COMMENTARY | Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns. What was arguably the greatest rivalry in the history of the NFL has been rather one-sided since the Browns returned to the NFL in 1999 following the crime committed by Art Modell. Cleveland will, as usual, have two opportunities to defeat the Steelers, but those two games could be much meaningful than they've been in previous seasons.
Both teams are in the playoff race, and Sunday's game could signal the unofficial end of the campaign for one of these sides.
Steelers at Browns preview: Will trend continue?
Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown will be Haden's latest assignment. Brown leads the Steelers with 74 grabs this season, and he reeled in seven passes for 147 yards and two touchdowns in the team's victory over the Detroit Lions last Sunday. He has played a significant role in quarterback Ben Roethlisberger getting hot over the past couple of weeks.
No disrespect to Mr. Brown intended, but there's little reason to believe that Haden is set to have an off day. Haden continuing what should be an All-Pro season will be key in the Browns shutting down a Pittsburgh offense that is different than what we've become accustomed to seeing. The Steelers are averaging under 77 rushing yards per game.
Stop Roethlisberger, and you stop Pittsburgh.
Steelers at Browns preview: Let him loose
Cleveland quarterback Jason Campbell was simply not good enough in the losing effort against the Cincinnati Bengals, more Captain Checkdown than the leader who took it to the defenses of the Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens. Odds are that Campbell wasn't 100 percent (bruised ribs) last weekend. There have even been multiple reports that Campbell was instructed by the Cleveland coaching staff to not be overly adventurous against the Bengals.
That's not going to cut it versus the Steelers.
Regardless of which team starts the game with possession, head coach Rob Chudzinski needs to put the ball in Campbell's hands and let it rip. A medium or deep ball to either Josh Gordon or Jordan Cameron right out of the gate could make for a big play, and it would show Pittsburgh that the QB from a week ago isn't on the field this time around. It could also provide some confidence for a veteran who is coming off of a lousy outing.
Steelers at Browns preview: Prediction
There is zero chance that the Browns are as bad as they looked in the second half of the Cincinnati game. Cleveland has been tough to beat at home whenever Brandon Weeden hasn't started, and you can hardly blame the team's defense for the Bengals putting 41 points on the scoreboard last Sunday.
The biggest reason fans of the Browns are apprehensive going into this contest is that the Steelers have absolutely owned Cleveland in the 21st century. That is especially true since Big Ben entered the league. I'd like Pittsburgh more here, considering the current forms of both teams, if the Steelers were hosting. They aren't, and thus I don't.
Browns win 20-17
Zac has been following Cleveland sports since a little before his birth, and thus his heart breaks a little more with every year. He has been covering the Cleveland Browns, New York Giants and the NFL for Yahoo Sports since 2010
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