Cleveland @ Pittsburgh
Team Totals: Steelers 26.75, Browns 20.75
Barely able to practice all week due to a Covid outbreak and stripped of NFL Coach of the Year candidate Kevin Stefanski, the Browns visit Heinz Field interim coached by special teams coordinator Mike Priefer with Alex Van Pelt now carrying the play sheet. More worrisome than Cleveland’s on-the-fly play-calling transition is Baker Mayfield’s performance under pressure; his 2020 passer rating nosedived from 108.9 when kept clean (13th among 42 qualified quarterbacks) to 47.7 (33rd) under duress. The Steelers lead the league in sacks (56) and QB hits (140) and are as rested as any NFL team, while Covid also claimed Browns stalwart LG Joel Bitonio, PFF’s No. 2 overall pass-blocking guard. In five career meetings with Pittsburgh, Mayfield is a miserable 84-of-145 passing (57.9%) for 884 yards (6.1 YPA), eight all-purpose TDs, five turnovers, and 16 sacks taken. This looks like a rise-up spot for the Steelers’ slumping D/ST.