The Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns have had some epic clashes on the gridiron, and those battles have helped create an iconic rivalry in the NFL. One thing is evident between these two AFC North foes: neither side cares for the other, trying to inflict the most damage on the opposition when they collide.
The Steelers have had more success throughout this rivalry, but things are shifting, and the Browns are no longer just a punching bag in the AFC North. Even with a difference-making defense, question marks remain on offense for Pittsburgh, which could create more momentum for the Browns to continue their recent success in this season series.
Throwing records aside, the oldest rivalry to date in the AFC will see sparks fly in 2022-23, and there’s plenty to look forward to in these upcoming matchups.
All-time record: Steelers, 79–61–1
Record in the last ten meetings: Steelers lead 6-3-1
Longest Win Streak: Steelers won 12 straight games
Current Streak: Steelers won two straight
BEST GAME: Cleveland 48, Pittsburgh 37 (2021)
There’s an abundance of options to pick from here, but the Cleveland Browns shocking Heinz Field in the AFC Wild Card round in 2021 takes the cake. You can say this was also a big upset, but the Browns had built a very competitive roster, and it’s not like Pittsburgh demolished their opponents. Things started exceptionally poorly for the home side in this clash, which began with a botched snap that led to Karl Joseph recovering a fumble in the end zone just 14 seconds into the game. Things didn’t get better for the Steelers, which saw the Browns sprint to a 28-0 lead in the first quarter. The Steelers could make a game of it and keep things respectable, but the Browns advanced to the Divisional Round on the back of a strong ground game and a defensive pass rush that Pittsburgh’s offensive line could not handle.
BIGGEST UPSET: Cleveland 13, Pittsburgh 6 (2009)
This contest was not only a big upset but went down in the history books for other reasons. This game is believed to be the coldest matchup that’s taken place in the long-tenured rivalry between these clubs, with a wind chill of around −10 °F (−23 °C). Before this contest, the Steelers had won 12 straight games over the Browns, and it wasn’t expected that Cleveland would snap the drought. However, stranger things have happened, which was proven on December 10th, 2005. With Brady Quinn calling the shots at quarterback, the Browns’ defense led the way to snap the streak, along with a rushing touchdown from Chris Jennings.
TOP PERFORMER: Jim Brown
You can make a compelling argument that Jim Brown is one of, if not the best running back in NFL history. The legendary back made his presence felt in this rivalry over the years, recording three rushing performances where he eclipsed the 150-yard plateau. All things being equal, his best performance likely came in his last time suiting up for this rivalry, rushing for 146 yards on 20 attempts while scampering into the end zone for three scores. In 18 games against the Steelers, Brown rushed for 1,985 yards and 14 touchdowns. Not only did Brown find individual success in those matchups, but he also led the team to a 12-6 record over Pittsburgh throughout that span.
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