Browns vs. Steelers Thursday Night Football Preview, Cavs lose on the road again, Jackets end their losing streak

Good Mornings Sports Fans!

A rivalry of old will be renewed tonight as the Pittsburgh Steelers roll into the stadium on the lakeside to take on the Cleveland Browns in a special Thursday night matchup. Both teams are coming off close losses this past weekend and will be ready to play as the nighttime winds whip off Lake Erie.

Browns quarterback Brady Quinn has been inconsistent this season but has shown signs of improvement in recent weeks. Quinn’s performance against Cincinnati was not great but has shown how powerful he can be with a no huddle offense. Against San Diego, Quinn kept the Browns competitive in the fourth quarter when it looked like the Chargers had it in the books. With Steelers safety Troy Polamalu out with an injury, if Quinn and the Browns offense can play like they did against San Diego, this one could be closer then what most fans originally expected. The Browns will have to watch for the Steelers to become Blitzburgh and know when Quinn will be rushed. If the Browns use the wildcat, they will have to show some creativity because all eyes will be on Josh Cribbs when they lineup for that formation.

The Browns may be 1-11 but this team is fired up for this game. It’s a rivalry game that spans several different decades and means a lot to these Browns players. Both Josh Cribbs and Brady Quinn have expressed their excitement for this ball game and will be ready to go. Many Browns fans and Browns Backers clubs have stated that they will forgive the Browns for having a horrendous season if they beat the Steelers. The Browns are not going to the playoffs, it’s questionable whether or not Mangini will be back next season and with lots of new players filling in for starters on injured reserve, Cleveland almost has nothing else to lose going into this game.

The Steelers may have a better record than the Browns but they have had their struggles on the gridiron this season as well. The team recently lost this past Sunday to Oakland in a game that many thought the Steelers should have won easily. The Steelers dropped both games to Cincinnati this season, lost to Kansas City in a game in which they were favored heavily and still have to play Baltimore one more time this season. The Steelers have lost a lot of struggling teams this season and cannot afford to lose another divisional game if they want to have a chance at the playoffs.

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger may have had a concussion earlier this season but has proven to play well against the Browns. Roethlisberger has never lost to Cleveland in 11 games and even with the possibility of Hines Ward being out, will still have a lot of targets to throw to down the field. With Santonio Holmes and Heath Miller to throw to, Roethlisberger is still a dangerous threat. If the Browns defense lets Pittsburgh throw deep, this could be another long night to be a Cleveland Browns fan.

The Steelers defense may have lost a step without Troy Polamalu in the lineup but they will still blitz like crazy. Brady Quinn is still developing as a leader of the Browns offense and with pressure, will make mistakes and throw interceptions if rushed. The Steelers have lots of tape to look at of Quinn struggling against Cincinnati and Baltimore and will be more than ready to give Quinn a dirt sandwich on the first drive of the game. If the Browns don’t pick up the rushes, Quinn and the Browns offense will fully understand where the term Blitzburgh came from by the end of the game.

Moving from the NFL gridiron to the basketball courts, the Cleveland Cavaliers road woes continued last night as they dropped a 95-85 decision last night to the Houston Rockets. With the exception of Lebron James who finished the game with 27 points, the Cavaliers starting lineup was pretty quiet as Mo Williams and Shaq finished the game with seven points a piece, JJ Hickson finished with six points and Anthony Parker with three points. Meanwhile, the Rockets starters lit up the Cavaliers as Trevor Ariza finished the night with 26 points and teammate Aaron Brooks finished with 27 points.

The Cavaliers may have just had an off night but the starting lineup will have to be consistent in order to remain competitive. As long as the starters and the players coming off the bench produce when we need them to, the Cavaliers should remain competitive in this league. They will come home Friday night to take on the Portland Traiblazers at 8pm.

From the basketball court to center ice, the Columbus Blue Jackets ended their losing streak by pouncing the Florida Panthers 3-0 last night. Jackets goaltender Steve Mason finished the night with 32 saves while teammates Jason Chimera, Derick Brassard and Samuel Pahlssohn provided the scoring for Columbus.

After losing their past few games, this win was needed for the Blue Jackets. Columbus has played inconsistently this season and needs to get back on the winning track before too long. The Jackets are currently behind Detroit in the standings and could be on the outside looking in for a playoff spot if the inconsistency continues. If the Jackets continue to play consistent against their own division and everyone else, they will be a competitive team. The Jackets will take on the Nashville Predators tonight at 8pm.

That’s it for now. I am curious for your feedback so please feel free to leave comments.

Jeff

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~ by jeffrsabo on December 10, 2009.

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