Steelers vs. Browns: Time, how to watch, TV channel, live stream info, prediction for wild-card ...

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The impact of COVID-19 has been felt throughout the 2020 NFL season. The Steelers had their bye week pushed up one month to accommodate another team's virus outbreak, alongside having to play three games in a 12-day span near the end of the regular season due to scheduling adjustments. The Browns, who have been dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks for the past three weeks, will face the Steelers without coach Kevin Stefanski or Pro Bowl left guard Joel Bitonio (among others), who were placed on the team's reserve/COVID-19 list earlier this week. 

The Steelers are a six-point favorite, according to William Hill Sportsbook, with the over/under set at 47.5 points. Pittsburgh was 10-6 against the spread and 8-7-1 on the over/under during the regular season. Cleveland was 6-10 against the spread and 9-7 on the over/under. Click here to see how our CBS Sports NFL experts think Sunday's game will shake out. 

Before we preview Sunday night's game, here's how you can follow the acton in real time. 

How to watch

Date: Sunday, Jan. 10 | Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
Location: Heinz Field (Pittsburgh)
NBC | Stream: fuboTV (try for free)
Follow: CBS Sports App


Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer will serve as the Browns' acting head coach during Sunday's game. Offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt, who threw a touchdown pass against the Steelers during the 1995 playoffs, will call plays in Stefanski's absence. Van Pelt told reporters this week that he wants to stay true to Stefanski's philosophy as far as play-calling is concerned. The Browns have employed a very balanced offensive attack, passing 501 times and running 495 times during the regular season. 

Cleveland's offensive balance helped it finish seventh in the NFL in third down efficiency and third in red zone efficiency. Running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt ran for a combined 1,908 yards and 18 touchdowns while averaging 4.9 yards per carry. Quarterback Baker Mayfield, following a disappointing 2019 campaign, significantly improved his completion percentage this season while throwing 13 fewer interceptions than he did last year. A big reason for Mayfield's success has been the Browns' ability to capitalize on his mobility. While he is capable of making plays with is feet, Mayfield is also proven to be a dangerous passer when outside of the pocket. The Steelers will surely try to keep Mayfield inside the hash marks throughout Sunday's game. 

Speaking of the Steelers' defense, the unit will be mostly at full strength with the expected return of inside linebacker Robert Spillane, who missed Pittsburgh's last three games with a knee injury. Spillane will rejoin Pittsburgh's talented linebacker corps that also includes Avery Williamson, Vince Williams, Alex Highsmith, and Defensive Player of the Year candidate T.J. Watt. Pittsburgh's linebackers are complemented by a formidable defensive line that includes Pro Bowler Cam Heyward and Stephon Tuitt. The Steelers' secondary, led by Pro Bowl safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, is hoping to get back safety Terrell Edmunds, who missed last Sunday's game with a shoulder injury. Pittsburgh's defense will likely have to play without cornerback Joe Haden, who is currently on the COVID-19 list. Cam Sutton, a four-year veteran, would replace Haden in the starting lineup. 

The Steelers offense appears to have woken up from a month-long slumber. After scoring three unanswered touchdowns in a Week 16 win over the ColtsMason Rudolph put up 315 passing yards and two touchdowns in last Sunday's two-point loss in Cleveland. Specifically, the Steelers' receiver corps -- a group that includes Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Washington -- has done a significantly better job hanging onto the ball after struggling to do so during Pittsburgh's three-game losing streak. Pittsburgh's offense will further be bolstered by the return of tight end Eric Ebron, who was activated from the COVID-19 list on Thursday. 

Cleveland's defense is hoping that cornerback Denzel Ward will be able to come off of the team's COVID-19 list in time to play on Sunday. The absence of Ward and fellow cornerback Kevin Johnson contributed to Pittsburgh's passing success last Sunday. The team suffered a significant blow near the end of Sunday's game when defensive end Olivier Vernon (who is second on the team in sacks and first in tackles for loss) suffered a season-ending Achilles injury. Cleveland's defense will have to lean even more on Pro Bowl pass rusher Myles Garrett, who has recorded just 2.5 sacks in his previous five games after missing two games due to COVID-19. 

The Steelers have received rock solid kicking from Chris Boswell and Matthew Wright, who have combined to make all but one of their 24 field goal attempts this season. Cody Parkey has also enjoyed a solid season in Cleveland, as he has connected on 19 of his 22 field goal attempts and 43 of his 47 point-after attempts. 


Latest Odds: Pittsburgh Steelers -6

The Steelers are simply a bad matchup for the Browns. While Cleveland is one of the NFL's best teams when it comes to running the ball, Pittsburgh boasts one of the league's best run defenses. Cleveland's offense, which has been one of the league's best on third down and in the red zone, is facing a Pittsburgh defense that is fifth and sixth in those categories, respectively. And while Mayfield was able to break free for several big runs last Sunday, don't expect him to find as much daylight Sunday night against a Steelers defense that will be welcoming back Spillane and Edmunds. 

Defensively, the Browns allowed James Conner to rumble for over 100 yards in Pittsburgh's Week 6 win over Cleveland. If the Steelers' 32nd-ranked running game rediscovers their momentum Sunday night, that would likely lead to a big day from Big Ben, who threw 33 touchdowns and just 10 interceptions during the regular season. Pittsburgh's offensive line received some good news this week with the return of starting left guard Matt Feiler, who -- like Spillane -- is expected to be activated off of injured reserve prior to kickoff. 

If Roethlisberger is on target, and his receivers continue to ride the momentum that they've built over the past two weeks, the Steelers should cover the spread while advancing to the divisional round of the playoffs. 

Score: Steelers 24, Browns 13

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