Where do we even begin with this one? What is there even to say that would even allow for the slightest bit of optimism to creep into our collective thoughts? What can we hang our hats on that would even lead someone to believe the Browns have any chance in hell of winning this game tonight?
Nada. That’s what.
But… I’m going to give it a shot.
Maybe the Steelers overlook the Browns and this turns into a trap game. Maybe Ben Roethlisberger gets knocked out of the game in the first five minutes and are forced to rely on Charlie Batch. Maybe things click for the offense and the Steelers defense has one terribly, awfully, horrifically bad night.
That’s a whole lot of maybe and quite honestly, that’s all I really got.
I can’t sit here and speak nonsense about how the Browns offense looks improved. I can;t talk about how Pat Shurmur has finally found his groove as a head coach and play caller. Hell, I can’t even talk about how the defense has become the foundation for this team. It would all be lies… every single word of it. Lies.
The Browns looked as if they were finding their way in recent weeks against lesser competition. This past Sunday against one of the NFL’s elite, they were completely exposed as frauds. What do you think the Steelers are going to be able to do? They’ll have their way tonight. That’s what.
There is no chance the Browns win this game. I don’t even think there’s a chance they make it close. I hope I’m wrong, I really do, but I doubt it. There isn’t a single scenario I see unfolding where the Browns make a game out of this. How’s that for depressing? Seriously, remember when this was actually a rivalry and considered one of the best in all of sports… Art Modell, I hate you.
So what do the Browns do to win this game tonight? What do the Browns do to keep this game watchable?
1. Keep Colt McCoy from dying: Colt is going to get the living crap beat out of himself tonight. Let’s just put that on the table first and foremost. He’s gotten beat up all year-long against every team the Browns have played. Now they’re playing one of the league’s elite defenses that blitzes more than almost anyone. I feel bad for him, I really do. He’s going to run for his life tonight. If the Browns can keep the near death experiences to about 25% of the plays rather than 50%-75% of the time then maybe the Browns move the ball down the field.
2. Try running the ball with Hillis: Their best shot it to try and wear down the Steelers front seven. The best way to do that is to run Hillis up the gut as much as possible and use his physical and bruising style to their advantage. It’s something they haven’t done at all this year, the lone exception being the Indianapolis game. If they can force the issue, get the Steelers guessing between run and pass, and maybe… just maybe, they catch the Steelers off guard a few times.
3. Stop the run: The Browns are bad against the run. On Sunday against Baltimore they redefined the word awful. The Steelers aren’t stupid. They watched the tape. They know they should be able to run the ball right up the gut against the Browns with Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman. The Browns need to fill their gaps and stand them up at the line of scrimmage.
4. Keep Roethlisberger from extending plays: If they Browns manage to stop the run that doesn’t mean their completely out of the woods. Roethlisberger is one of the leagues best QB’s and probably the best at extending plays once they begin to break down. The Browns need to gang tackle and knock him down before he’s allowed to escape the pocket. If this turns into backyard football, the Browns will get crushed.
5. Sign a young priest and an old priest prior to kick off: What better way to exorcise the demons that exist for the Browns when it comes to the Steelers than by performing a pregame exorcism? I’ve seen the Exorcist, I know how these things go down. The Browns need to find themselves an old priest and an old priest, lock the doors to the locker room for 2 hours, and let them work their magic. What could possibly go wrong and better yet, what do they have to lose besides the game and a little more of their pride and dignity in the process?
So what happens?
This… is going be a massacre. I don’t think the Browns have any chance of winning this game tonight. So, why drag this out any further. When the clock reads 0:00 the final score will be Steelers 34-Browns 13.
Have fun watching this one kiddies… and you will watch it. The power of Christ compels you!
And Oh yeah… Pittsburgh sucks!