Antonio Brown, the newly crowned Steelers Team MVP, is third in the NFL in both receptions (101) and receiving yards (1,412) and continues to make his mark on the Steelers’ record books. Josh Gordon leads the league with 1,564 receiving yards and posted a career-high 14 receptions and 237 receiving yards the first time these teams met in November. This matchup provides a showcase for two of the league’s elite pass catchers who are proven catalysts for their teams and will undoubtedly be targeted throughout the contest.
Ben Roethlisberger is 16-1 in his career against the Browns in the regular season, including a perfect 8-0 at Heinz Field. Having thrown for 26 touchdowns and over 3,800 yards in those games, and with 5 touchdown passes and no interceptions in the previous two meetings, Roethlisberger has set the bar high for quarterback play on Sunday. Jason Campbell may have to match Roethlisberger’s production to help Cleveland control the ball to keep the Steelers offense off the field.
Cortez Allen turned in a fine performance in the Steelers victory over Green Bay last week, intercepting a pass and returning it 40 yards for a score late in the third quarter. Allen has been a player on the rise and his cover skills will be tested again today with Cleveland’s size speed on the outside. Ward, meanwhile, is the Browns second-leading tackler, registering 104 stops and 1.5 sacks. Ward will be looked upon to help slow down Pittsburgh’s passing game and make plays in run support as Le’Veon Bell is coming off a career day against the Packers.