The Pittsburgh Steelers play their tenth sport of the 2023 common season on Sunday afternoon, and this week it is a street sport in opposition to the Cleveland Browns. This week, the Steelers will as soon as once more enter their sport as minor underdogs on the street. Under are 5 key issues I believe the Steelers must do Sunday afternoon at Cleveland Browns Stadium to get their seventh win of the 2023 season.
Pound land in Dawg pound – Within the week two sport in opposition to the Browns in Pittsburgh, the Steelers offense solely managed 63 speeding yards on 16 whole carries from their two working backs, Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren. And 38 of these yards got here on two runs from Harris, which means the opposite 14 the 2 working backs averaged simply 1.79 yards. To make issues worse, seven of these different fourteen working again carries failed to achieve any yardage in any respect. A repeat of that speeding effort from Harris and Warren in week two merely cannot occur once more on Sunday in Cleveland.
Though the Browns have a stout protection, they’ll nonetheless be deployed. Moreover, the Steelers offense has began working the soccer significantly better over the previous few video games. To play the Browns in Cleveland on Sunday, 16 whole rushes from Harris and Warren most likely will not work. For the Steelers to win, it should take not less than 23 whole runs, with solely two or three leading to no yards gained. Operating to the appropriate facet the place rookie T Broderick Jones and veteran G James Daniels line the offensive line may do wonders on Sunday afternoon.
Moore by Much less Garrett – Browns DE Myles Garrett is having a implausible 2023 season thus far. However, and whereas he had a excessive cross rush win share in week two in opposition to the Steelers, he was not allowed to make any game-changing performs. Certain, Garrett nonetheless put a good quantity of strain on Steelers QB Kenny Pickett in that Pittsburgh sport, however so far as stats go, he solely managed one whole deal with and one quarterback hit, which was fairly an achievement in itself.
Steelers LT Dan Moore Jr. has confronted Garrett a number of instances now and whereas the Browns protection will transfer fairly a bit on Sunday, Moore will doubtless be the one who sees him probably the most. It is crucial that Moore and Jones successfully take Garrett off the sting on Sunday and on the very least do not let him strain or hit Pickett various instances. Garrett may even attempt to make just a few runs up the center from a standing place, so meaning the Steelers’ three different offensive linemen will probably be referred to as upon to carry their very own in opposition to him as effectively.
Pickett Up Your Thirds – Thus far this season, Pickett has been nice on third down when it comes to his general completion share. The truth is, Pickett has accomplished simply 48.2 % of all of his third-down cross makes an attempt and solely 46.7 % of his cross makes an attempt when the offense wants 5 or extra yards. As you possibly can most likely think about, these completion percentages put him close to the underside of the NFL. Solely 27 instances has Pickett’s accomplished cross on third down resulted in a primary down or a landing on 89 whole dropbacks (30.3 %) and solely 16 instances on 65 whole dropbacks (24.6 %) has Pickett accomplished a cross on third down when 5 or extra yards have been wanted that resulted in a primary down or landing. Not good.
On Sunday, the Steelers will face a Browns protection that has allowed only a 23.6 % conversion fee on third-down cross makes an attempt thus far this season when 5 or extra yards have been wanted and when seven or extra yards have been wanted, has allowed their protection solely 21.3 %. conversion fee. In brief, how Pickett performs on all third downs on Sunday, when he has to drop again and cross, will doubtless go a great distance in figuring out the end result of the sport.
Leg look – The Browns will begin rookie QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson in opposition to the Steelers on Sunday, so we’ll doubtless see Pittsburgh play quite a lot of zone protection all afternoon. Nonetheless, the Steelers ought to look to Thompson-Robinson to run the soccer, particularly on the few events the place he faces man protection.
In school at UCLA, Thompson-Robinson rushed 471 instances for 1,826 yards and 28 touchdowns. A complete of 24 of these runs went 20 yards or longer in school as effectively. Oh, 25 of his 28 speeding touchdowns in school got here within the pink zone. That is actually the place the Steelers protection must be trying on Sunday for the beginning quarterback to make use of his legs. In his solely begin earlier this season, Thompson-Robinson rushed 4 instances for twenty-four yards in opposition to the Baltimore Ravens protection, which performed almost 75 % of all snaps within the zone. He will make some runs on Sunday, so the Steelers protection higher be ready for that, particularly on third downs and contained in the pink zone.
Flip errors on the lake into pictures – The Steelers protection has been very opportunistic thus far this season, as evidenced by their prime 18 factors within the league. On Sunday in opposition to the Browns, the Steelers protection thinks it has just a few extra possibilities to show errors by an opposing offense into takeaways.
In his first NFL begin in week 4, Thompson-Robinson threw three interceptions. If that wasn’t dangerous sufficient, two or three of his different cross makes an attempt in that sport in opposition to the Ravens most likely ought to have been intercepted as effectively. Thompson-Robinson additionally fumbled as soon as in that week 4 sport, however fortuitously for him, the Browns retained possession. By the best way, that fumble got here off a sack.
Lastly, search for Thompson-Robinson to throw just a few passes on Sunday that he’d most likely prefer to have again. When and if these passes occur, the Steelers protection should be certain that they safe the takeaway. The identical goes for any Thompson-Robinson fumbles that can be compelled. I am taking a look at you, TJ Watt.