Here is a breakdown of the Browns by things I have read or heard on twitter or the radio over the past few weeks. The optimistic views are separated from the pessimistic views then I will write my own expectations from a more realist point of view at the end.
Glass Half Full on the Offense
The Browns have so many weapons that they should be able to score 40 today, even in a torrential rainstorm. Jarvis Landry is the leader this team has been missing and is going to have a huge game to show the young guys that hard work pays off. There is no way the Steelers will be able to contain Carlos Hyde, Nick Chubb, and Duke Johnson. They should be able to rush for 250 yards today. I’m very high on Josh Gordon (and Antonio Callaway for that matter) and expect him to have a huge day against Joe Haden. Cleveland has Todd Haley calling plays now and he knows the Steelers better than anybody. He is going to be able to pick them apart.
Glass Half Empty on Offense
Tyrod sucks. He can’t throw the ball down field and Baker Mayfield should be in. Actually, the Browns shouldn’t have even drafted Mayfield, Josh Allen should be their starter today. Carlos Hyde always gets hurt and he’s too slow. Dorsey should’ve got Saquon Barkley when he had the chance. Duke Johnson is decent, but Hue is such an idiot he won’t let him get more than 5 touches in the game. Josh Gordon is going to be rusty and Jarvis Landry is just going to catch 3 yard screens all day. The biggest thing is that the offensive line is a mess. Who starts an undrafted free agent at left tackle? Taylor is going to get hammered all day.
My View of the Offense
This team does have some weapons, which is a big deal because in previous seasons Browns fans have had to get excited for Greg Little, Mohamed Massoquoi and Dwayne Bowe. I don’t expect them to light it up early in the season, but you never know. If Gordon is as good as he was 5 years ago and the running backs can get it going, this could be a good unit. I think Tyrod and the boys will put together a few good drives today which might be all they need considering the weather conditions.
Glass Half Full on Defense
This might be the greatest defense ever assembled. The Browns have great pass rushers, awesome linebackers and a solid secondary. Heck, the Ravens defense won them a Super Bowl a few years ago and they were nothing compared to Garrett, Ogbah, and Kirksey. Gregg Williams is a defensive mastermind and really knows how to confuse the opponent. Cleveland is going to sack Roethlisberger at least 7 times today. The Steelers don’t even have their best player, Le’Veon Bell. They honestly might not even score today.
Glass Half Empty on Defense
The preseason doesn’t matter. Myles Garrett is still young and he is the only guy the Steelers have to worry about. They are just going to double team him and pick apart the rest of the guys. Gregg Williams is an idiot. It’s never good when your defensive coordinator is the most offensive guy on the field. Ward and Garrett are both injury prone and all of the Browns’ rotational players are new to the team this week. I expect a lot of mistakes and miscommunications. Look for Antonio Brown to put up huge numbers.
My View of the Defense
I am a believer in this Browns’ defense. I think they have the talent to be a top ten defense this year and I truly hope that they are. My biggest concern is depth and cohesion. Any time a team brings in this many new players and coaches, it takes a while for guys to gel. They are one or two injuries away from having a very pedestrian defense in my opinion. With all that being said, I expect them to look good today against Big Ben and the Steelers. The sloppy conditions can make this an ugly game which plays into the Browns favor.
Glass Half Full: Browns 42, Steelers 12
Glass Half Empty: Steelers 28, Browns 10
Me: Browns 20, Steelers 16