Steel Mill A.M.: Steelers stats, snap counts and storylines
Steelers 28, Browns 24
Three stats to know:
1. The Steelers have won 20 of their past 23 regular-season games; the Browns have lost 49 of their past 53 regular-season games.
2. Steelers games in 2017 were full of “splash” passing plays: The Steelers tied for the NFL lead in passes that gained at least 40 yards (16), and only two teams gave up more 40-plus-yard passing plays this season than the Steelers (13). That's a combined average of almost two long passes per Steelers game.
3. The Steelers' final regular season NFL rankings: Total offense (third), scoring offense (eighth), passing offense (third), rushing offense (20th), total defense (fifth), scoring defense (seventh), passing defense (fifth), rushing defense (10th).
Snap counts to know:
Offense – WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (56 of 59), WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (3), TE Jesse James (37), TE Vance McDonald (37), G Matt Feiler (59)
Defense – DL Daniel McCullers (2 of 64), CB Cameron Sutton (3), DL Tyson Alualu (49), DL Javon Hargrave (30), CB Joe Haden (62)
Weekly schedule: Coach Mike Tomlin is largely treating their bye week as a regular schedule, practicing Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in the normal timeslots.
Next game: Steelers (13-3) vs. TBA; 1:05 p.m. Sunday, January 14. Possible opponents are Jacksonville (10-6), Kansas City (10-6) and Tennessee (9-7)
Three storylines for the week:
1. How do the Steelers stay sharp at this critical time of year? With so many regulars getting last week off, a full week of work demands could be on the agenda.
2. What is Antonio Brown's status? The team MVP has missed the past 2 ½ games because of a calf contusion and hasn't been spotted too much around the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex since. A return to practice this week – even in a limited capacity – would be reassuring.
3. Any of the three possible divisional round opponents is a rematch from the regular season – among them is one a win by blowout and one a loss by blowout. Following along over wild-card weekend could provide plenty of intrigue for the Steelers and their fans.