The Pittsburgh Steelers will close out their 2017 regular season at home Sunday against the winless Cleveland Browns and even though it’s still unclear if they will rest some of their starters in that game, they still opened the week as 14-point favorites, according to vegasinsider.com. That line, however, has since dropped to as low as 10.5-points at some sportsbooks.
The 0-15 Browns are still quarterbacked by rookie DeShone Kizer, the team’s second-round draft pick this year. Kizer enters the final week of the regular season having completed 53.6% of his total pass attempts for 2,580 yards with 9 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. Hes also been sacked 32 times this season.
The Browns leading receiver entering Week 17 is running back Duke Johnson, who has amassed 68 receptions for 618 yards and 3 touchdowns on the season. Johnson has also rushed for 328 yards and 3 touchdowns this season on 76 total carries. The Browns leading rusher entering the final week of the regular season is Isaiah Crowell as he has 832 yards and 2 touchdowns on 191 carries.
Since returning from his long suspension several weeks ago, Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon has registered 14 receptions for 220 yards and one touchdown. It will now be interesting to see if the Steelers let cornerback Joe Haden shadow Gordon on Sunday. Haden and Gordon were of course teammates at one time in Cleveland.
Defensively for the Browns, rookie defensive end Myles Garrett leads his team in sacks with 6 and quarterback hits with 17. The 2017 first-overall draft pick missed the first meeting against the Steelers with an injury, however.
Veteran cornerback Jason McCourty leads the Browns in interceptions with 3 entering Week 17 and passes defensed with 14. Linebacker Christian Kirksey also leads the Browns in total tackles with 131 entering the final week of the regular season and he is trailed closely by fellow linebacker Joe Schobert, who has 130 total tackles on the season.
The Steelers beat the Browns 21-18 in Cleveland in Week 1 in a game that included the Steelers defense sacking Kizer 7 times. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger completed 24 of his 36 total pass attempts in that game for 263 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Both of his scoring tosses in that game went to tight end Jesse James.
The Steelers are 5-0 in their last five games against the Browns and 1-9 against them in the last 10 meetings between the two teams. The Browns last win against the Steelers came in 2014, a 31-10 victory in Cleveland. The Browns last win in Pittsburgh came in 2003.
The Browns would become just the second team in the history of the NFL to go 0-16 in season with a loss on Sunday to the Steelers. The Detroit Lions are the only other team to accomplish the dubious feat.
The over/under for total points scored for Sundays game between the Steelers and Browns is currently 38 after initially opening at 41.steelers-browns-week-17