The weekend is once again and again J Beanie has all the information you need about the big games (OK not all the information and not all the games, but read anyway). Since it’s still Steeler week in Cleveland and this is my last time I’ll write anything before the game Sunday, of course I have to start with that game.
As I’ve said all week, for the first time since the wheel was invented this game has some importance other than a rivalry game which is quickly fading to an automatic L for Cleveland. First place is on the line.
There are two keys to the game (besides the cliché the team with less turnover wins). One will be how well Cleveland offensive line can block Pittsburgh blitzes and the other is the Browns can’t fall behind early.
In the first game of the year, Pittsburgh sacked a Browns quarterback six times. However five were on the most worthless quarterback since Rick Mirer and none came in the second half. Since that game, Anderson has been sacked only seven times in seven games and none against Seattle last week. The line is finally, after eight years, looking like a real offensive line.
It will be up to the line to make sure key number-2 stays in the Browns favor. Cleveland can’t get behind early. It seems every time Cleveland and Pittsburgh play, the Steelers score early and often and the game is over by halftime. This cannot happen again. No 15-yard punts with four penalties on one play, no interceptions deep in their own territory, no personal fouls giving the Steelers better field position, no nothing that give Pittsburgh an advantage. If the offensive line continues to play like they have (questionable), and DA makes smart decisions (more questionable), the Browns should, at the very lease, be able to keep it close.
If there was every a year or a game for the Browns to win, this is it. Pittsburgh has dominated the series over the years and no one is giving the Browns a chance. That’s fine. No one gave the Cavs a chance to get to beat the Detroit Pistons and the NBA Finals but they did. No one gave the Indians a chance to beat the New York Yankees in the ALDS after going 0-for-6 against them in the regular season, but they did. The Browns-Steelers game isn’t as big as those other since it’s not the playoffs but in some ways it’s bigger. A win for the Browns Sunday would put them in the driver’s seat for the division title. A weak schedule follows this game and Pittsburgh still as a game against New England (not sure of who else they play).
The Browns have nothing to lose. No one expected them to be above .500 at this point of the season. They need to play like they have nothing to lose. Come out early and take some chances. Go down field to Braylon or Winslow early. They have been wanting to get Josh Cribbs involved in the offense more, now’s a good time to break that out. Turn Cribbs loose. It’s going to be an uphill challenge but they can do it. They should come out more fired up than Pittsburgh, score first and then ride that to a win. Of course, I could be completely wrong and Pittsburgh does what they do every year and blow the Browns out, too. But, like I’ve been saying, Sunday’s are fun again for Browns fans and none should be more fun than this Sunday. HERE WE GO BROWNIES, HERE WE GO!!!
Now some other games going on this weekend.
When ESPN’s College GameDay is broadcasting from Williamstown, MA, (Division III Amherst vs Williams) you know its a slow Saturday.
Air Force at Notre Dame – How great will it be to see ND lose to a second straight military school? I’d say about as great seeing them lose to Duke next week.
Illinois at Ohio State – Why is everyone bringing up how Illinois played OSU tough last year before losing 17-10? They are two totally different teams now. OSU wins easily just so Michigan can ruin their season next week, just like the good old days.
USC at California – The winner of this game, at worst, heads to the Rose Bowl as Pac-10 champions. Oh wait, no they don’t. Remember win this game was going to be the biggest game in the Pac-10 this year? Now the loser (Cal) will head to the Emerald Bowl.
Michigan at Wisconsin – The winner of this game, at worst, heads to the Rose Bowl as Big Ten champions. Oh wait, no they don’t. Remember when this was going to be the biggest game of the year in the Big Ten? Now Wisconsin is looking at the Alamo Bowl. Michigan still can go to the Rose Bowl (even with a loss here, which won’t happen) with a win over Ohio State. Michigan is on a roll and no PJ Hill kills the Badger.
Should be a good Saturday with Michigan on at noon and OSU at 3:30. Could be a long lost, good old fashioned drinking all day Saturday day.