Browns vs. Steelers: Time, reside streaming, methods to watch, key matchups, decide for ‘Thursday Evening Soccer’

Browns vs. Steelers: Time, reside streaming, methods to watch, key matchups, decide for ‘Thursday Evening Soccer’

The Week 3 version of “Thursday Evening Soccer” options an old-school AFC North rivalry because the Cleveland Browns play host to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Each groups are coming off disheartening losses every week in the past, having beforehand picked up wins. within the closing moments of Week 1.

The Browns blew a double-digit lead within the last two minutes of their recreation in opposition to the Jets, whereas the Steelers barely moved the ball all day in opposition to the Patriots. Every of those groups is trying to get again into the win column and bounce, at the least momentarily, to the highest spot within the division and hopefully set up some kind of basis on which to race to the playoffs.

Which ones will return to their method of successful? We’ll discover out very quickly. Earlier than I break down the matchup, this is how one can watch tonight’s contest.

methods to look

Date: Thursday September 22 | Climate: 8:20 p.m. Jap Time
Location: FirstEnergy Stadium (Cleveland)
Stream: Amazon Prime Video
To observe: CBS Sports activities App
Odds: Brown -4.5, O/U 38.5

When the Steelers have the ball

Pittsburgh’s offense is in deep trouble. By way of two video games, the Steelers have managed simply 510 yards, thirtieth within the NFL. Per recreation, they really rank thirty first. They rank twenty sixth in factors per drive, twenty ninth in Tru Media’s EPA per play, and twenty second in Soccer Outsiders’ offensive DVOA.

A lot of the issues begin alongside the offensive line, the place issues are fairly dangerous. They simply cannot generate any sort of oomph within the operating recreation. They’ve one of many highest first-down rush charges within the league (50 %), and on these performs they’ve averaged simply 2.9 yards per rush. Regardless of going through eight-man containers on simply 18 % of rushes, the Steelers have averaged simply 1.30 yards earlier than contact per try. On performs the place Najee Harris was the ball provider (versus Mitchell Trubisky, Jaylen Warren or Chase Claypool), that quantity is even worse: simply 0.44 per try.

However Harris, who handled a Lisfranc damage throughout coaching camp and damage his foot once more in Week 1, simply does not look wholesome. Among the many 44 gamers with at the least 15 speeding makes an attempt this season, he ranks thirty second in fee of tackles prevented and thirty first in yards after contact per try. Final season, he ranked seventh in sort out avoidance fee and twenty first in yards after contact amongst 53 gamers with 100 or extra carries.

The Browns have given up simply 3.77 speeding yards up to now this season, and a ridiculous 0.33 earlier than contact. The thought of ​​the Steelers being profitable on this recreation, given how issues have gone this 12 months, appears fairly far fetched. And that places the sport within the fingers of Trubisky, who’s… not excellent.

Trubisky is 42-of-71 (59.2 %) for 362 yards (5.2 per try), two touchdowns and one interception up to now this season. That is regardless of a below-average stress fee (28 %) and one of many lowest blitz charges within the league (20 %). He has been thrown right into a slender window on 22.5 % of his passes, in line with NFL.com’s Subsequent Gen Stats, and has been vast of his passes 16.7 % of the time, in line with Tru Media. He hasn’t been capable of finding a connection to explosive rookie George Pickens, who has been on the sector on 78 % of the crew’s offensive snaps however has been attacked simply 5 instances. His numbers with the opposite move receivers aren’t significantly better: Claypool has eight receptions for simply 44 yards on 12 targets. Diontae Johnson has given up a career-low 8.6 receiving yards. Pat Freiermuth’s sack fee is right down to 52.9 % (from 75.9 a 12 months in the past).

This isn’t a defensible scenario for an offense, and there is no motive to anticipate it to get higher any time quickly. Pickett’s time is coming, possibly as quickly as tonight if Trubisky is in bother. With a mini-bye earlier than the crew’s Week 4 recreation in opposition to the Jets, there’s most likely no higher alternative to make the swap.

If Trubisky (or Pickett) can discover a solution to attempt to push the ball down the sector, there would possibly truly be some alternatives accessible. Cleveland has allowed extra completions on pictures over 20 passing yards than any NFL crew besides the Jaguars, regardless of taking part in Baker Mayfield and Joe Flacco. Nevertheless, getting the ball downfield usually requires time within the pocket, and the extra time within the pocket, the extra alternatives the protection has to construct stress. Cleveland ranks seventh within the NFL in stress fee up to now this season, with Myles Garrett main the way in which. Trubisky has been wildly inclined to stress for a very long time, and he’d moderately get the ball off the ball shortly and briefly areas than take possibilities with runners within the face. For these causes, it appears more likely that he’ll proceed to focus on pictures from under and thus create few, if any, explosive performs.

When the Browns have the ball

Unsurprisingly, the Browns have run the ball early and infrequently, and with nice success. The Nick Chubb/Kareem Hunt duo is among the greatest within the NFL and has led the Browns to five.28 yards per carry regardless of going through eight-man containers on the second-highest fee within the NFL (33 % speeding). , in line with Tru Media). They’ve an NFL-best 12 rushes of 15 yards or extra, good for a league-high 15.8 % share of their whole carries.

The flexibility to generate explosives within the run recreation is especially vital, as a result of the passing recreation is extra of a possession-based, chain-moving kind of unit proper now, with Jacoby Brissett within the center. Pittsburgh has achieved an awesome job in opposition to the run up to now this season, however has additionally performed in opposition to two comparatively weak offensive traces (Cincinnati, New England) in comparison with the one it would face in opposition to Cleveland on Thursday night time. With out TJ Watt, the Steelers may be extra inclined to the operating recreation than they’ve been, now that they are tasked with going through top-of-the-line run-blocking models within the league.

After all, the Steelers aren’t far behind up entrance, even with out Watt. They nonetheless convey Cameron Heyward, Tyson Alualu, Larry Ogunjobi, Chris Wormley, Alex Highsmith and even Malik Reed to the desk. They’ll nonetheless chase down the quarterback and take him to the bottom or simply hold him locked within the pocket, the place he’ll should cope with heavy stress.

The Browns will certainly attempt to get Jacoby Brissett shifting with motion video games and contraband ideas, with the one massive backcourt they’ve proper now being Amari Cooper. Tight finish David Njoku, an elite athlete, has seen his play fee enhance after touchdown a giant contract this offseason, however he has but to get considerably extra concerned within the passing recreation. It is tempting to say this might be an excellent week to lastly get him going, however he could should cope with Minkah Fitzpatrick’s strategy for a lot of the night time. Fitzpatrick is off to a terrific begin to the season with two interceptions in as many weeks, and he covers as a lot of the again of the sector as any security in soccer. Any move from Brissett to his deep half of the sector will be intercepted if he’s even remotely vast.

Ultimately, it appears probably that this recreation will come right down to a matter of belief by which the offense can have some extent of success shifting the ball. Given the relative energy of Cleveland’s operating recreation in comparison with any facet of Pittsburgh’s offense, that is the way in which we’ve to lean.

Prediction: Browns 20, Steelers 13

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