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Steelers Open As 3.5-Point Consensus Home Super Wild Card Round Favorites Over Browns

The Pittsburgh Steelers closed out their 2020 regular season on Sunday with a Week 17 road loss to the Cleveland Browns and now those two teams will turn around and face each other again on Sunday in Pittsburgh at Heinz Field in the Super Wild Card round of the playoffs. The Steelers immediately opened as 3.5-point consensus home favorites over the Browns late Sunday night, according to vegasinsider.com.

Sunday will obviously mark the third time the Steelers and Browns have met this season and the two teams split their two regular season meetings with each other with the home team winning each time.

The Browns will once again have quarterback Baker Mayfield under center for them against the Steelers on Sunday. He closed out the 2020 regular season by completing 17 of his 27 total pass attempts against the Steelers for 196 yards with one touchdown pass and no interceptions. He was sacked four times by the Steelers defense on Sunday, however. He ended the regular season with 3,563 yards passing and 26 touchdown passes. He threw eight interceptions during the regular season and was sacked 26 times.

Wide receiver Jarvis Landry, who caught five passes for 51 yards on Sunday against the Steelers, exits the regular season as the Browns leading receiver having caught 72 passes for 840 yards and three touchdowns. Tight end Austin Hooper, who had four receptions for 37 yards and a touchdown on Sunday against the Steelers, enters the playoffs with 46 receptions for 435 yards and four touchdown catches.

Browns running back Nick Chubb closed out the 2020 regular season on Sunday with a solid showing as he rushed for 108 yards and a touchdown against the Steelers on 14 total carries. His touchdown run of 47 yards came early in the game. Chubb ended the 2020 regular season with 1,067 yards rushing and 12 rushing touchdowns on 190 total carries. He also caught 16 passes for another 150 yards during the regular season.

Fellow Browns running back Kareem Hunt finished the regular season with 841 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns on 198 total carries. He also caught 38 passes for another 304 yards and five touchdowns during the regular season.

Defensively for the Browns, linebackers B.J. Goodson and Malcolm Smith, both missed the regular season finale against the Steelers on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. Those two finished the regular season as the Browns leaders in total tackles with 91 and 72, respectively. The Browns third-leading tackler, safety Andrew Sendejo (66), also missed the Sunday game on the COVID list.

Browns defensive end Myles Garrett registered a team-high 12 sacks during the regular season to go along with 10 tackles for loss, 18 quarterback hits, two passes defensed, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. Against the Steelers on Sunday, Garrett registered just four total tackles and a pass defensed. The Browns defense registered 38 sacks on the season.

The Browns defense also registered 11 interceptions during the 2020 regular season with Godson and cornerbacks Denzel Ward and M.J. Stewart each having two apiece. Ward, who also missed Sunday’s finale against the Steelers on the COVID-19 list, had a team-high 18 passes defensed during the regular season to go along with his 46 total tackles.

When the Steelers play the Browns on Sunday it will mark the 15th time teams who played in the final week of the regular season will face off again in the first week of the playoffs. The Browns last two playoff appearances were losses to the Steelers. In the 2002 season they lost 36-33 to the Steelers in a Wild Card game at Heinz Field and in the 1994 season they lost 29-9 to Pittsburgh in a Divisional game at Three Rivers Stadium.

The Browns have only won one game against the Steelers at Heinz Field and that came during the 2003 regular season matchup. They are 0-17 in their last 17 games against the Steelers at Heinz Field. This marks the first time that the Browns have been in the playoffs in 18 years. Additionally, the Steelers return to the playoffs this year after failing to qualify for the postseason the two previous seasons.

The Steelers Super Wild Card game will take place Sunday night, January 10, at Heinz Field and kickoff is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. EST.

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