  But offensively they have – how you say – struggled.  The Steelers are good at the defense.  As much as I would have thought going into the season that this game would be a blowout (and it still very may well be), we aren’t seeing a lot from the Steelers.  It’s possible that they aren’t a great team.  We know the Browns surely aren’t – but if the offense can get 10 points I think the Browns will have a shot at finding some opportunistic points.  Realistically I think there’s been a lot of off the field distraction that may have taken the focus away for some players (though BQ isn’t starting so his house being on the market don’t matta).  Don’t turn the ball over and the Browns might have a chance (so you’re saying there’s a chance?!)

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Now, for the other side of the coin. It’s hard to get all fired up about our neighbors to the east, as this once-great “rivalry” has been anything but over the past decade. So, in the interest of being good neighbors, we reached out to some bloggers from Steeler country to get their takes on the game this weekend. We got one reply. It was simply, to the point, and sadly, accurate. Without further ado…

The Steelers Will Win If…

Donald Starver is the lead blogger for Steelers Today, which is a blog that provides original Steelers articles and analysis with a humorous twist.

…the Browns remember that they are the Browns.  After all, losing to the Steelers is genetically programmed into the Browns. How many consecutive times have the Browns lost to the Steelers?  11?  15?  20?  50?  Who can keep count?  I just know that the number has got to be astronomical by now.

There was a time when I used to look forward to Steelers-Browns week.  Steelers vs. Browns used to be like the Sharks vs. the Jets.  Nowadays, it’s more like sharks battling seals.  And the Browns are the seals.  Cleveland has the best football fans outside of Western Pennsylvania.  It’s too bad their football team isn’t worthy of them.

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What say, there, fuzzy britches?

  • Isis

    More realistic, but not a single reference to Brian Daboll and very little reference specifically to what DA must do and must not do in order to stay competitive. Sure doesn’t say much about the competiveness of this organization in regards to those referencing the Browns almost inability to be counted on for offensive production at a minimum (winning/losing aside, that’s inexcusable for a new regime).

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com DP Diesel

    Not all of us lay awake worrying about Brian Doboll on a nightly basis, sir.

  • MrCleaveland

    I’m afraid DA will find it hard to duplicate his winning performance of last week. He just won’t be able to put up those kinds of numbers against the Steelers defense.

  • Prospect + Donkey

    I see Isis with a full size poster of Daboll on his wall that he shakes his fist at daily.

  • Boomhauer

    The special teams are going to have score 2 touchdowns for the Browns to even have a chance in this game. Everything that is right with the Steelers is what’s wrong with the Browns.

  • Jewpants

    Zastidil, Cribbs, Costanza… nuf said.

  • Jack

    MrCleaveland and Isis: Do you guys watch the games and actively root for DA to perform badly?

    @ Prospect: Unlikely. But we should get him one! A Daboll Fathead – the only gift I know worse than coal! Scratch one off the Christmas list!

  • Jewpants

    the browns to tend to play up to (cincy(really cinci is up?)) or down to (bills) opponents, so who knows. may need to call on the madden cover curse to keep polumalou out another week. . DE aaron smith is out, and mendanhall has the runs, now if only 29 other steelers would get on the injury report…maybe..

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com WFNYCraig on Twitter

    I missed the boat on BWWI today because I am out of town. I don’t think the Browns will win, but I do think the Steelers are going to be chasing Baltimore and possibly even Cincy all year. The Browns will need to find some chemistry with some receivers if they plan on competing. Obviously they need the defense and special teams to play accordingly, but the Browns need to find the endzone on an actual offensive possession to have any kind of chance. Even a special teams touchdown won’t help all that much because it puts the defense right back on the field.

    I don’t have much hopes for the passing game considering it is expected to be windy with snow/rain showers. That doesn’t sound like it has the makings of a “coming out” party for the Browns’ pass offense.

  • http://www.SundayStrategy.com Logan Cash

    The Steelers Will Win If….

    … at least 75% of their roster shows up on time

  • bobby

    The Browns D needs to contain Ben. Palmer runs on them for a huge first down in OT. Trent freaking Edwards ran for 40 yards last week. The Browns need to spy and get as much pressure as possible on Ben. On O, they need to show life. DA has to show that he can play better then last week. I doubt there will be 35 mph winds again, so I hope to see life out of the O. Who knows, anything can happen in a rivalry game, lets just hope the Steelers have the attitude of their blogger up there.

  • B-bo

    I agree with Denny that Yinsburgh really isn’t THAT good–certainly not elite, in my opinion–and therefore this one isn’t hopeless. The special teams has to get us field position off kickoffs and pin them deep on punts. With the loss of Smith on their d-line, establishing the run must be our top priority. On defense, it’s time for Shaun Rogers to have one of those dominant performances we’ve seen from him before against perhaps the Steelers’ biggest weakness–their o-line. This is entirely winnable, the Browns just need to put together a complete effort for 60 minutes.

  • historycat

    Isn’t it interesting that the all time record is 59-55 in favor of pit.

    They needed 11 straight wins to go above .500 and yet suddenly there is no more rivalry. What if we had said that in the 50’s?

    The rivalry isn’t about the record. The rivalry is about inbred sons of the soil vs. good hardworking Cleveland fans.

    Advice to Pitstains: STOP FINDING SPOUSES AT FAMILY REUNIONS!

  • Steve

    If the Browns can hold them to within 10 point by the end of the 3rd quarter. The Steelers have barely showed up for the 4th quarter this year, this is pretty much their only shot.

  • Whipjacka

    The Browns will win if…

    God himself parts the clouds and Zaps Big Ben, Ward, Holmes, and Harrison with lighting

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com Denny

    WHAT SAY YE, GOD!!!

    Or do you only comment on Cavs posts.

  • Harv 21

    We will win, no ifs ands or buts.

    Just about every year, for about 3 hours, we slither up the slimy sides of our awfulness, rear back and sink our rotted fangs into the hindquarters of a legitimate team which just couldn’t convince itself that we required even a modest amount of attention. Then, exhausted by the effort, we collapse back into our fetid squalor. Last year, the Giants felt our poison.

    Look out Steelers. Browns by 8.

  • Rison to the top

    I’m with Harv. Our specials teams and defense are no joke. If our offense can manage to establish the run and DA’s bipolar self has a good day then this one is winnable. It will all come down to the offense moving the ball. And as much as isis complains about daboll, he is right. we need to get creative and play to win because we really having nothing more to lose.

  • Matt#2

    Harv 21,
    Nicely put.

  • MrCleaveland

    @7

    Of course I don’t root for Anderson to perform badly. I want the Browns to win. I root for Anderson to get hurt. (Not badly, just enough to get him out of the game.)

  • TomR

    If we could somehow play Buffalo every week we might end up with a decent record.

    There has to be a way

  • Jack

    Proud Moment: Watching NFL Live the other day, I saw the analysts review the (mis)fortunes of a group of teams in the NFL they dubbed “The Final Four of Futility.”

    The Browns were not in that group! Hooray! I’ll take it. Even if that vom-vom win over the Billies is the only reason there wasn’t a wild card in that fictional division.

  • http://gooddoctorzeus.blogspot.com DocZeus

    The Browns will win if… wait, the Browns aren’t winning this game.

  • God

    Denny, just for you, Browns by 3. Go Browns!

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com Denny

    Nice!

  • marco

    The Browns can never run the ball against the Steelers, and thay won’t this Sunday, so I wouldn’t waste plays trying to “establish the run” when we all know it won’t happen and just end up in a bunch of 3rd and longs.
    Anderson doesn’t do well on short passes, so I say air it out. He may throw a few picks on the day, but we aren’t going to win this game by playing conventional. Play solid defense, be agressive and take chances on offense. Who knows? We might just get lucky.

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