Pittsburgh Steelers: 3 Bold predictions vs. Browns, Week 13

CINCINNATI, OH - NOVEMBER 24: Devlin Hodges #6 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks downfield to pass during the second half against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on November 24, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - NOVEMBER 24: Devlin Hodges #6 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks downfield to pass during the second half against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on November 24, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /
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PITTSBURGH, PA – NOVEMBER 10: Minkah Fitzpatrick #39 of the Pittsburgh Steelers recovers a fumble for a 43 yard touchdown in the first half against the Los Angeles Rams on November 10, 2019 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – NOVEMBER 10: Minkah Fitzpatrick #39 of the Pittsburgh Steelers recovers a fumble for a 43 yard touchdown in the first half against the Los Angeles Rams on November 10, 2019 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

2. Steelers secondary responds

In previous years, Pittsburgh’s secondary routinely gives up big plays and is usually regarded as the defense’s biggest weakness. However, the unit was performing surprisingly well, heading into Week 11. However, the Browns dominated the secondary during the first half, opening up a 14-0 lead through the air.

During the first half, Joe Haden, Mike Hilton and Steve Nelson were all burned for significant plays. The unit looked lost and struggled to keep up with Cleveland’s wide receivers from the opening kick. While Pittsburgh held the air attack in check during the second half, the damage was already done.

After getting punched in the mouth two weeks ago, Pittsburgh’s secondary will show its pride on Sunday. If the Browns want to win, they’ll have to do it on the ground, because the secondary isn’t getting burned by the same team twice.

Pittsburgh is allowing 217.2 passing yards per game, which ranks eighth in the NFL. The team also has 14 interceptions, which only trails the New England Patriots (20). Quarterbacks who face the Steelers post an 83.7 passer rating and complete 62.4 percent of their pass attempts.

This pass defense is the best Pittsburgh has put on the field since the Troy Polamalu era. With a cast of experienced veterans and a rising star in Minkah Fitzpatrick, this unit is capable of great things. They need to be great on Sunday.