While the Steelers offense certainly will miss Roethlisberger, the Steelers defense as well as a solid run game and a “good enough” passing game should propel them to victory.
Oddsmakers currently have the Steelers to have about a 54% chance to win this game. At Sports Tradex, which is a free prediction marketplace that awards prizes to users who perform the best weekly, the Steelers are favored even more so at about 65% to win.
Out of all of the games on the board on Sunday, the Steelers-Browns game is projected to score the least amount of points (at about 34-35 total between the two teams). Considering the Steelers defense only gave up six points to the Ravens (who have a much better offense than the Browns), the Steelers should be able to get by with minimal offense.
Most likely we’ll see a better offensive showing anyways from the Steelers this week. Cleveland’s defense is 22nd in the league at defending the pass and 24th at defending the run. Considering how well the Steelers run game has done lately, a run first followed by safe passes should be good enough to score.
While the Steelers offense was fairly pitiful against the Ravens, Leftwich was also hurt most of the game. He was only truly healthy during the first drive, when they managed to score a touchdown. It’s not clear how much his injury hurt the offense, but considering he was immediately ruled out this week, it’s likely the Ravens-Brown game could have been entirely different if Leftwich wasn’t playing the vast majority of the game hurt.
Charlie Batch hasn’t started with the Steelers many times, but when he has, the Steelers have generally won. Last year, when he started against the Rams, the Steelers won 27-0. Batch threw for over 200 yards, though most of the scoring was done on the run. Hopefully, a similar box score will be in store for us tomorrow.