Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cleveland Browns Week 17 2010 Free Pick: This game is taking place at 1pm ET which means the Steelers will still be playing for a possible bye in Round 1 of the playoffs. A bye is huge, especially this season with so many teams that are so even. It’s a free pass to Round 2 and a big week off for all your key players trying to get healthy. The Steelers could really use that. All they have to do is beat the Browns, because they hold the tie-breaker over Baltimore and nobody else in the AFC can win 12 games (outside of 13-2 New England of course). Because of this, there’s no way the Steelers rest their players for next week. If they get by the Browns, they get to rest EVERYONE next week.
Now, that doesn’t mean this is a gimmie by any means. The Browns have played tough all year, beaten good teams (like New Orleans and New England), and they run the ball with success. The key there is that last one, and it’s key because I don’t think they can pull that off against the Steelers run defense.
Pittsburgh gave up just 74 yards rushing last week to a bad Carolina team, but a bad Panther team that had been running the ball pretty well down the stretch. Like the Panthers, the Browns don’t pose much of a threat through the air.
Because they can give all their attention to stop Peyton Hillis, they should be able to do so without much trouble. That means I like the Steelers to win by at least 10 in Week 17.