Steelers wouldn't have won in Cleveland without big days by Antonio Brown, T.J. Watt

Antonio Brown and T.J. Watt had monster games to help the Steelers survive in Cleveland.

Google "NFL power rankings" and you'll find the Pittsburgh Steelers at or near the top of every respectable sports outlet in the country. ESPN, Yahoo!, and the Washington Post all have them No. 1, Bleacher Report lists them second and they're third at CBS Sports.

Power rankings aside, the Steelers, who have won eight consecutive regular season games dating back to last season, only beat the Browns by three (21-18) on Sunday. That doesn't exactly scream dominance. 

In fact, they probably wouldn't have won without big days from rookie linebacker T.J. Watt and All-World wide receiver Antonio Brown. 

How much should the Vikes worry about T.J. Watt?

T.J. Watt is J.J. Watt's younger brother, who also played at Wisconsin. 

In his NFL debut on Sunday, Watt had two sacks and an interception, although his interception was arguably on the worst throw by any quarterback in Week 1.

Bad throw by DeShone Kizer aside, everyone is raving about Watt, specifically the job he did to consistently put pressure on the passer, even going up against veteran stud left tackle Joe Thomas. 

Can anyone slow down Antonio Brown?

According to's Nexgen Stats, Brown caught all 11 passes thrown his way for 182 yards on Sunday. 85 of his yards came on the Steelers' final drive of the first half, where he caught passes for 15, 50, 11, and 19 yards. 

His other big plays included drawing a 41-yard pass interference call and catching a game-sealing 38-yarder late in the fourth quarter. 

Last year, Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes shut down star receivers Odell Beckham Jr., DeAndre Hopkins and Kelvin Benjamin, among others. This will arguably be his, and the Vikings' secondary's, biggest challenge all season. 

Adding to the intrigue this week is that both Brown and Rhodes went to Norland High School in Miami. 

“This will be more of a hometown (matchup),” Rhodes said Wednesday, via the Pioneer Press. “We grew up in the same neighborhood. … It’s more going to be like a brotherly type thing.”

Brown graduated high school in 2006 and Rhodes in 2009. 

To the point

“No disrespect to Cleveland,” Steelers cornerback Mike Hilton told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “but they’re (the Vikings) more explosive. They have a lot more weapons.”

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