Steelers Open Monday As 7.5-Point Consensus Home Favorites Over Browns In Week 8

The Pittsburgh Steelers exited their bye week on Monday as the new leaders of the AFC North division and now they’ll get ready to host the 2-4-1 Cleveland Browns on Sunday at Heinz Field. The Steelers opened Week 8 as 7.5-point home favorites over the Browns, according to and that remains the consensus line at the time of this post.

The Browns lost their Week 7 game to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the road 26-23. Buccaneers kicker Chandler Catanzaro kicked home a 59-yard game-winning field goal with 1:55 left in overtime to beat the Browns on Sunday and that came on the heels of Cleveland safety Jabrill Peppers fumbling during a punt return with 3:27 left in the extra period. The Buccaneers recovered that loose football at the Browns 48-yard-line. That marked the fourth Browns game this season that went into overtime.

The Browns are currently being quarterbacked by rookie first-round draft pick Baker Mayfield as he took over the starting job from veteran Tyrod Taylor in Week 3. On the season, Mayfield has completed 108 of his 187 total passes for 1,291 yards with 6 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. He’s also been sacked 18 times in total.

The Browns leading pass catcher entering Week 8 is wide receiver Jarvis Landry as he has caught 41 passes for 489 yards and 2 touchdowns to date. Cleveland’s leading rusher this season to date is running back Carlos Hyde, who was traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars just last week. Rookie running back Nick Chubb is second on the Browns with 253 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns on 34 total carries.

Defensively for the Browns, defensive end Myles Garrett, the team’s first-round draft pick in 2017, leads the way with 7 sacks and 14 total quarterback hits. Linebacker Joe Schobert leads Cleveland in total tackles with 49 entering Week 8 and he’s also registered an interception and a forced fumble in the Browns first 7 games of the season. Browns rookie cornerback Denzel Ward leads the team in interceptions with 3 and total passes defensed with 8. Ward has also registered a forced fumble and recovery to date.

The Browns defenses has only allowed 33.3% of all third down opportunities to be converted against them so far this season and that’s sixth-best in the NFL entering Monday night. The Browns offense, on the other hand, has converted just 32.1% of their third down opportunities to date for a league ranking of 29th overall.

In Week 1, the Browns and Steelers played to a 21-21 overtime tie in Cleveland. That game featured the Browns overcoming a 21-7 deficit in the fourth quarter. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw three interceptions in that game on his way to completing 23 of his 41 total pass attempts for 335 yards. His lone touchdown pass in that game went to wide receiver Antonio Brown. Steelers running back James Conner scored two touchdowns in that contest and totaled 192 total yards from scrimmage.

The Browns have not beaten the Steelers in Pittsburgh since 2003 and to date that stands as their lone win at Heinz Field in 18 tries.

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