Top 5 Takeaways- Week 6 Steelers vs Browns

Football News / Top Headlines / October 26, 2020

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns entered Week 6 as being two powerhouses for the AFC. Instead, the Steelers are 5-0 for the first time since 1978 after embarrassing the Browns 38-7. While this game put Pittsburgh in the driver seat ofthe AFC North, it also highlighted what kind of team the Browns really are in 2020. Here are the Top 5 Pittsburgh Steelers Takeaways from Week 6.

1. Cleveland is still the 3rd best (Top Browns Takeaways)

The Browns might be 4-2 but they aren’t a contender in the AFC. Their four wins came from opponents with a combined record of 8-15-1 while their two losses came from teams with combined 10-1 record. Granted, Cleveland did go up against two of the better defenses in the entire league. Still, if you can’t win your own division, you are not a likely contender. The team has progressed over the last two seasons, with their run game having a breakthrough until an injury took down Nick Chubb. There’s a slight chance the Browns could sneak into the playoffs with their lackluster schedule but an early exit is inevitable.

2. Chukwuma Okorafor could be a diamond on the bench (Top Steelers Takeaway)

Zach Banner beat out Okorafor during the offseason but got injured in the season opener, ending his season early. Okorafor took over and has been better than anyone could have anticipated. With minimal help from guard David DeCastro, Okorafor, in just his fourth start in three seasons, held JJ Watt to zero hits or sacks on Roethlisberger.

You can call it a fluke or whatever else, but then you factor in how he performed agsinst the Browns and Myles Garrett. Matched with yet another elite pass-rusher in Garrett, he gave up just one sack. Garrett broke free a few times with ease but wasn’t near the ball carrier to make a play. He didn’t play as well as he did against JJ Watt but he did enough to make a huge impact. Banner might have won the starting job but it is Okorafor’s to lose now.

3. Robert Spillane has shown promise in Bush’s absence

The Steelers had a fantastic day on the field against Cleveland but there was one major loss when Devin Bush went down with a torn ACL. Spillane, a former Titans ironically, replaces Bush as the starter. He finished with 5 tackles and 1 TFL but you have to watch the film to see Spillane can help fill the void Bush left. He nearly had a swatted pass in the game and was helping put consistent pressure on Mayfield and also aiding in pass coverage. If Spillane can keep up the pressure and grit he showed this past week, he can take a majority of the defensive snaps and can even be worthy of the green dot (marking who relays the plays and calls from the sideline to the rest of the defense). To top it off, he plays his former team next week.

4. James Conner is still a worthy featured back

For the last few weeks now, fans and analysts alike have been starting to label James Conner as not a worthy starter. While Conner has had several 100+ yard games as a rusher, they weren’t pretty games for him. A few long runs late in games help pad his stats and make it look like he had a much better game. I won’t argue against the fact that James Conner does look like one of the slower starting backs in the league. He had a 4.65 40-yard dash at the combine and was never really looked at to be a speedrunner. He fits the Pittsburgh scheme of being a guy who breaks tackles and runs into defenders to fight for the extra yards.

However, Conner is still a starter in the NFL and has earned that role. He has great vision and patience behind the line. There is major grit in Conner that allows him to plow through linebackers and churn his legs for the extra yardage. He’s also reliable in the passing game and can break off a nice long run from time to time. Conner has had a history of injuries but has been healthy through 2020 (knock on wood). Yes, there are other RBs on the roster who can faster. The coaches plug-and-play these players to utilize that speed but the Steelers still use the scheme in which the power back thrives. You don’t need to be fast to be successful in the backfield.

5. The Steelers had an all-around great outing

Similar to the Arizona Cardinals in Week 6, the entire Pittsburgh roster basically had a great day. Ben Roethlisberger was nearly flawless and even allowed Mason Rudolph some garbage time on the field. James Conner shook off some rust and ran for over 100 yards, Benny Snell scored a TD, and the rookie McFarland got some playing time as well. Chase Claypool was the leading receiver and rushed for a score. James Washington scored a TD from Roethlisberger. Robert Spillane made good use of his audition when Devin Bush went down. Chukwuma Okorafor defended his position against Myles Garrett. Bud Dupree got two sacks. Minkah Fitzpatrick and Cameron Sutton both had INTs (speaking of Steelers takeaways) while Joe Haden had 3 defended passes.

Not a bad day if you ask me… These are the top 5 Pittsburgh Steelers takeaways from the Week 6 matchup against the Cleveland Browns.

Pittsburgh Steelers 2020 NFL Season Preview

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Wes Keefer
Long-time fan, long-time writer. Senior Writer for PigskinNut Football. Giving your football news from outside-the-box.

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