2022 Week 18 Steelers Vs Browns – What To Watch For

The Pittsburgh Steelers have one game left to play. At least, they’re only guaranteed one more game. Whether or not they have another in them this season will be determined by the outcome of today’s results, including their own.

As I’m sure you’re aware by now, the Steelers need help to make it to the postseason. They need to defeat the Cleveland Browns, yes, but they also need the Buffalo Bills to defeat the New England Patriots. And they need the New York Jets (who are starting Joe Flacco) to do no worse than tie with the Miami Dolphins (who are starting Skylar Thompson).

The only factor in their control is beating the Browns, though. So how do they do that?

As has been the case throughout the second half of the season, it starts in the trenches. If they can run the ball better than they can allow the Browns to run it, they should be able to win. Nick Chubb is the man they need to worry about, but they also need to make Cleveland worry about Najee Harris.

Of course, the Steelers’ backfield is no longer a singular effort. Jaylen Warren has increasingly gotten opportunities; indeed, he saw a career-high 12 carries last week, and he picked up 76 yards for his efforts.

It can’t all be about the run game, of course. Deshaun Watson hasn’t looked like his old self just yet, but he can at any time, and Amari Cooper is a talented wide receiver. If you don’t give them the proper attention, they can get you. Cooper caught three passes for 105 yards and two touchdowns last week from Watson.

And as we’ve seen in recent weeks, at some point, the ball is going to have to be in quarterback Kenny Pickett’s hands and he’s going to have to make some plays. The thing is, we’ve seen that he’s capable of delivering in the weighty moments. As long as he can do that today, it should be enough. 60-minute consistency is a discussion left for another piece.

The Steelers also have to remind the Browns just who T.J. Watt is, because he didn’t play the last time these two teams met. He has 77 sacks in his career, and 14.5 of them have come against the last-place team in the AFC North over nine games. Plus 23 hits and 17 tackles for loss, among other accomplishments.

The Browns may have Myles Garrett, granted, but what they don’t have on the other side is Alex Highsmith. Contending with both of them at the same time, with Cameron Heyward and Larry Ogunjobi disrupting in the middle and Minkah Fitzpatrick patrolling the back end, needs to be in Watson’s nightmares.

To Top