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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

WEEK 14
2011
CLE at PIT (thu) * HOU at CIN NE at WAS PHI at MIA
ATL at CAR IND at BAL NO at TEN SF at ARI
BUF at SD KC at NYJ * NYG at DAL TB at JAC
* Update * CHI at DEN * MIN at DET * OAK at GB * STL at SEA (mon)

Prediction: CLE 7, PIT 30

The Browns are on a two game losing streak and are only 1-4 in road games thanks only to the Colts for the win. The Steelers are on a three game winning streak and are 5-1 at home. This is the first meeting for the teams and the second arrives in week 17. This is the Thursday game but at no time in the past year could it have seemed like a good idea.

Cleveland Browns
Homefield: Cleveland Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 CIN 17-27 10 STL 12-13
2 @IND 27-19 11 JAC 14-10
3 MIA 17-16 12 @CIN 20-23
4 TEN 13-31 13 BAL 10-24
5 Bye - 14 @PIT -
6 @OAK 17-24 15 @ARI -
7 SEA 6-3 16 @BAL -
8 @SF 10-20 17 PIT -
9 @HOU 12-30      
Browns Report | Statistics | Roster
CLEVELAND at PIT Rush Catch Pass
QB Colt McCoy - - 150,1
RB Peyton Hillis 40 10 -
RB Montario Hardesty 20 20 -
TE Ben Watson - 30 -
TE Evan Moore - 20 -
WR Mohamed Massaquoi - 40 -
WR Greg Little - 30,1 -
PK Phil Dawson FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Browns are now embarking on arguably the worst four game schedule in the history of the NFL. They get to play @PIT, @ARI, @BAL and PIT. And offense that almost never scores more than 14 points now has to run a gauntlet that is sure to send players if not coaches packing in a month from now. This team has never improved from week one and is about to end the season like a kamikaze bug on the windshield of an 18-wheeler.

QUARTERBACK: On the plus side, Colt McCoy survived the season so far and even thrown 14 touchdowns but the yardage struggles to break 200 every week and the only hope is that their opponent becomes disinterested and lets them score late. But the Steelers and Ravens are in a dog fight and need all the divisional whippings they can deliver.

RUNNING BACKS: Peyton Hillis is day-to-day with a strained hip in addition to his permanent hamstring injury and this is a short week for him to pseudo-heal. Montario Hardesty could step up this week if needed but in Pittsburgh the chances of any fantasy value coming out of this backfield is mighty slim. The Steelers at home have only allowed around 60 rushing yards per opponent and only 3.5 YPC including facing Ray Rice, Chris Johnson and Maurice Jones-Drew. There is no clarity here with injuries and no upside.

WIDE RECEIVERS: This mishmash of wide receivers has no true #1 wideout because no player is that much better than any other - and that is a bad thing. I will credit Greg Little with a score but only as a place holder and it may not happen at all anyway. This is as bad a venue as it gets for the wide receivers.

TIGHT ENDS: A score could end up with either Ben Watson or Evan Moore but there is nothing that makes either better of a risk and while Moore scored just last week, it was his first touchdown since week two. Watson is slightly better at yardage but has not scored since week four. There is no real fantasy value here and even less so in Pittsburgh.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CLE 26 32 28 11 24 32
Preventing Fantasy Points PIT 3 7 3 9 3 14


Pittsburgh Steelers
Homefield: Heinz Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @BAL 7-35 10 @CIN 24-17
2 SEA 24-0 11 Bye -
3 @IND 23-20 12 @KC 13-9
4 @HOU 10-17 13 CIN 35-7
5 TEN 38-17 14 CLE -
6 JAC 17-13 15 @SF -
7 @ARI 32-20 16 STL -
8 NE 25-17 17 @CLE -
9 BAL 20-23      
Steelers Report | Statistics | Roster
PITTSBURGH vs CLE Rush Catch Pass
QB Ben Roethlisberger - - 200,1
RB Rashard Mendenhall 90,1 - -
TE Heath Miller - 40,1 -
WR Antonio Brown - 60 -
WR Hines Ward - 20 -
WR Emmanuel Sanders - 30 -
WR Mike Wallace - 40 -
PK Shaun Suisham 3 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Steelers were swept by the Ravens so they have to hope for them to stumble and the Steelers win out. The remaining schedule is about as light as it has been all year other than the road trip to San Francisco in week 15. The Steelers will either end up with the division or at least the top seeded wild card. Sadly there is a chance that the Steelers could end up 13-3 and watch the Ravens be the #1 seed and leave the wild card to Pittsburgh.

I like a defensive score in this game.

QUARTERBACK: Ben Roethlisberger at home usually spells big yardage and multiple scores but the Browns bring in a very good pass defense and there is no reason for Big Ben to throw the ball that much. He should be a safe bet for one score and moderate yardage but the Browns never allow more than the one score and rarely more than 200 passing yards. Expect a moderate game here.

RUNNING BACKS: Here is where the sun shines when playing the Browns. Rashard Mendenhall has already scored in all but one home game and now faces a defense that has allowed major yardage and at least one rushing score to each of the last four road opponents. There is a shot for a really big game here but Mendenhall is usually limited to around 16 to 18 carries and that shortchanges what he could produce in a matchup like this one.

Mendy is a must start and should post solid numbers with a small chance of a really big game.

WIDE RECEIVERS: It is all fun and games until you get covered by Joe Haden. The Browns are always great against the pass and have allowed only four passing touchdowns to wideouts over the first 12 weeks. Only three wide receivers have logged more than 65 yards in a game against the Browns. Mike Wallace should be shut down this week but that allows more room for Antonio Brown to at least offer marginal yardage this week. The Steelers are going to win the game and not have to throw much - that makes any of these wideouts less attractive this week.

TIGHT ENDS : Heath Miller has been on the decline for the last month but has been a bigger factor against softer matchups such as this one plus the wideouts are going to be better covered this week. Miller is a risky play for more than maybe 30 yards but he has as good a chance of scoring as any other receiver.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points PIT 11 19 3 17 19 24
Preventing Fantasy Points CLE 1 28 1 23 23 12

WEEK 14
2011
CLE at PIT (thu) HOU at CIN NE at WAS PHI at MIA
ATL at CAR IND at BAL NO at TEN SF at ARI
BUF at SD KC at NYJ NYG at DAL TB at JAC
  CHI at DEN MIN at DET OAK at GB STL at SEA (mon)

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