The Browns have become predictably unpredictable and it only took two weeks.
A snatch-victory-from-the-jaws-of-defeat win in the season opener raised expectations but a steal-defeat-from-the-jaws-of-victory loss to the New York Jets in the home opener made it nearly impossible to predict what might happen next.
The arch-enemy Pittsburgh Steelers coming to town on a Thursday night just four days after a head-scratching defeat just adds to the uncertainty.
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Will the short week make it impossible for the Browns to recover from a gut-wrenching loss the likes of which hasn’t been seen since 2009? Or will the need to focus on a hated division rival help the Browns put the unspeakable loss out of their minds?
Those are the questions that the Browns and our panel of Browns experts must try to answer. Here is what each our team of reporters thinks:
Chris Easterling (1-1)
Score: Browns 20, Steelers 17
Comment: Myles Garrett’s expected to play and T.J. Watt is not. Now, if the Browns secondary turns Mitch Trubisky into Ben Roethlisberger, all bets are off.
Getting in tune:Denzel Ward, Grant Delpit believe Browns secondary has to ‘get on the same page’ in coverage
Steve Doerschuk (0-2)
Score: Browns 24-20
Comment: Kevin Stefanski stands up at a crossroads and gets the team’s head on straight even after that mind-blowing loss.
What went wrong?:Instead of saying ‘no mas,’ Cleveland Browns get no win in home opener vs. Jets | Takeaways
Marla Ridenour (1-1)
Score: Browns 21, Steelers 20
Comment: The Steelers’ post-Roethlisberger offense has been a mess in the first two games, so the Browns presumably are catching their rivals at the right time. After the Jets debacle, this feels like a referendum on Browns defensive coordinator Joe Woods and special teams coordinator Mike Priefer. Myles Garrett’s presence despite a neck injury should be the difference.
Boo birds justified:Cleveland Browns fans had every right to boo after epic collapse
Nate Ulrich (0-2)
Score: Browns 20, Steelers 18
Comment: If the blown coverages continue, I’ll be wrong again.
Rookies ready to battle:For Browns, ‘it sucks’ Jadeveon Clowney is out, yet Alex Wright, Isaiah Thomas confident
George Thomas (1-1)
Score: Browns 20, Steelers 14
Comment: Completely, totally, without a doubt lost on this one. The fact that I’m tongue tied should be considered a minor miracle. Team meetings after two games? The kicker misses a PAT? Yikes. For the record, I flipped a coin primarily because Ben Roethlisberger isn’t around any longer.
Toughness personified:‘He was nails’: Cleveland Browns’ Jacoby Brissett shows toughness after ankle injury
Video analysis:WATCH: Post-game Huddle: Cleveland Browns vs. New York Jets – Failure to communicate
This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Cleveland Browns vs. Pittsburgh Steelers predictions Week 3 NFL game