The Pittsburgh Steelers want to beat the Cleveland Browns and sweep the AFC North. The most important thing though is that they come out of the season finale healthy. Home field advantage would be great, but the Steelers should proceed as if the Patriots have already wrapped it up. They are talented enough beat anyone, anywhere, in the postseason, but they need everyone to be on the field. First things first, they intend to beat the Browns on Sunday. They’ll do that while resting several starters.
Week 17 Pittsburgh Steelers Keys To Victory
The Pittsburgh Steelers hope to finish the season the way they started it, with a win over the Cleveland Browns. The Steelers lead series with the Browns and are 31-6 since they re-entered the league in 1999. They hope to win home field advantage throughout the playoffs, while the Browns just want to win a game. The last time the Browns won a game in this series was October 12, 2014, a 31-10 win in Cleveland. The Browns will give it their best shot but aren’t likely to win this one, despite the return of their biggest weapon, Josh Gordon.
The Browns will have three different defensive starters than they did on opening day. Rookie Myles Garrett, James Burgess, and rookie safety Kai Nacua all get their first crack at the Steelers. Garrett, the Browns number one pick, talked big about sacking Ben Roethlisberger, but will have to wait until next year. Landry Jones seems to have drawn the start for the Steelers, who will rest several starters. Mike Tomlin intends to limit the workload for several other starters as well. Le’Veon Bell may see about 10 carries before giving way to the recently acquired Stevan Ridley. The following Week 17 Pittsburgh Steelers keys to victory must be accomplished for a 13 win season and division sweep.
Landry Jones Must Make Good Decisions
Jones is seeing his first meaningful playing time in over a year, so his first priority is ball protection. He must not force any balls or try to do too much, because his timing with the receivers may be lacking. Jones is a competitor like Roethlisberger, and can make every throw necessary. He needs to find his rhythm before he starts taking chances downfield, because when he’s in rhythm, he’s as accurate as anyone.
Keep Josh Gordon in Check
Gordon was one of the league’s best deep threats before running afoul of the rules. He has been back for four games and is averaging over 15 yards per catch. Joe Haden, who just came back himself, will likely draw the assignment on Gordon. Haden did a solid job covering DeAndre Hopkins last week and may find Gordon to be an easier assignment. While Gordon has tremendous speed, he is a sloppy route runner and lacks consistent hands. Haden is a technician who rarely makes mistakes. He still possess good speed himself, but has to make sure Gordon doesn’t get behind him on the go route. Gordon may not be all the way back, but he is the Browns biggest weapon and a legit deep threat.
Don’t Play Down to the Browns Level
The Steelers have had a history of playing down to the competition, and have let the Browns hang around in their last two meetings. The week 17 Pittsburgh Steelers are determined to sweep the division this season and finish with 13 wins. The second team guys filling in for the starters are going to want to make an impact and a positive impression. Rookies like JuJu Smith-Schuster along with young players like Mike Hilton will go hard regardless of who they are lining up against. The Steelers will put forth a concerted effort in this one to get the win, just in case the New York Jets happen to upset the New England Patriots.
Last Word on the Week 17 Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers are looking to cap off the 2017 regular season with a win over the Browns. They have won in every conceivable fashion this year and are postseason ready. Sunday’s game gives some backups the opportunity for some valuable playing time and they are going to take advantage of it. If there is any justice in this world, the Steelers will put the boots to Cleveland while the Jets rise up and to rain on the Patriots parade.