Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers Matchup Preview 12/1/19: Analysis, Depth Charts, Daily Fantasy
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This is a matchup of the middle two teams in the AFC North. Both are out of reach of first place with the Ravens on a tear, but both are in the hunt for the wildcard. The (5-6) Browns are in the worse position at one game below .500. They need a lot to go their way for them to make it into the playoffs. To make matters worse, they will be playing without Myles Garrett who got suspended for the altercation in the last Browns and Steelers game. Tensions will probably be high between the teams as they are just two weeks past their last meeting. The (6-5) Steelers have much better playoff odds although their last loss to the Browns was a killer. They had a much-needed win last week against the Bengals and need a win this week to keep their hopes alive. With Devlin Hodges now leading the charge for the Steelers, they are hopeful that the offense will come around and improve drastically. For odds movement and full matchup history, visit the Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers matchup page.
Date: Sunday, December 1, 2019
Time: 1:00pm ET
Location: Heinz Field – Pittsburgh, PA
Cleveland Browns: OT Greg Robinson (Q), S Eric Murray (Q), LB Joe Schobert (Q), WR Odell Beckham Jr. (Q), DE Olivier Vernon (Q)
Pittsburgh Steelers: CB Artie Burns (Q), OT Alejandro Villanueva (Q), WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (Q), RB James Conner (Q)
Cleveland Browns Analysis
From what started as a promising year with the addition of Odell Beckham Jr., this season has been quite the disappointment for the Browns. Even with talent all over the offense with Baker Mayfield, Nick Chubb, OBJ, Jarvis Landry, and now Kareem Hunt, they still manage to go 5-6. They have had one of the toughest schedules in the league though with a stretch of games including the Ravens, 49ers, Seahawks, and Patriots who are all two or one-loss teams. The Browns embarrassed the Steelers two weeks ago with a 21-7 victory on Thursday night. They have the ability to replicate that again this week.
To beat the Steelers this week, they just have to play solid defense again. The Steelers are relying on Devlin Hodges again at quarterback, who is their third-string. James Conner is battling injury and so is JuJu Smith-Schuster. The banged-up Steelers’ offense shouldn’t be too much to handle even without Myles Garrett. With all the weapons the Browns have on offense, they shouldn’t be having many offensive struggles. Baker Mayfield just needs to get it together and have confidence in his abilities.
Cleveland Browns Depth Chart
Pittsburgh Steelers Analysis
The Steelers picked up a win to keep them in the playoff hunt last week against the Bengals. The win isn’t saying much since it was the Bengals but a win’s a win. They made a big shift in the game when they took out Mason Rudolph who hadn’t been very successful once he came back from his concussion. The reigns of the offense were given back over to Devlin Hodges who briefly filled in for Rudolph while he recovered from injury. The Steelers relied heavily on Benny Snell in their last game while both quarterbacks struggled. Hodges will need to find his chemistry in the offense if they want a shot at a playoff run.
The first step is beating the Browns. To beat them, shutting down Nick Chubb will be a good start. In their loss to them, Chubb ran for 92 yards. Keeping him contained will work wonders for them. As for the offense, who knows who they will have available. If Conner isn’t able to play, Benny Snell has proven to be a solid option. Having Hodges gain more experience will be important as well.
Pittsburgh Steelers Depth Chart
Daily Fantasy: Chubb
For the past six weeks, Nick Chubb has received at least 20 carries each game. In four of those games, he surpassed 100 yards. The only thing holding Chubb back is his ability to get into the endzone. He has just 7 touchdowns on the season but did get one last week against the Dolphins. Against the Steelers two weeks ago, he ran for 92 yards. The Steelers have allowed over 100 rushing yards per game, so there a good chance that he could replicate that and who knows, he could even find the endzone again.