The Steelers are a desperate team heading into Cleveland this weekend.
Coming off a loss last week to Baltimore, the Steelers currently stand two games behind the Ravens in the AFC North race and one game ahead of Cincinnati for a wild card spot.
A stumble this week in Cleveland would be a killer, especially with a rematch against the Ravens in Baltimore looming next week.
The Steelers will again be without Ben Roethlisberger, who is getting closer to a return from his sprained shoulder and separated rib. In fact, there is an outside chance Roethlisberger could be back next week.
If that is the case, this could be the final game of Charlie Batch's career. Batch knows that and I expect him to play accordingly.
The Steelers are 5-2 over the years when Batch starts and he'll give them his best effort again Sunday.
Cleveland's offense revolves around running back Trent Richardson, just as Baltimore's does around Ray Rice. Both are not only their team's leading rusher, but leading receiver as well.
The Steelers shut down Rice last week, limiting him to 40 yards on 20 carries.
And then there's these two tidbits: Since inserting Will Allen into the starting lineup six games ago, the Steelers are allowing 16.6 points per game, down from 22.2 in the four games he didn't start. Also, the Steelers are 14-1 with Dick LeBeau as defensive coordinator against rookie quarterbacks.
Those will all play a factor in this one.
I like the Steelers to win 16-13