Pittsburgh Steelers: 3 Bold predictions vs. Browns, Week 11

Pittsburgh Steelers, (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Pittsburgh Steelers, (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /
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Following two upset wins, the Pittsburgh Steelers will be on guard against the underperforming Cleveland Browns.

Don’t look now, but the Pittsburgh Steelers hold the sixth seed in the AFC. If only the regular season could end today. Unfortunately, the Steelers still have seven games left, four of which are against divisional opponents.

While fans easily write off the Cleveland Browns, who the Steelers face in Week 13 as well, the struggling team did upset the Baltimore Ravens earlier this year. The Browns also just beat the Buffalo Bills, the team that holds the fifth seed in the AFC. Laughing at the Browns and their struggles is common at this point, but it would be a mistake to overlook them.

If Pittsburgh, specifically the defense, repeats its performance from the last two weeks, everything will be fine, and the Steelers will advance to 6-4. However, taking their foot off of the gas could be costly. There has to be real concern about a letdown game heading into Week 11.

3. Pittsburgh’s defense forces three turnovers

Halloween might be long gone, but Baker Mayfield isn’t done handing out turnovers to opposing defenders. Mayfield, who made a late but unfruitful run at the Offensive Rookie of the Year (OROY) award last year, has imploded in his sophomore season. This year might just set the new low bar for a sophomore slump, it’s been that bad.

light. Must Read. 20 Bold predictions for NFL Week 11

While his numbers could be worse, what makes Mayfield’s regression more prominent is how good he looked at the end of last season. He legitimately gave Saquon Barkley a competitor in the OROY race. Fixing Mayfield isn’t Pittsburgh’s job though, it’s Cleveland’s. All the Steelers have to do in Week 11 is show up and reap the rewards of Mayfield’s startling struggles.

Pittsburgh’s defense can capitalize on weak quarterbacks this season. The defense is 12th in yards allowed, seventh in points allowed, second in interceptions, first in fumble recoveries, and second in total turnovers forced. This is the best Pittsburgh defense in years.

Besides targeting Mayfield, the Steelers may also make Nick Chubb fumble once or twice. Chubb has put the ball on the ground three times this season and twice the defense has recovered. That might not seem like a lot, but he’s technically tied for the second-most fumbles lost by a running back this season. Pittsburgh’s Devin Bush has four fumble recoveries this year.

Future Pro Bowl safety, Minkah Fitzpatrick, and the rest of Pittsburgh’s defense are looking forward to adding a few more notches to Mayfield’s 12 interceptions this season. Even against great wide receivers like Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry, the Steelers can hold their own this year.