Best Out of One Hundred Eleven

The all-time series between the Cleveland Franchise and the Pittsburgh Steelers is tied, knotted if you will, at 55-55. The Steelers have won nine in a row and 15 of 16 against their brown and orange clad division rivals, who took a break between 96-99 to leave for Baltimore and win a Super Bowl, before reappearing with Tim Couch as the team’s QB for the ’99-00 season.

The Browns are better than they were in the Butch Davis years, but in my mind the rivalry is still on hiatus until they beat the Steelers in a meaningful game, I still have a hard time processing the logic behind the whole, “leaving the franchises history and nickname behind while Art Modell moves us to Baltimore” factor. Watching the expansion Browns struggle while the Ravens assembled one of the best defenses in history and beat the Kerry Collins led Giants in 2000 could be fodder for a Sci-Fi movie. Maybe if Art Model had been whisked away in a Delorian in 1995, and had a chance to see two possible futures for Cleveland and Baltimore respectively, he would have stayed put, and allowed the Colts to return to Baltimore. Two different strands of time, two futures for Cleveland one involving a Super Bowl, the other involving Doug Pederson and Eric Rhett. “Is this the future that will be, or the future that could be?” Modell would have asked, and then he would have traveled back to 1955 to the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance to make sure Ray Lewis’ parents fall in love.

Robert Heinlein’s “All You Zombies” tackles the subject of multiple timelines, as does The Terminator.

I’m just gad Eric Metcalf is gone. Those were the days. Also glad the Penguins did not relocate

The Steelers will take the field tonight in Cleveland on the heels of one an impressive 38-17 win over the Huston Texans. Last week the Cleveland Brown Agains, lost at home to the Dallas Cowboys 28-10. There are rumblings of a ‘must win’ for Cleveland and it is only week 2. The Browns’ schedule is as tough as Pittsburgh’s, especially considering Derek Anderson won’t get to pass against his own secondary. Regardless of how much intensity our neighbors to the northwest bring to tonight’s 8:15pm contest, and no matter how objectively I look at the two teams it is hard to imagine the outcome will be in doubt during the fourth quarter.

During week 1; Cleveland allowed nearly 500 yards to Dallas, while the Steelers put up 38 points against Houston with their backup quarterback playing the fourth quarter. Under the assumption that the Texans’ defense is better than Cleveland’s and the Steelers offense is on par with Dallas’, the BCS logic here says the Steelers will put up some big numbers. The Browns secondary is banged up; Cleveland is without both starting safeties for tonight’s game.

The Steelers will play tonight without starting CB, Deshea Townsend. There is not much of a drop from Townsend to backup DB, Bryant McFadden, but the depth chart takes a hit, second year corner back William Gay will step into the nickel back role, I expect three safety formations when the Browns go to three and four wide receivers, either corner back Anthony Madison, or safety Anthony Smith will see time in passing situations with Townsend sidelined. This injury would be more of a concern if the Browns had the personnel to spread the field, but off-season acquisition, WR, Dante Stallworth will watch this game form the sidelines while he nurses a leg injury he sustained in warm-ups prior to the Dallas game.

The Steelers pass rush will keep dominating, the Browns will have to either keep in extra blockers, thus negating any advantage they hold over a Townsendless Steelers secondary, or they will send extra backs and tight ends into the pass patterns and feel the wrath of LaMarr Woodley; it will be a fun game for Steelers fans to watch.

I predict a final score of 49-12.

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