Staff Predictions: Can the Browns beat the Steelers and advance to 2-0 for the first time in 30 years?

Off the heels of a big-time win over the Cincinnati Bengals, the Cleveland Browns will be looking to advance to 2-0 for the first time in 30 years. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Pittsburgh Steelers suffered a beatdown at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers in Week 1. This means this Mike Tomlin-coached team will look to punch back and get back on their feet.

But for the first time, this Browns team look looks like one that will not be afraid to counter-punch. They are well-coached, they are mean along the defensive interior and in the secondary, and the weather should cooperate with the offense a bit better in this one.

Besides, there is no way the Browns can lose in those icy white new helmets they will be debuting in Pittsburgh.

As we do every week, the Browns Wire staff has returned to give our predictions for this Monday Night Football matchup between the Browns and Steelers.

Browns Alchemy (@brownsalchemy): Browns over Steelers

Browns Steelers
Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns will beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-17 in primetime. The victory will mark the Browns as a serious contender this season as the team gets an early 2-0 start against the division. Do not let the two-score win confuse us; this will be a challenging game for the Browns. Mike Tomlin will drag the Browns into a street fight and bloody their nose. The Browns have had horrible games against teams determined to run the ball down their throat. Mike Tomlin knows that. He is 4-2 against Kevin Stefanski as the Steelers average 29.8 carries against us.

In response, the Browns will use Nick Chubb as a battering ram while Deshaun Watson takes deep shots off of play-action. TJ Watt and Minkah Fitzpatrick should be able to limit the Browns’ passing attack and keep the game competitive for most of the night. If Watson can connect on a couple of early shots, the game should end in a blowout. The Steelers cannot allow Pickett to get into obvious passing situations, whether they’re due to down and distance or attempting a comeback.

When the game comes down to Pickett’s arm, the Browns’ pass defense will secure the win. The passing defense suffocated Burrow last week, but they’re going to massacre Pickett. This game will be a return to the hard-hitting and action-packed Browns-Steelers games we’ve grown to love. The setting for the Browns’ victory couldn’t be sweeter than Monday Night Football.

Jacob Roach (@roachizm): Browns over Steelers

Browns Steelers

Cory Kinnan (@fakecorykinnan)

Browns Steelers
Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

It feels so arrogant to brush over the Steelers. Especially after the history that extends over the last 30 years. And while a Mike Tomlin-coached team will be ready to rebound after a blowout loss to the San Francisco 49ers, the Browns still come out on top. It will be a grind as most Browns/Steelers matchups are, but for once, the talent discrepancy on paper is just too much.

And then you have to consider Cameron Heyward and Diontae Johnson missing out on this Monday Night Football showdown.

The Pittsburgh offensive line struggled against the Niners’ front, and it won’t get easier for them this week against the likes of Myles Garrett, Za’Darius Smith, and Ogbo Okoronkwo. Their cornerback room is struggling, and their wide receiver room is unimpressive without Johnson.

Browns win this one by 10.

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Story originally appeared on Browns Wire