Bold Predictions for the Steelers regular season finale vs. the Browns

As the holiday season nears its end, there is still some excitement in the air for football fans everywhere. The regular season has finally come to an end, which means one thing. It’s almost playoff time!

While this game between the Steelers and Cleveland Browns may be overlooked by some, there are still a few things at stake. For the Browns, they are trying to avoid making history by becoming the first team since the Detroit Lions in 2008 to finish 0-16. While this is a pride game for Cleveland, there are still some things at stake for the Steelers. With a win in this game and a loss or tie by the New England Patriots against the New York Jets, Pittsburgh would clinch home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Last week was the closest I’ve ever been with my predictions. With that being said, let’s hope this week’s bold predictions go the same way.

Starters play almost three quarters

Mike Tomlin faces a tough decision this week when deciding whether or not to let his starters play. On one side, we have the possibility that the Steelers could still clinch home-field advantage. On the other, and possibly more realistic side, the Patriots are playing the Jets. The chances of them blowing that game are slim, but anything could happen.

With that in mind, I imagine Tomlin will let the starters play. Barring a miracle, this game should get ugly quick. I expect the Steelers to jump out to a solid lead and for Landry Jones, Stevan Ridley, and co. to be in the game by at least the middle of the third quarter.

Ridley gets good amount of carries

Besides the fact that I believe the starters will be pulled early, newly acquired running back should be used very frequently in this game. Everyone knows how crucial the health of Le’Veon Bell is to the Steelers’ Super Bowl chances, so expect him to get a lot of rest in this game. I see Ridley getting at least 15 carries, if not more and scoring his first touchdown as a Steeler.

Defense posts a shutout

Last week, we saw an outstanding performance by this Steelers defense against a very mediocre Texans offense. This week, I believe it could be even better for our defense. To put things into simple terms, we play the Browns. Look for a lot of guys to rotate on the defensive side of the ball and for Kizer to spend a lot of term on the turf. My prediction for this defense in this matchup is at least five sacks, two interceptions, and one defensive touchdown.

Steelers win in a blowout

As I mentioned with last weeks game, the Steelers have tended to play down to their competition in the past. Last week, they did the complete opposite against the Texans. I see them doing the same this week. This one could get very ugly quick. I have the Steelers winning 34-0. It could be a lot worse, but I believe that they will pull their foot off the gas a little at the end with the starters getting some rest. This game will serve as a great tune-up for the playoffs before the team gets some much-needed rest during Wild Card Weekend.

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