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AFC North Bet - Week 6 – Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns

Posted by Marcello Messina on 10/14/2010 2:39:28 PM

Will the return of Ben Roethlisberger bring glee or misery for Pittsburgh this AFC North Bet Sunday against the Browns?

(1-4) Cleveland Browns at (3-1) Pittsburgh Steelers
Live from Heinz Field - PA
Kickoff: 1:00 PM EST Sunday, October 17, 2010
Broadcast: CBS

NorthBet NFL Game Odds:
Pittsburgh Steelers -14
Cleveland Browns +14
Total 37.5

This week, Super Bowl champ Ben Roethlisberger will step onto the field for the first time in a nationally televised NFL game since his suspension.

Without Roethlisberger, the Steelers juggled quarterbacks Dennis Dixon and Byron Leftwich in their first two weeks before settling on 35-year-old Charlie Batch, who was brought up from the team’s practice squad.

In his two games as a starter, Batch completed 63% of his passing attempts for 327 passing yards, three touchdowns and an equal amount of interceptions. Batch has been an adequate game manager for the Steelers but, Pittsburgh is still currently ranked last in the NFL in passing.

No Steelers wideout has topped 100 yards in four games this North Bet season, excluding veteran Hines Ward who caught six passes for 108 yards and no touchdowns in Week 1 against Atlanta.

Pittsburgh’s stellar defense has been playing at a level of near perfection and is the main reason for their three wins.

Ranking first in overall run defense, Troy Polamalu and company have limited their opponents to just 9, 11, and 13 points in their three victories.

However, the Steelers won’t be capable of keeping up this ‘you-won’t-score-on-me-and-I’ll-kick-a-field-goal-to-beat-you’ attitude for long.

Roethlisberger will help bring a second dimension to an offense that has been soarly lacking a passing attack this entire North Bet season.

He singlehandedly has to turn this team’s offense around and get Pittsburgh’s wide receivers involved.

Now don’t get me wrong, Roethlisberger should accomplish this task eventually and the Steelers offense should come back to life, but I can't fathom the idea that it happens in Big Ben’s first week back. It takes time for a quarterback and his wide receivers to regain chemistry.

Although I have faith in the Steelers winning this North Bet Sunday’s matchup against the Browns, I don’t expect them to win by more than two touchdowns.

NFL North Bet: Pittsburgh Steelers (-14).

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