>>Get over the Bengals’ loss. It won’t be easy. The manner in which they lost at Cincinnati, playing well enough defensively but giving the game away on special teams and offense, is the sort of thing that can linger. The Browns can’t allow that to happen. They need to continue to recognize that the opportunity to remain in postseason contention, while damaged, is still very much alive. They must understand that they have another good chance to beat their fiercest AFC North rival at home and rekindle the optimism that swept through the team and the Browns’ fan base after the Week 9 win against Baltimore.
>>Take advantage of the Steelers’ vulnerable run defense. The Browns haven’t proven that they can run successfully against any opponent. However, the Steelers have the 26th-ranked run defense in the NFL, and it is reasonable to think that the Browns could get something going on the ground for the first time this season. Considering that the weather – predicted to be extremely cold and windy – could very well make passing difficult, the Browns certainly will make the effort to do so. Expect to see more of
>>The secondary can never forget about Ben Roethlisberger’s time-buying skills. Few, if any, quarterbacks in the NFL do a better job of squeezing out extra time in the pocket than Big Ben. He does it with an uncanny knack for drifting away from the pass rush while always keeping his eyes focused downfield. He does it with the sheer strength he has to remain upright and still deliver the ball even with defenders hanging onto him. And he does it with a keen sense of knowing where all of his talented receivers are at all times while trusting that they know he will get them the ball at some point, and will do their part to extend routes accordingly. Even the best cornerbacks can struggle under such circumstances because they rarely face that sort of quarterback.
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