Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 11/22/12
When Ben Roethlisberger went down with shoulder and rib injuries against the Kansas City Chiefs, Pittsburgh fans knew it was going to a tough road ahead.Now that backup Byron Leftwich is out with his own rib injury, the Steelers will turn to third string quarterback Charlie Batch as they face the Cleveland Browns in a key AFC North matchup.Here are my three bold predictions for Sunday's game in Cleveland. Plaxico Burress Scores a Touchdown in His Pittsburgh HomecomingIn the first round of the 2000 draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers selected the 6'5" Plaxico Burress as a potential redzone target.After five seasons with the black and gold, Burress moved on, but late in 2012 he has been called upon again to help a redzone offense in desparate need to a reliable target.Charlie Batch hasn't started a game since 2010 when Roethlisberger was serving a 4-game suspension, and will need some help from both the running game and his receivers if they are going to survive the next few weeks until Big Ben returns.The combined rushing attack of Rashard Mendenhall and Jonathan Dwyer had some success against the Ravens and will look to get back to their 100 yard totals from a few weeks ago against the Browns.If they can get the Steeler offense into the redzone, look for Batch to target Burress for the score. The Browns Offense Will Run Through Trent RichardsonThe lone bright spot in the Cleveland offense this season has been rookie running back Trent Richardson. With 650 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns, he has at times been the Browns' entire offense.Last week against Dallas, the Browns' offense was very balanced. Richardson had 28 carries for a modest 95 yards, and allowed the Browns to control the clock.In the absence of Roethlisberger, the Steelers offense could have trouble scoring which would allow the Browns the opportunity to run the ball more than they would if playing from behind.Look for Trent Richardson to pound the ball 20+ times. Steelers Win 16-10The Steelers came within a few penalties of a chance to beat the Ravens last week with the help of their defense, and it's unclear how much longer they can rely on the defense to keep them in games.I think they have at least one more in them, and they will likely see this game as their best chance for a win while Roethlisberger is nursing his shoulder and rib injuries.Look for the Steelers' defense to do what they have done little of this season: create turnovers.Against a rookie quarterback and the lack of a breakout receiver, Ike Taylor (swagger) and Ryan Clark could be more aggressive.
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