Cleveland Browns vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Matchup Preview (1/3/22): Betting Odds, Depth Charts, Live Stream (Watch Online)

Cleveland Browns vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Matchup Preview (1/3/22)

Happy New Year! This week’s Monday night game features AFC North rivals Cleveland Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers. This is basically a must win for both teams to make the postseason so despite their struggling nature as of late, it has potential to be a competitive game. Both teams have had some key injuries and illnesses that haven’t been helpful to them in recent weeks but are both looking more filled out this week in terms of rosters. The Browns are now 7-8 on the season after a rough loss to the Packers last week where they proved yet again that they have a serious problem finishing games. The fourth quarter may be the very thing that kills their postseason chance. The Steelers are 7-7-1 and are also coming off of a loss, a 26-point loss to be exact, against the Chiefs. Contributing to that record is a win against this Browns team in week 8 where they topped them 15-10 on their turf.

Cleveland Browns vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Betting Odds

On paper, the Browns are the better team which is why they are the 3-point favorite in this game. They have a 7-8 record ATS this year, one game better than the Steelers who have a 6-9 ATS record and both teams have failed to cover more than twice in their last five Monday games. But while the Browns have lost five of their seven games on the road this year, the Steelers have won five at home this year, in fact, the Browns have lost to the Steelers for seventeen straight regular season games at Heinz Field. The point total is set at 41, which is the Steelers’ lowest point total in the last five games, yet they have still managed to cover 60% of the time. Looks can be deceiving though, because this team has hit over the point total 28.6% of the time at home this year. The Browns on the other hand, have hit the under in four of their last five games, which makes sense considering they’re averaging 17.6 points in those five games. 

The Browns are definitely the more talented team in this matchup, and while neither team has shown much of a passing game lately, at least the Browns have a solid running game. But, it’s very difficult to trust Baker Mayfield on the road especially at Heinz stadium, which has proved to be an issue for this team in the past. Given that this is probably Big Ben’s last game on this field, and this Steelers team historically plays well on Monday nights (most Monday night wins in NFL history) I can see them pulling this off, though it might not be pretty.

My prediction: Pittsburg wins 21-17, Pittsburgh covers, under 41

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TV Schedule

Date: 1/3/22
Time: 8:15 PM ET
Location: Heinz Field
TV Coverage: ESPN

Cleveland Browns vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Live Stream

Where can you watch Browns vs. Steelers online? You can stream this game, and many other NFL games live online with Hulu. Hulu has a 7 Day free trial and is cheaper than cable options at $5.99/month. Watch Browns vs. Steelers Free Online Now.

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Cleveland Browns Analysis

Last week’s loss to the Packers was the low-point of this team’s season and Baker Mayfield unfortunately led the charge. He threw four interceptions, three of which led to touchdowns, had a 58% completion rate and 35.2 QBR. Mayfield is now 0-5 on executing potential game-winning drives this year. His offensive line didn’t help him last week as they gave up five sacks on Mayfield. This marks their third straight road loss and their sixth game where they have lost by six or fewer points, a message to their doubters (and believers) that they can’t win close games. Their 22-24 loss to the Packers was predictable, to say the least. 

Despite a struggling play caller and their lackluster pass play, they’ve got a ground game. Their running offense (A.K.A Nick Chubb) averages 5.13 rushing yards per attempt, which leads the league and 144.9 rushing yards per game. Chubb has 1,143 yards this season and is third in the league in rushing yards. The Steelers run defense has struggled lately, so Chubb will likely see a lot of action this week.

The real MVP of this team this year is Myles Garrett who leads the team and the season-long franchise record in sacks with 15. He is essentially the heartbeat of this defense and one of the most feared pass rushers in the league. Between him and Jadeveon Clowney, the Steelers’ offensive line will have their work cut out for them. This defense holds offenses to just 321 total yards per game. 

The Browns missed five starters last week due to Covid protocols, one being Clowney, so they should feel a little more confident this week even though their season seems to be slipping away. They currently sit last in the AFC North, one game behind the Steelers, and 12th in the AFC.

Cleveland Browns Depth Chart

QB: Baker Mayfield
RB1: Nick Chubb
RB2: D’Ernest Johnson
WR1: Rashard Higgins
WR2: Donovan Peoples-Jones
WR3: Jarvis Landry
TE1: Austin Hooper

Pittsburgh Steelers Analysis

Pittsburgh has their own issues. They have trailed by at least 23 points at halftime in three straight games, which is the first time that’s happened in NFL history. They have also failed to score a touchdown in the first half of their last five games, leading them to be outscored 97-9 in those five first halves. They lost to the Chiefs last week where Ben Roethlisberger threw 23/35 for 159 yards, one touchdown, an interception and a fumble. This season is likely to be his last, and as sad as it is to see a legend struggling the way he has been, his time has definitely come. 

Their passing game has been pretty weak all season, but at the hands of Najee Harris, they were once able to maintain a strong running game. But that has faltered as the season has gone on, as they now rank third-to-last in rushing yards per game with 87.6. Pat Freiermuth should make a return this week after being out with a concussion which will be good for them considering he leads the team in touchdowns alongside Diontae Johnson. This week won’t be an easy return for the tight end though as the Browns do have a solid defense that will put up a good fight against them. In their last three games the Steelers have averaged a 42% time of possession percentage. 

Defensively, they allow the most yards per rush and the most rushing yards per game which is a death wish against Nick Chubb. However, last time these two teams faced off when they beat the Browns, they held the Browns to just 97 yards on the run and were able to contain a hot Nick Chubb. They can keep the passing game under control a little better and their opponents pass play percentage is 54.81%. This defense is run by T.J. Watt, who is five sacks away from the NFL record of 22.5 sacks in a single season. When Watt doesn’t play or plays fewer than 50% of snaps, the Steelers are 0-4-1. 

This team’s biggest leg up considering their offensive and defensive disadvantages, is their ability to perform well at home – they haven’t lost a home game since September. This is the sixth best home record in the league this year. Meanwhile the Browns have the sixth-worst away record this year.

Pittsburgh Steelers Depth Chart

QB: Ben Roethlisberger
RB1: Najee Harris
RB2: Benny Snell Jr
RB3: Kalen Ballage
WR1: James Washington
WR2: Chase Claypool
WR3: Diontae Johnson
TE1: Pat Freiermuth

Cleveland Browns vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Daily Fantasy Picks

Nick Chubb has the third-most projected points among running backs heading into week 17 and should do very well against a weak Steelers run defense. Last week, he carried the ball 17 times for 126 yards and a touchdown along with 58 receiving yards that scored him 24.4 fantasy points.

Diontae Johnson is on a struggling offense with a struggling quarterback, so this is probably a backup option – but he is one of the only good things on this offense this year. Against the Browns defense, who allow 19.7 fantasy points to opposing wide receivers, this would be a safe bet for some points.

Mia Fowler is a graduate of Chapman University where she studied business marketing and journalism and played on the women’s soccer team. Following her 16-year journey with soccer, she started writing for Lineups.com. Her favorite sport to watch and write about is football but she also enjoys soccer, baseball, and basketball.

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