Steelers vs Browns: What to expect when Pittsburgh is on defense

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This week the Pittsburgh Steelers defense comes to Cleveland to face the power running Browns team after showing a real weakness to the run in its last game. Pittsburgh cannot afford to lose this matchup so here’s what we expect to see when the Steelers are on defense.

Minkah Fitzpatrick all over the field

For Minkah Fitzpatrick, this season hasn’t provided the big plays you would expect out of him but there’s been a serious uptick in aggression by the All-Pro safety. With the Browns looking to come out and establish the run, look for Fitzpatrick to be up in the box, sniffing out those runs and racking up tackles.

More Robert Spillane

(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

If there is an old-school head knocker on the Steelers defense it is inside linebacker Robert Spillane. With Devin Bush and Joe Schobert underperforming, don’t be shocked if Spillane sees an uptick in snaps to help contend with the Browns run game.

Waves of pressure

(AP Photo/Matt Durisko)

No one likes to talk about it but you can bet the Steelers pass rushers are going hunting for Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield this week. Mayfield comes into the game with an injured shoulder and although he’s been released to play, won’t be 100 percent. Guys like defensive tackle Cam Heyward and linebacker T.J. Watt will be gunning for Mayfield and keeping him nervous.

Don't ignore the passing game

(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

One thing that has stood out for the Steelers this year is the improved communication on defense. This will get put to the test this week as the secondary is going to get left on an island while the rest of the defense focuses fully on stopping the Browns run game.

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