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Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns Free Pick, Odds, Prediction 9/7/14

Cleveland Browns (0-0) at Pittsburgh Steelers (0-0)

NFL Football: Sunday, September 7, 2014 at 1:00 pm (Heinz Field)

The Line: Pittsburgh Steelers -6.5 -- Over/Under: 41.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: CBS HD

The Cleveland Browns head to Pittsburgh on Sunday with Brian Hoyer under center for the Browns.  At least for now.

The Pittsburgh Steelers had a rough start to their season in 2013, but the Steelers finally found their ground game under Bell, and after that, Pittsburgh was nearly in the playoffs at the end of it all.  This year’s Pittsburgh team looks to build off of any momentum left after 2013, but that will be tough after all the distractions lately with Bell and Blount in the news for negative reasons.  The Steelers have always been known for strong defense, especially in the linebacking corps, and Pittsburgh bolstered that area this past offseason in the draft, picking up Shazier, one of the more talented players in the group, and someone who should be able to step in and make an immediate impact.  The only person I feel may hold this team back is their OC Todd Haley.  Haley hasn’t impressed me in the past with his ability to run an offense, and if flare ups between the OC and the QB flare up again this season, it could be another missed playoffs for the Steelers this year.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns Free Pick, Odds, Prediction 9/7/14

USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns are the best team in the NFL.  At least that is what the top publications would make you think with all the publicity these guys have been getting.  The truth is, Hoyer is a quarterback with a solid head on his shoulders, but is raw, and Manziel is the one who is going to replace him.  Manziel is just not ready yet, and while I do think Manziel will be a respectable starter in this league, all the hype this kid is getting is just crazy.  What the Browns do have going for them however is their defense.  Cleveland’s defense has the makings as one of the best stop units in the AFC, if not the entire league.  Without Gordon this year, the Browns are going to struggle offensively, and if Cleveland has any shot of making the post season, or at least being in the hunt, the Browns defense will need to step up, big time.

Not to keep going with the public here in week one, but I have to back Pittsburgh here.  I love the Browns defense, but as long as Haley and Big Ben get along, this fast paced offense in Pittsburgh could be effective.  If a rift forms, I don’t see that happening this early in the season, and combine pace with a solid running game and added athleticism on defense, this just looks like a bad spot for the Browns.  

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Pittsburgh Steelers -6.5

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