The Cleveland Browns square off against the Pittsburgh Steelers this Thursday night, and will do so with a quarterback at the helm that isn’t expected to be their starting quarterback for the full 2022 season.
Former Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley appeared on 93.7 The Fan’s Cook and Joe Show Wednesday with hosts Joe Starkey and Ron Cook, and gave his thoughts on Pittsburgh’s upcoming matchup with the Cleveland Browns, specifically their signal-caller QB Jacoby Brissett.
“I like the fit of Jacoby Brissett,” Haley said to Starkey and Cook, according to audio via 93.7 The Fan. “As long as they play the way they have to play, which is in a little different way very similar to the Steelers. Play really good defense run the heck out of the football don’t make mistakes. Jacoby Brissett is not that type of guy. I mean, he’s not careless with the football. They got a good kicking game. So, I see this as a hard-fought game between two teams that are playing a similar brand of football. And as a Steeler fan, hopefully the Browns have a couple breakdowns in the backend, and they get a couple easy pitch-and-catches for big plays.”
Brissett has been in the league since 2016 when he was drafted by the New England Patriots in the third round. Since then, he has gone on to see actions with the Patriots, Colts, Dolphins, and Browns, having appeared in 62 games and started 39 of them. He currently holds a 15-24 record as a starting QB, having completed 60.4% of his passes for 8,118 yards and 38 TDs to 18 INTs. He also has run the ball 188 times for 706 yards and 13 TDs.
Haley is right in saying that Brissett isn’t careless with the football, having over a 2: 1 TD-to-INT ratio. However, he doesn’t wow you as a passer, averaging 130 yards per game for his career, and is just under a TD pass per regular season start. Thus far in 2022, Brissett is 1-1 in two starts and is averaging 200 YPG on the dot with two passing TDs and one INT. He has often been described as an underwhelming starter but quality backup during his NFL tenure, and has seen his role spike due to the 11-game suspension to Deshaun Watson.
Instead of having Brissett try and win the game Thursday by tossing the ball around the yard to Amari Cooper and David Njoku, the Browns will rather intend to play a similar game that the Steelers are trying to implement this season: relying on a good defense to generate takeaways and have a dynamic run game spearhead the offense to eat clock and sustain successful drives. Pittsburgh’s defense has held up their end of the bargain for the most part, but the running game still needs to take a step forward to alleviate the stress put on the passing game to sustain drives.
While Brissett and Mitch Trubisky may not be in the running for Pro Bowl honors this season, Thursday night’s matchup may very well come down to which one of the two signal-callers makes a big play to give their side the edge in this divisional matchup. Given each QB’s previous history, it’s anyone’s guess who will be the one to win this QB duel to take the lead in the AFC North race after Thursday’s game comes to a close.