Cleveland Browns (7-8) at Pittsburgh Steelers (7-7-1)
Monday, January 3, 8:15PM ET
At this point, I’m surprised both the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers are still even in the playoff race. Their odds are long, but neither has yet to be officially eliminated. That will change this weekend, when one hangs on for dear life and the other’s season is essentially over.
Despite my reservations and the pathetic football they’ve played lately, I’m going with Pittsburgh in this one. Anything is possible when AFC North foes butt heads, and the Steelers have home-field advantage. Plus, it’s not like they’re completely lacking in the talent department — they just aren’t playing motivated football.
Maybe a showdown with the Browns will change their approach. Najee Harris has been excellent despite the passing game’s struggles and the offensive line looking like a bunch of lost sheep, and he’ll do everything he can to change this one. I’m also confident that the Pittsburgh defense will be up to the challenge.
Baker Mayfield has been so erratic this season, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see another turnover-strewn game in Week 17. The Steelers capitalize and keep the Browns from finding the end zone often, giving them the slightest of edges in this low-scoring defensive battle.
Prediction: Steelers win 17-16 | Spread: Browns (-3)