CLEVELAND, OH – Initially, Vegas thought the Browns should be favored by 6.5 points in Week 17 at home versus the newly crowned North Steelers. Mike Tomlin hasn’t said if he would comfort any beginners yet, but it just seemed like a fair streak.
Tuesday afternoon everything changed. Tomlin announced second-year midfielder Mason Rudolph would start, with 38-year-old Ben Rothlesberger giving his first full week of rest since August. This change pushed the Browns team from 6.5 points to 10.
Remember, the Steelers didn’t have a complete farewell week throughout the season. The original Pittsburgh farewell was week eight. But when the Titans fell ill with the COVID-19 outbreak, the league was forced to move the Tennessee Week 4 game against the Steelers to Week 8.
On paper this sounds simple. In reality, however, the worst-case scenario was logistically for a Pittsburgh team full of veterans. think about it. The Steelers trained all week in preparation for the Titans only to find out a few days before the match was postponed.
Basically, the week farewell lasted for two days instead of one week. The Pittsburgh squad includes 10 players over the age of 30. Three of the offensive line men (Alejandro Villanueva, David DeCastro, and Morris Bonsi), corner back Joe Haden and two defensive lines Cam Hayward can use comfort as Big Ben, but it looks like they will play.
However, I wouldn’t be surprised if that changed. For example, Tomlin said, “If the opportunity arises to email a player or two until after the season, we will.”
It went by the name Roethlisberger only and added that the majority of players would play. Note that this leaves plenty of room for maneuver. For example, TJ Watt wouldn’t surprise me to play an entire game. He is 26 years old and in race against Aaron Donald for Defensive Player of the Year.
But it seems like sitting with a few older cleaners makes sense that we probably won’t know Tomlin’s full plan until Sunday. It’s also unclear what the Steelers’ crime with Rudolph will look like in Venice.
Roethlisberger leads the league in 608 pass attempts. That means around 40 throws per match. Is it a good idea for Tomlin to give Miles Jarrett 40 a chance to fire Rudolph? Probably not. However, the last full game started by Rudolph, he had thrown it 44 times, in a 21-7 loss at First Energy Stadium. He has completed 53 percent of his passes and is intercepted four times.
Handing the ball to James Conner might not be the answer either. Despite Conner’s success over the course of his career versus Cleveland (including a 100-yard performance in Week 6), the Steelers were last in the yardage dash per game (84.3) and 28th place in per-game dash attempts (23).
Pittsburgh is so bad at dash that the 31st and 30th-ranked teams (Texas and Lions) average an additional seven yards per competition.
How will the Steelers’ attack try to be the best defense for Browns? Is not clear. But given the history between these two teams and the fact that this is the National Football League, Brown’s victory won’t be easy.
Be careful brown bettors. Covering the 10 point difference won’t be easy either.
New Browns face masks for sale: Here you can buy Cleveland Browns-inspired face covers for corona virus protection for adults and teens, including 1 mask ($ 14.99) and 3-pack ($ 24.99). All proceeds from NFL were donated to the CDC Foundation.
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