Freddie Kitchens wore a shirt during the week proclaiming that “Pittsburgh Started It” in reference to the brawl between the two teams a couple weeks ago.
Regardless of who started it, the Steelers ended it on Sunday. On the field. With their play.
And that ladies and gentlemen, is, as much as anything, the difference between the two teams. Cleveland is more concerned with looking right. Pittsburgh is more interested in playing right.
That’s what the Steelers did against the Browns, despite being a home dog for the first time against Cleveland in more than a decade. They even spotted the Browns 10 points before dissecting were to adjust and making the changes.
There was no great secret to how it happened. Pittsburgh did what they’ve done since week four. Not flashy, use football players in their best possible roles rather than worry about who plays what position, play some good defense, and walk away with a W. This time it was Benny Snell and Devlin Hodges who stepped up. Snell rushed for 63 yards and a TD. Hodges completed two-thirds of his passes for 212 yards and a touchdown and Joe Haden picked off a pass against his former team.
All three of those players posted better numbers than their counterpart on the opposite sideline. Essentially, they came out and did their jobs. Cleveland worried about running its mouth and probably figured the game was over when they went up 10-0 at the 7:40 mark of the second quarter. Pittsburgh saved its chatter for after the game. When the clock hit zero and they had more points.
Steelers Odds to Head to Arizona and Clip the Cardinals in Week 14
As is the case with the Steelers this season it’s onto the next and in this case, the next is a trip to the desert to take on the Cardinals. Interestingly in this one, for all the games the Steelers have been favored in where maybe they shouldn’t have been, this game is a straight up Pick’em. Maybe the oddsmakers are worried about Mike Tomlin’s teams being 4-10 in west coast games during his career, but two things in the trends to me say take Pittsburgh.
First is that the Cardinals are 2-11-2 straight up at home in the last two years. Secondly, the Steelers have been nearly unbeatable in December during the last six years, going 20-5 straight up. Need another reason? Pittsburgh is the better team! Take the Steelers to win the game and start looking for a prop to maybe toss a couple bucks on Mike Tomlin winning Coach of the Year.