Browns–Steelers rivalry

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Browns–Steelers
Teams involved Cleveland Browns and
Pittsburgh Steelers
First contested October 7, 1950
Number of meetings 126
Most recent meeting October 12, 2014
Browns 31, Steelers 10
Next meeting TBA
All-time series

PIT: 68–58
CLE, 37–25 @ Cleveland

PIT, 43–21 @ Pittsburgh
Regular season series

PIT: 66-58
CLE, 37-25 @ Cleveland

PIT, 41-21 @ Pittsburgh
Postseason results

PIT: 2-0

Largest victory CLE: 51–0 (September 10, 1989)
Longest win streak

CLE: 8 (October 7, 1950–November 22, 1953)

PIT: 12 (November 23, 2003–October 10, 2009)
Current streak CLE: 1 win
Championship success

NFL Championships (10)

NFL Conference Championships (19)

NFL Divisional Championships (29)

The Browns–Steelers rivalry is a National Football League rivalry between the Cleveland Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers. With 126 meetings and counting, it is the oldest rivalry and the most storied in the American Football Conference, surpassing any other rivalry in the conference by at least 5 games. The two divisional foes have a natural rivalry due to the commonalities between the cities, proximity, etc. It is sometimes called the Turnpike Rivalry or Turnpike War[1] because the majority of the driving route between the two cities are via the Pennsylvania and Ohio Turnpikes.

Similarities between the cities[edit]

The rivalry was primarily fueled by the close proximity between the two cities, as Cleveland and Pittsburgh are roughly 135 miles apart. Many fans make the two-hour drive by car to road games. Also, the city of Youngstown, Ohio is roughly located at the halfway mark between the two cities and is within the 75-mile blackout radius for both teams. The Youngstown television market has dual rights to both teams. Both teams have such strong fan bases that neither typically has blackout issues since the current rules were implemented in 1973, although the final two games of the 1995 season were blacked out in Cleveland (the last two prior to the move to Baltimore); one of these games was against their in-state rivals, the Cincinnati Bengals.[2] The Youngstown area fan base remains roughly split 50/50 between the Steelers and Browns.

Businesses[edit]

In recent times, Pittsburgh-area businesses have entered the Cleveland market by buying out local Cleveland-area competitors such as Giant Eagle, Dollar Bank, Howard Hanna Realty, and PNC Financial Services acquisition of National City Corp. Among other reasons, some Clevelanders didn't like the idea of a Pittsburgh-based bank buying National City because of the rivalry between the Browns and Steelers.[3] PNC and Giant Eagle are official team sponsors for both teams. In addition, natural expansion has occurred with companies with Western Pennsylvania roots with Vocelli Pizza and Altoona-based Sheetz making successful expansions into the Cleveland market.

Conversely, Eaton Corporation was founded in Cleveland and has long had significant operations in Pittsburgh. Forest City Enterprises owns billions of dollars of Pittsburgh-area real estate. The Cleveland branch of the Federal Reserve includes Pittsburgh in its territory. Cleveland-based Sherwin-Williams has locations throughout Pittsburgh and nationally is one of the top competitors to Pittsburgh-based PPG Industries. Two former Cleveland-based businesses, Picway Shoes and Revco, had locations throughout Pittsburgh before being bought out by Payless ShoeSource in 1994 and CVS/pharmacy in 1998, respectively. National City Bank itself had expanded into Pittsburgh in 1995 through its acquisition of Integra Bank and actually caused antitrust problems when PNC bought National City in 2008, being forced to divest 61 National City branches in Western Pennsylvania. Although First Niagara Bank ultimately bought 57 of the branches, Cleveland-based KeyBank was one of the banks that was considering buying the branches and expanding into Pittsburgh.

Republic Steel, which was based in Cleveland, was the company that suggested to the Steelers that the team use the Steelmark logo on its helmets in 1962. The logo later became the Steelers primary trademark, and is arguably better known with the logo than the steel industry itself.

Coaches and players[edit]

The teams have also had various prominent players and coaches with roots in the other team. For instance, former Steelers head coach Chuck Noll is from Cleveland and played linebacker for the Browns. His successor as head coach, Bill Cowher, also played linebacker and special teams for the Browns, and was an assistant coach for the Browns from 1985–88. Cowher was born and raised in Crafton, a suburb of Pittsburgh. Former Browns head coach Marty Schottenheimer is a native of Pittsburgh area suburb Canonsburg, along with his brother Kurt Schottenheimer, who was the Browns special teams coach from 1987–88. Another Browns head coach, Bud Carson also had as his hometown a northern suburb of Pittsburgh and was a longtime Steelers coordinator under Chuck Noll.

Steelers Hall of Famer Jack Lambert is a native Ohioan and attended Kent State University, as did Akron, Ohio native James Harrison. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger hails from Findlay, Ohio. Former punter Chris Gardocki played for three years for the Steelers, including the Super Bowl XL championship team, after playing five seasons with the Browns from 1999-2003. Former Steelers Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians held the same position with the Browns from 2001–03.

History of the rivalry[edit]

The Browns and Steelers first met in 1950, the Browns' first NFL season after dominating the All-America Football Conference. Early on during this period, the Browns were one of the NFL's elite teams and dominated the rivalry. The Steelers did not win their first game against the Browns until 1954.

The rivalry carried over to the newly formed American Football Conference in 1970 as the two teams and then-Baltimore Colts joined the former American Football League teams in the conference as part of the AFL–NFL merger. The newly merged league needed to move three teams from the "old" NFL to the AFC so that the two conferences had 13 teams. (The rest of the "old" NFL teams joined the newly formed National Football Conference.) The NFL tried to get the Steelers to the new conference, but then-Steelers owner Art Rooney initially refused. Then-Browns owner Art Modell volunteered the Browns to shift to the AFC after he was offered $3 million as an incentive to move. That financial boost made it easy to convince Rooney to join him in the AFC in order to continue their own rivalry. In addition, a potential intrastate rivalry with the Cincinnati Bengals (due to his lingering feud with Paul Brown at the time) could be developed (though like the Browns, the Bengals currently view the Steelers as their biggest rival).[4]

However, in the 1970s the Steelers had begun to even the playing field with the Browns, led by head coach Chuck Noll, a Cleveland native and former Browns linebacker. By then, the rivalry between the two clubs was more hostile and personal, as evident in the 1976 matchup at Cleveland Municipal Stadium, when Joe "Turkey" Jones tackled Terry Bradshaw with a pile-driving sack. Bradshaw suffered a neck injury from the play, and the footage of the sack has since become immortalized in NFL Films as part of the rivalry.

While the two exchanged victories in the '70s and '80s, by the 1990s the Steelers became the dominant team in the rivalry. Since the Browns' last series sweep in 1988, the Steelers have an overwhelming 29-8 mark against the Browns, enough that in 2007 the Steelers took over the lead in the all-time series (which they currently lead at 60-56) for the first time. During most of this time, Bill Cowher was head coach of the Steelers. Cowher, a native of the Pittsburgh suburb of Crafton, also played linebacker for the Browns (though unlike Noll, Cowher mostly played special teams), and also served as an assistant in Cleveland under Marty Schottenheimer, himself a native of another Pittsburgh area suburb, Canonsburg.

The Steelers also have a 2-0 record against the Browns in the playoffs, with both games taking place in Pittsburgh.

The rivalry took a brief hiatus from 1996–98 due to the Cleveland Browns relocation controversy. When the league was voting on the Browns relocation, Steelers owner Dan Rooney was one of only two owners to vote against the move. In tribute of Cleveland losing the Browns, Steeler fans wore orange arm bands to the final game at Three Rivers Stadium as a sign of mutual respect and sorrow for losing a great rivalry. While Browns fans still consider the Steelers as their main archrival, a small number of Steeler fans consider their rivalry with the Baltimore Ravens the spiritual successor to this rivalry due to Art Modell moving his franchise to Baltimore and establishing the expansion Ravens. The recent one-sidedness of this rivalry in favor of the Steelers has influenced this thinking as well. Nevertheless, it is still one of the most heated in the NFL.

1950s (Browns 16–4)[edit]

Season Date Result Location Notes
1950 October 7 Browns

30–17

Forbes Field Taking advantage of six Steeler turnovers, the Browns won the inaugural meeting between the two franchises. Cleveland's first touchdown was set up by a 46-yard punt return from Dom Moselle in the opening quarter, and two more scores were tallied before halftime as a result of Pittsburgh fumbles. Both teams were powered by strong running games, combining for just over 400 yards on the day, with the clinching touchdown coming on a 48-yard run by the Browns' Dub Jones. That score came after yet another Steeler fumble.
October 29 Browns 

45–7

Cleveland Municipal Stadium Led by Marion Motley's 188 yards on just 11 carries, the Browns had little trouble in sweeping the season series. In addition to amassing a combined 338 yards on the ground, the Cleveland defense forced eight turnovers and held the Steelers scoreless until early in the final quarter. The Browns had a 17-0 advantage at halftime, but then put the game away after the break with a 69-yard scoring run from Motley and a 14-yard scamper from Don Phelps, who gained 87 yards rushing and also returned a kickoff 61 yards to set up the team's first score.
1951 October 21 Browns 

17–0

Cleveland Municipal Stadium Defense and special teams help the Browns score both touchdowns and keep them within a game of the division leading New York Giants. The first touchdown comes in bizarre fashion in the second quarter when a Pittsburgh punt ricochets off a Steeler on the line back to the Steeler two, where Horace Gillom picked it up and scored. Holding a 10-0 advantage in the third quarter, the Browns closes out the scoring when Warren Lahr picks off a pass and returns it for a touchdown.
December 9 Browns 

28–0

Forbes Field The Browns clinch their second straight division title, win their tenth straight game and collect their fourth shutout of the season. Cleveland effectively puts the game away late in the second quarter with two touchdowns to take a 21-0 advantage into the halftime locker room. In the fourth quarter, the Browns tack on one more score when rookie Carl Taseff scores from three yards out.
1952 October 4 Browns 

21–20

Forbes Field Trailing by 13 midway through the third quarter, the Browns rally with two scores on Otto Graham touchdown passes to Dub Jones and Sherman Howard. Graham finishes with 401 yards passing with three touchdowns, but also throws four interceptions.
November 16 Browns 

29–28

Cleveland Municipal Stadium The Browns nearly blow a 22-point lead, but hold on to move into first place in the Eastern Division. Cleveland held the Steelers without a first down until two minutes left in the first half, taking a 15-0 halftime lead. On their first series after the break, the Browns scored again, but from that point, Pittsburgh came alive, chopping the deficit to just eight with ten minutes to play. However, the Steelers could only manage a last-minute touchdown to come up one point short.
1953 November 8 Browns 

34–16

Cleveland Municipal Stadium Bouncing back from an early 9-0 deficit, the Browns ran off 17 unanswered points and went on to maintain a spotless 7-0 record on the season. In the closing moments of the first half, they also blocked a field goal that was returned 79 yards for a score by Ray Renfro, his second touchdown of the afternoon, to give Cleveland a 24-16 advantage. In the final quarter, Otto Graham connected with Dante Lavelli, and Lou Groza kicked his second field goal of the afternoon to close out the scoring.
November 22 Browns 

20–16

Forbes Field Otto Graham touchdown passes to Ray Renfro and Darrell Brewster, along with field goals of 50 and 42 yards by Lou Groza gave the Browns their ninth win of the season without a loss. Groza's field goals came against a stiff wind, while the injury-depleted Cleveland defense limited the Steelers to a pair of scores. Two of the Pittsburgh points came on an odd second quarter safety in which the Browns' Warren Lahr intercepted a Jim Finks pass in the end zone, but was tackled before he came out.
1954 October 17 Steelers 

55–27

Forbes Field After being on the losing side in each of the previous eight matchups, the Steelers picked up their first win of the series with a 28-point thrashing. Ray Matthews provided plenty of offense with five catches for 152 yards and three touchdowns, along with another score on the ground. Pittsburgh took advantage of eight Browns turnovers, including six interceptions—two of which were returned for scores.
December 12 Browns 

42–7

Cleveland Municipal Stadium Fueled by 3 first half touchdown runs by running back Chet Hanulak, the Browns won their eighth straight game and avenged their earlier loss to the Steelers. Hanulak's scores and Ken Konz's interception return for another touchdown gave Cleveland a commanding 28-0 lead at halftime. On the day, the Browns rolled up 464 yards of total offense, including 282 on the ground, while holding Pittsburgh to just 171 on their side of the ball.
1955 November 20 Browns 

41–14

Cleveland Municipal Stadium Three second half touchdowns by the Browns broke open a close contest and gave them their seventh win in nine games. Curly Morrison rushed for 140 yards for Cleveland while Dante Lavelli cauight a pair of touchdown passes from Otto Graham. For the second straight year, Ken Konz returned an interception for a score, and also provided a 42-yard punt return that set up another touchdown.
December 4 Browns 

30–7

Forbes Field The Browns clinched their sixth consecutive Eastern Division title with a comfortable win that saw a dominating defense hold the Steelers to just 123 yards of total offense. Otto Graham completed only four passes for the afternoon, but two of those went for touchdowns, and he also scored one of his own on the ground. In addition, Lou Groza added three field goals. The Steelers' only points came in the final quarter on a blocked Horace Gillom punt.
1956 October 6 Browns 

14–10

Forbes Field In a nighttime matchup, the Browns held off a last-minute drive to pick up the win as Warren Lahr knocked away Ted Marchibroda's pass in the end zone with 1:13 left in the contest. Browns quarterback George Ratterman had given Cleveland the lead in the second quarter, but the Steelers headed to the halftime locker room with a 10-7 advantage. Ed Modzelewski's 13-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter gave the Browns the lead for good and set up the late-game drama.
November 28 Steelers 

24–16

Cleveland Municipal Stadium Scoring three second-quarter touchdowns helped the Steelers come back from an early 13-point deficit and allowed them to notch their first-ever win in Cleveland. Pittsburgh was sparked by a blocked field goal from Dale Dodrill, with Ted Marchibroda sandwiching a pair of touchdown passes around a one-yard run by Lynn Chandnois. A quiet second half saw only one field goal from each close out the scoring.
1957 October 5 Browns 

23–12

Forbes Field A Saturday night clash in Pittsburgh sees the Browns collect 13 points from the Steelers' seven turnovers, while Lou Groza connects on three field goals during the evening. The two Cleveland touchdowns come via passes: the first on a halfback option from Chet Hanulak to Ray Renfro in the second quarter, the second on a toss from Tommy O'Connell to Milt Campbell.
November 10 Browns 

24–0

Cleveland Municipal Stadium The Browns score in every quarter and shut out the Steelers for the second time in the eight-year history of the series. After Browns quarterback Tommy O'Connell throws touchdown passes to Ray Renfro and Preston Carpenter, they clinch the contest in the fourth quarter when defensive back Don Paul returns a Billy Wells fumble 89 yards for the score.
1958 October 5 Browns 

45–12

Pitt Stadium The Browns take advantage of nine Steeler turnovers to pick their second win of the season. Rolling up more than 400 yards of total offense, Cleveland is led by both Milt Plum's precision passing (completing all but one of his 14 pass attempts) and Jim Brown's 129 yards on the ground. After Pittsburgh slices their deficit to 21-10 in the second quarter, the Browns run off 24 unanswered points to put the game away.
October 19 Browns 

27–10

Cleveland Municipal Stadium Facing each other for the second time in three weeks, the Browns bounce back from an early 7-0 deficit to remain undefeated at 4-0. Cleveland takes advantage of seven Steeler turnovers and uses the running combination of Jim Brown (153 yards) and Bobby Mitchell (108 yards) to run off 27 straight points. A slight head injury to Lou Groza forces Browns quarterback Milt Plum to kick two extra points.
1959 September 26 Steelers 

17–7

Forbes Field In a Saturday night season opener, the Browns are unable to stop Steelers quarterback Bobby Layne, who throws for 209 yards and two touchdowns, runs for 49 yards on five carries and also kicks a 26-yard field goal. The Browns had led 7-0 at the half on the strength of Milt Plum's one-yard quarterback sneak in the second quarter.
November 22 Steelers 

21–20

Cleveland Municipal Stadium Bobby Layne takes the Steelers 72 yards for the winning touchdown, connecting with Gern Nagler on an 18-yard touchdown with 40 seconds left. Lou Groza, whose missed extra point in the second quarter served as the final margin, misses his third field goal of the day, a 49-yard effort, for the Browns as time expires. The loss spoils an outstanding performance by the Browns' Ray Renfro, who hauls in five receptions for 161 yards and three touchdowns.

1960s (Browns 15–5)[edit]

Season Date Result Location Notes
1960 October 2 Browns 

28–20 

Cleveland Municipal Stadium The Browns jumped out to a 21-0 halftime lead, but needed some defensive help to hold off the Steeler comeback. Cleveland's Milt Plum threw for 308 yards on just 10 completions to three receivers: Rich Kreitling, Bobby Mitchell and Gern Nagler.
November 20 Steelers 

14–10

Forbes Field On the final play of the game, Milt Plum's end zone pass to Leon Clarke is ruled a trap, giving the Steelers the victory. Earlier in the final quarter, the Steelers' Tom Tracy had scored the go-ahead touchdown to complete a 75-yard drive. The Pittsburgh win spoiled an outstanding effort by Browns wide receiver Gern Nagler, who caught 10 passes for 177 yards, one catch away from the team record.
1961 October 22 Browns 

30–28

Forbes Field With Bobby Mitchell scoring three touchdowns and Lou Groza adding a trio of field goals, the Browns are able to withstand Buddy Dial's Steelers-record 235 receiving yards (including an 88-yard reception for touchdown). Pittsburgh's John Henry Johnson fumble in the final two minutes seals the victory for Cleveland.
November 5 Steelers 

17–13

Cleveland Municipal Stadium Bob Schnelker's 26-yard touchdown catch from Rudy Bukich in the closing minutes gives the Steelers the victory. The winning drive had been sparked by a 50-yard kickoff return from Dick Haley. The Browns' Lou Groza had given Cleveland a three-point advantage with a 37-yard field goal at the 3:37 mark of the final quarter.
1962 October 28 Browns 

41–14

Pitt Stadium After Browns starting quarterback Jim Ninowski suffers a shoulder separation in the second quarter, Frank Ryan enters the game and puts 34 points on the board, including touchdown passes to Jim Brown and Ernie Green. The Cleveland defense also has a standout day, sacking Steeler quarterbacks Bobby Layne and Ed Brown ten times.
November 25 Browns 

35–14

Cleveland Municipal Stadium Three fourth-quarter touchdowns help break up a tight game, as Jim Brown ends a busy day with 110 yards rushing, five receptions for 56 yards, and three touchdowns. Frank Ryan also puts up impressive numbers, completing 21 of 33 passes for 284 yards while throwing a trio of touchdown passes.
1963 October 5 Browns 

35–23

Cleveland Municipal Stadium Before more than 84,000 fans, the Browns use a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown passes to cement the victory. The game, played on a Saturday night for the first of eight consecutive years in Cleveland, saw seven lead changes.
November 10 Steelers 

9–7

Pitt Stadium Steeler quarterback Ed Brown connects with Gary Ballman early in the fourth quarter for the go-ahead (and eventual winning) score. The two point difference came from a third quarter safety in which Pittsburgh linebacker Bob Schmitz trapped Jim Brown in the end zone.
1964 October 10 Steelers 

23–7

Cleveland Municipal Stadium Veteran (35 years old) Steeler running back John Henry Johnson, outgains Jim Brown in rushing yards 200 to 59, and also scored three touchdowns in Pittsburgh's romp.
November 1 Browns 

30–17

Pitt Stadium Three weeks after their upset loss, the Browns gain a measure of revenge with the use of a potent running attack. Jim Brown gains 149 yards while Ernie Green scores a pair of touchdowns. Cleveland's defense also sacks Steeler quarterback Ed Brown five times for 42 yards.
1965 October 9 Browns 

24–19

Cleveland Municipal Stadium With just 44 seconds left in the game and the Steelers leading 19-17, Frank Ryan connects with Gary Collins on a 14-yard touchdown pass for the game-winner. Under rainy and muddy conditions, Jim Brown runs for 168 yards on the evening
November 28 Browns 

42–21

Pitt Stadium The Browns clinch their second straight division championship behind the outstanding performance of Jim Brown who scores four touchdowns and rushes for 146 yards. Despite winds gusting up to 35 miles per hour, Steeler quarterback Bill Nelsen throws three touchdown passes, two of them for more than 80 yards or more.
1966 October 8 Browns 

41–10

Cleveland Municipal Stadium After a third quarter letdown that saw Pittsburgh reduce a 21-0 halftime deficit to 11, the Browns reached the end zone three times in the final quarter. The Browns' Leroy Kelly and Ernie Green each rushed for more than 100 yards on the evening.
November 6 Steelers 

16–6

Pitt Stadium The Steelers pick off five of Frank Ryan's passes and use the leg of kicker Mike Clark to pull the upset victory. Clark connects on three field goals, while Gary Ballman catches an eight-yard touchdown pass, part of 16 unanswered points by Pittsburgh.
1967 October 7 Browns 

21–10

Cleveland Municipal Stadium Behind three touchdown passes from Frank Ryan and 188 yards rushing from the duo of Leroy Kelly and Ernie Green, the Browns evened their mark at 2-2 on the young season. Steeler rookie quarterback Kent Nix, in just his second start, was 23-34 for 218 yards and one touchdown.
November 5 Browns 

34–14

Pitt Stadium Despite a severely bruised right arm, Browns quarterback Frank Ryan threw for a pair of scores, while the rushing attack also contributed 181 yards on the ground. Special teams were not ignored by Cleveland as rookie Ben Davis returned a punt 52 yards for a touchdown.
1968 October 5 Browns 

31–24

Cleveland Municipal Stadium With new quarterback Bill Nelsen at the helm, the Browns stop a two-game losing streak, in part by using the legs of Leroy Kelly, who rushes for 128 yards and one touchdown. Cleveland breaks a 17-17 deadlock in the third quarter by taking advantage of a fumbled punt and interception by the Steelers.
November 17 Browns 

45–24

Pitt Stadium The passing duo of Bill Nelsen and Frank Ryan combine for 352 yards passing and five touchdown tosses for the Browns, while the ball-hawking defense collects six interceptions on the cloudy afternoon.
1969 October 18 Browns 

42–31

Cleveland Municipal Stadium In a high-scoring affair, the Browns use a pair of interception returns for touchdowns to break open a tight 14-10 game, with veteran Erich Barnes and rookie Walt Sumner doing the honors. Browns receiver Gary Collins and Steeler wideout Roy Jefferson each catch seven passes for over 100 yards.
November 16 Browns 

24–3

Pitt Stadium Wide receiver Paul Warfield collects 132 yards on just five catches and scores one touchdown to help the Browns from a 51-3 drubbing the previous week. The victory marks the sixth consecutive victory over the Steelers.

1970s (Steelers 15–5)[edit]

Season Date Result Location Notes
1970 October 3 Browns 

15–7

Cleveland Municipal Stadium Browns rookie quarterback Mike Phipps enters the game early in the second half and leads the Browns to 13 unanswered points and the victory. Fellow rookie signal caller Terry Bradshaw is trapped for his third safety in as many games for the Steelers.
November 29 Steelers 

28–9

Three Rivers Stadium An energized Steeler squad took control of a tight game in the second half as Terry Bradshaw threw touchdown passes to Ron Shanklin (his second of the game) and John Fuqua. The Browns managed just 199 yards of total offense, while Pittsburgh amassed more than 400 on the rainy afternoon.
1971 October 10 Browns 

27–17

Cleveland Municipal Stadium After leading 20-7 at halftime, the Browns held off the upset-minded Steelers for the seventh straight time at home, with tight end Milt Morin hauling in eight receptions for 126 yards.
November 7 Steelers 

26–9

Three Rivers Stadium L.C. Greenwood's block of a Don Cockroft fourth quarter punt leads to Roy Gerela's fourth field goal of the afternoon and blunts a Cleveland comeback. The clutch play came as the Steelers had seen their 16-point halftime margin sliced to one touchdown. John Fuqua led all rushers with 133 yards on the day, while Leroy Kelly also reached the century mark for Cleveland with 102.
1972 November 19 Browns 

26–24

Cleveland Municipal Stadium Browns kicker Don Cockroft redeemed himself by kicking a game-winning 26-yard field goal with 13 seconds left. Cockroft had missed a 27-yard attempt with just under two minutes remaining, but quarterback Mike Phipps' final-minute drive gained 40 yards to set up the winning points.
December 3 Steelers 

30–0

Three Rivers Stadium A dominating performance by the Steelers puts them in position to win the first division title in their 40-year history. The Browns cross midfield just once, a drive that ends with a missed Don Cockroft field goal. Rookie Franco Harris runs for 102 yards and scores two touchdowns, while Roy Gerela adds three field goals. The Steelers take control after Andy Russell recovers a Leroy Kelly fumble in the third quarter.
1973 September 23 Steelers 

33–6

Three Rivers Stadium For the second straight year, the Steelers completely bottle up the Browns in Three Rivers Stadium as Roy Gerela connects on four field goals and Frank Lewis is on the receiving end of two touchdown passes. Browns quarterback Mike Phipps has a rough day, throwing three interceptions and getting sacked three times.
November 25 Browns 

21–16

Cleveland Municipal Stadium A clutch reception late in the fourth quarter by rookie running back Greg Pruitt, followed soon after by a 19-yard touchdown run by Pruitt helped the Browns notch their ninth straight win against the Steelers in Cleveland. The victory keeps the Browns in the thick of the AFC Central Division race.
1974 October 20 Steelers 

20–16

Three Rivers Stadium Entering the game as heavy underdogs, the Browns nearly pull off an upset before coming up short. Late in the fourth quarter, Mike Phipps' pass in Steeler territory is intercepted by Glen Edwards to seal the game for the Steelers. Both teams had problems holding onto the ball, with eight fumbles leading to three turnovers.
November 17 Steelers 

26–16

Cleveland Municipal Stadium For the first time since 1959, the Steelers swept the season series between the two teams as Pittsburgh scored 13 unanswered points in the fourth quarter for the victory. Don Cockroft's third field goal of the day had given the Browns a 16-13 lead, but Roy Gerela sandwiched a pair of field goals around J.T. Thomas' fumble recovery that was returned for a touchdown.
1975 October 5 Steelers 

42–6

Cleveland Municipal Stadium The Steelers take a 28-0 halftime lead and coast to victory. The most noteworthy moment of the game came in the second quarter when Steelers defensive tackle "Mean Joe" Greene repeatedly kicked Browns lineman Bob McKay in the groin during this game while McKay was on the ground.,[5] leading to his ejection from the contest.
December 7 Steelers 

31–17

Three Rivers Stadium Bouncing back from a 17-7 second quarter deficit, the Steelers score 24 unanswered points to hold off the upset-minded Browns, who entered the game with a 2-10 record. Two Terry Bradshaw to Lynn Swann touchdown passes in the third quarter fuel the comeback, while Franco Harris contributes 103 yards to the Pittsburgh running game.
1976 September 19 Steelers 

31–14

Three Rivers Stadium After trailing 14-0 at the half, the Steelers change the momentum of the game when Jack Ham blocks Don Cockroft's punt, leading to Pittsburgh's first score, the first of 31 straight points for the defending Super Bowl champions. The Browns contribute by committing four turnovers in the second half, including a pair of fumbles by rookie Mike Pruitt.
October 10 Browns 

18–16

Cleveland Municipal Stadium After Browns quarterback Brian Sipe leaves the game in the first half with a concussion, third-string signal caller Dave Mays leads the Browns to victory. Don Cockroft kicks four field goals for Cleveland, with running back Cleo Miller scoring the team's lone touchdown. The most memorable play came with approximately 11 minutes left in the game as the Browns' Joe "Turkey" Jones sacked Terry Bradshaw on a pile-driving sack, injuring the quarterback and forcing him to miss the next two games.
1977 October 2 Steelers 

28–14

Cleveland Municipal Stadium Trailing 14-7 in the second quarter, the Steelers' Frank Lewis caught a ball that bounced off the Browns' Oliver Davis, then tipped by Davis' teammate, Thom Darden, before being grabbed by Lewis for a 65-yard touchdown pass. In the third quarter, a fumbled punt by the Browns deep in their own territory is recovered by Pittsburgh and results in a Lynn Swann touchdown reception, giving the Steelers the lead for good.
November 13 Steelers 

35–31

Three Rivers Stadium After taking a 28-3 halftime lead and knocking out Browns quarterback Brian Sipe with a season-ending shoulder injury, the Steelers hold off a fourth quarter rally by the Browns. The Steelers were powered primarily by the pass catching duo of John Stallworth and Lynn Swann, who combined for 255 yards on 11 catches, while scoring three touchdowns.
1978 September 24 Steelers 

15–9 (OT)

Three Rivers Stadium After the two teams each kicked three field goals in regulation, they face off in the first-ever overtime game ever in the series. Pittsburgh wins the coin toss to start the extra session, but fumble on the ensuing kick to the Browns. However, an official ruled that the play had been whistled dead before the fumble. Terry Bradshaw then leads the Steelers down the field before calling a double reverse and connecting with tight end Bennie Cunningham for the winning touchdown.
October 15 Steelers

34–14

Cleveland Municipal Stadium After Dave Logan's second-quarter touchdown reception gives the Browns a 7-6 lead, Steelers' rookie Larry Anderson takes the subsequent kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown to give Pittsburgh the lead for good. In the third quarter, the Steelers' Mike Wagner's interception leads to another score and effectively puts the game away. Pittsburgh linebacker Jack Lambert was ejected in the second quarter for unnecessary roughness after hitting Browns quarterback Brian Sipe out of bounds, and then punching a second Browns player. In a Howard Cosell interview the next week Lambert comments on the now much quoted event as "Quarterbacks should wear dresses."
1979 October 7 Steelers 

51–35

Cleveland Municipal Stadium After the Steelers take a 27-0 first half lead, they increase the margin to 30 at 44-14 late in the third quarter. At that point, the Browns' Brian Sipe chops the margin to nine with just over nine minutes left with three of his five touchdown passes on the day. The Steelers then seal the victory with a long clock-eating drive, ending with Sidney Thornton's TD in the final minute. The contest remains the highest scoring game in the series to date.
November 25 Steelers 

33–30 (OT)

Three Rivers Stadium After the Steelers' Matt Bahr kicks a last-minute field goal to tie the game at 30, he wins the contest with nine seconds left in overtime on a 37-yard field goal. In a game that lasted more than four hours, the two teams combine for almost 700 passing yards—the Steelers with 606 total yards. The Browns held a 10-point lead at 30-20 with less than 10 minutes remaining, but the Steelers scored a touchdown with 4:42 left, followed by Bahr's field goal with 24 seconds left in regulation.

1980s (Browns 12–8)[edit]

Season Date Result Location Notes
1980 October 26 Browns 

27–26

Cleveland Municipal Stadium Brian Sipe rallies the Kardiac Kids from a 26-14 fourth quarter deficit with touchdown passes to Greg Pruitt and Ozzie Newsome. The Steelers were without Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, John Stallworth, Lynn Swann and Jack Lambert who were injured.
November 16 Steelers 

16–13

Three Rivers Stadium Terry Bradshaw's TD pass to Lynn Swann with eleven seconds left keeps the Browns winless at Three Rivers Stadium.
1981 October 11 Steelers 

13–7

Three Rivers Stadium Jack Lambert knocks out Brian Sipe with helmet to helmet hit
November 22 Steelers 

32–10

Cleveland Municipal Stadium A pair of trick plays and three interceptions from defensive back Donnie Shell helps the Steelers effectively eliminate the Browns from playoff competition. Pittsburgh takes control of the game in the third quarter as a fake field goal leads to a Franco Harris touchdown. In the final stanza, a touchdown pass to offensive tackle Ray Pinney gives the team a 15-point advantage.
1982 December 19 Browns 

10–9

Cleveland Municipal Stadium Browns defensive back Hanford Dixon intercepts three passes, including two in the final minutes as Cleveland stops a four-game losing streak. Punter Steve Cox ran out of the end zone in the closing seconds for a safety to preserve the Browns victory.
January 2 Steelers 

37–21

Three Rivers Stadium
1983 October 16 Steelers 

44–17

Three Rivers Stadium
December 18 Browns 

30–17

Cleveland Municipal Stadium
1984 September 23 Browns 

20–10

Cleveland Municipal Stadium
December 9 Steelers 

23–20

Three Rivers Stadium
1985 September 16 Browns 

17–7

Cleveland Municipal Stadium In the first Monday Night Football meeting ever between the two teams, the Browns combined a harassing defense along with touchdowns from second-year running back Earnest Byner and rookie wide receiver Fred Banks to collect their first victory of the season. Steelers' quarterback Mark Malone was intercepted twice in connecting on just 18 of 45 pass attempts.
November 3 Steelers 

10–9

Three Rivers Stadium Gary Anderson's kick wins it in the final seconds, after the Steelers held Kosar to just 96 total yards during a driving rain storm. The AFC Central is all tied up with every team at 4-5 after this game.
1986 October 5 Browns 

27–24

Three Rivers Stadium Browns' first win ever at Three Rivers Stadium.
November 23 Browns 

37–31 (OT)

Cleveland Municipal Stadium Bernie Kosar connects with rookie Webster Slaughter on a game-winning 37-yard pass in overtime to give the Browns their first sweep of Pittsburgh since 1969. Kosar throws for 414 yards for the Browns, who rack up 536 yards of total offense, but the Browns lose kicker Matt Bahr after he suffers a season-ending knee injury.
1987 September 20 Browns 

34–10

Cleveland Municipal Stadium
December 26 Browns 

19–13

Three Rivers Stadium The Browns clinch the AFC Central Division title by holding the Steelers to one offensive play in the 4th quarter.
1988 October 2 Browns 

23–9

Three Rivers Stadium
November 20 Browns 

27–7

Cleveland Municipal Stadium Browns' last sweep of Steelers to date.
1989 September 10 Browns 

51–0

Three Rivers Stadium Biggest margin of victory within the rivalry to date. Also the worst loss for the Steelers in franchise history.
October 15 Steelers 

17–7

Cleveland Municipal Stadium

1990s (Steelers 10–5)[edit]

Season Date Result Location Notes
1990 September 9 Browns 

13–3

Cleveland Municipal Stadium
December 23 Steelers 

35–0

Three Rivers Stadium Cleveland's first 3 plays results in 3 turnovers. Pittsburgh converts those turnovers into touchdowns.
1991 October 27 Browns 

17–14

Cleveland Municipal Stadium Bernie Kosar has his own Immaculate Reception after a 90 degree deflected pass ends up on top of a knocked down Brown in the Steelers endzone, giving Cleveland the lead. Gary Anderson's last minute FG hits the goal post.
December 22 Steelers 

17–10

Three Rivers Stadium Steelers head coach Chuck Noll's final game. He retired four days later after 23 seasons.
1992 October 11 Browns 

17–9

Cleveland Municipal Stadium
December 27 Steelers 

23–13

Three Rivers Stadium
1993 October 24 Browns 

28–23

Cleveland Municipal Stadium Eric Metcalf returns two punts for TDs, including one in the final three minutes for the winning score.
January 2 Steelers 

16–9

Three Rivers Stadium 1993 season extended into January 1994 due to use of an extra bye week.
1994 September 11 Steelers 

17–10

Cleveland Municipal Stadium
December 18 Steelers 

17–7

Three Rivers Stadium Steelers dominate Browns in clinching the AFC Central Division title.
January 7 Steelers 
29–9
Three Rivers Stadium Divisional Playoff game following the 1994 season.
1995 November 13 Steelers 

20–3

Three Rivers Stadium One week after Art Modell had announced plans to move the Browns to Baltimore, Steelers fans wore orange arm bands in tribute to the seeming end of the rivalry.(The team officially suspended operations until 1999. Officially, the Baltimore Ravens are a 1996 expansion team.)
November 26 Steelers 

20–17

Cleveland Municipal Stadium Final meeting at Cleveland Stadium. Cleveland officially suspended operations 1996-1998.
1999 September 12 Steelers 

43–0

Cleveland Browns Stadium First game in history of Cleveland Browns Stadium and Browns' first game back after a 3-year hiatus.

Sunday Night Football.

November 14 Browns 

16–15

Three Rivers Stadium Browns gain revenge for season-opening humiliation on Phil Dawson's FG as time expires. Their first win in Pittsburgh since 1989.

2000s (Steelers 18–3)[edit]

Season Date Result Location Notes
2000 September 17 Browns 

23–20

Cleveland Browns Stadium
October 22 Steelers 

22–0

Three Rivers Stadium Final meeting at Three Rivers Stadium.
2001 November 11 Steelers 

15–12 (OT)

Cleveland Browns Stadium
January 6 Steelers 

28–7

Heinz Field Game was intended to be first game at new stadium, played September 16, 2001. Because of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, all Week 2 games were moved to the first Sunday or Monday of January 2002.
2002 September 29 Steelers 

16–13 (OT)

Heinz Field
November 3 Steelers 

23–20

Cleveland Browns Stadium
January 5 Steelers 
36–33
Heinz Field AFC Wild Card Playoff game. Steelers rally from 24-7 third quarter deficit. This game was the origin of the "Renegade" highlight packages being used at Heinz Field.[6]
2003 October 5 Browns 

33–13

Heinz Field First (and as of 2014, only) win by the Browns at Heinz Field. To date, the Browns have lost 11 consecutive road games to the Steelers.
November 23 Steelers 

13–6

Cleveland Browns Stadium
2004 October 10 Steelers 

34–23

Heinz Field
November 14 Steelers 

24–10

Cleveland Browns Stadium Browns running back William Green and Steelers linebacker Joey Porter were both ejected prior to kickoff due to a pregame fight. Akron native James Harrison would get his first NFL start in place of Porter.
2005 November 13 Steelers 

34–21

Heinz Field
December 24 Steelers 

41–0

Cleveland Browns Stadium Steelers linebacker James Harrison would bodyslam a drunken Browns fan after the fan ran onto the field. The incident, which later became a YouTube sensation, would become the highlight of Harrison's career before his breakout 2007 season.
2006 November 19 Steelers 

24–20

Cleveland Browns Stadium Ben Roethlisberger throws a 4-yard shovel pass to Willie Parker in the final minute to lead the Steelers to a comeback win.
December 7 Steelers 

27–7

Heinz Field Willie Parker sets the all-time Steelers single-game rushing record with a 223-yard performance.
2007 September 9 Steelers 

34–7

Cleveland Browns Stadium The Browns would trade starting quarterback Charlie Frye to the Seattle Seahawks two days following this contest, in which he was replaced by Derek Anderson, making Frye the first QB in NFL history to start a season opener before being traded prior to Week 2. Mike Tomlin's debut as Steelers head coach.
November 11 Steelers 
31–28
Heinz Field Steelers come back from being down 21–6. Browns' Phil Dawson misses a 52-yard field goal attempt to tie with 6 seconds left.
2008 September 14 Steelers 
10–6
Cleveland Browns Stadium The Steelers defeated the Browns as remnants of Hurricane Ike hit Cleveland with rain and winds of 60 miles per hour (97 km/h). The game's only touchdown was a Ben Roethlisberger pass to Hines Ward.
December 28 Steelers 
31–0
Heinz Field
2009 October 18 Steelers 
27–14
Heinz Field
December 10 Browns 
13–6
Cleveland Browns Stadium The Browns defeated the Steelers for the first time since 2003 in what was called the coldest game in the history of the rivalry with a windchill of 10 degrees below zero. They would give Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger only his second loss to an Ohio-based NFL team in his home state of Ohio after his team lost in Cincinnati earlier on in the same season.

2010s (Steelers 8–2)[edit]

Season Date Result Location Notes
2010 October 17 Steelers
28–10
Heinz Field The Steelers wore their throwback uniform in this game.[7] This was Roethlisberger's 2010 debut after serving a 4 game suspension to begin the season.
January 2 Steelers
41–9
Cleveland Browns Stadium
2011 December 8 Steelers
14–3
Heinz Field Thursday Night Football. Roethlisberger sprained ankle in first half, but came back hobbled in second half to lead Pittsburgh to victory. In fourth quarter, Browns defense holds on a goal-line stand, Ike Taylor makes critical end-zone interception and Roethlisberger finds Antonio Brown on deep pass play to seal the game.
January 1 Steelers
13–9
Cleveland Browns Stadium Final game of the regular season for both teams
2012 November 25 Browns
20–14
Cleveland Browns Stadium The Browns defense forced eight turnovers (3 interceptions, 5 fumbles) in the Cleveland win. Charlie Batch started at quarterback for the Steelers in place of the injured Roethlisberger.
December 30 Steelers
24–10
Heinz Field Final game of the regular season for both teams. Thad Lewis started for the Browns in place of the injured Weeden and McCoy.
2013 November 24 Steelers
27-11
FirstEnergy Stadium
December 29 Steelers
20-7
Heinz Field Final game of the regular season for both teams.
2014 September 7 Steelers
30-27
Heinz Field Steelers dominate first half going ahead 27-3 at halftime. Browns move into a tie in the 4th quarter tied at 27. Suisham nails 41-yard field goal to win it for the Steelers 30-27. Browns lose their 10th straight regular season opening game.
October 12 Browns
31-10
FirstEnergy Stadium Most lopsided Browns win in the rivalry since 1989. QB Ben Roethlisberger's 2nd loss to Cleveland in 20 starts.

Jinx[edit]

  • The Three Rivers Jinx. When the Steelers moved to Three Rivers Stadium in 1970, they defeated the Browns 16 straight times before the Browns finally broke through with a win in 1986. The Browns eventually went on to post a miserable all-time mark (5-24, .172) at the stadium from 1970-2000. At Heinz Field (opened 2001), the Steelers lead 13-1. Since the 1970 merger, the Browns are 6-37 at Pittsburgh. Before that, they had won 16 of their first 20 visits (1950-1969).
  • Likewise, the Steelers posted a less-than-spectacular record (14-32, .304) at the Browns' old facility, Cleveland Municipal Stadium, from 1950-1995. At Cleveland Browns Stadium (opened 1999), the Steelers lead 11-4. Since 1974 (their first Super Bowl season), the Steelers lead 18-17 in Cleveland. Beforehand, the Steelers had lost 19 of 24 on the road (1950-1973).

Records[edit]

  • The greatest defeat in Steelers history occurred on the season opener (September 10) of the 1989 NFL season in Pittsburgh when the Browns won 51-0. Nearly ten years to the day (September 12), when the Browns returned to the league in the 1999 NFL season, the Steelers defeated them in their first game back 43-0, still the revived Browns' worst loss as well as the Steelers' most lopsided defeat ever of the Browns.
  • The game is the most played rivalry in the AFC and fifth most played in the NFL. Among the top 5 NFL rivalries however, the win-loss difference of 11 games (9 regular season games) arguably makes it the most contested in the league.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Steelers-Browns Rivalry Over?". CBSPittsburgh.com. October 14, 2010. Retrieved February 9, 2011. 
  2. ^ Schudel, Jeff (August 19, 2009). "BROWNS NOTES: No blackout, thanks to WKYC". The Morning Journal. 
  3. ^ McIntyre, Michael K. (October 25, 2008). "Fighting words if you're Steelers". Cleveland.com. 
  4. ^ AP Browns Must Get Offense to Renew Steelers Rivalry The New York Times (Accessed 10/24/2009)
  5. ^ http://www.morningjournal.com/articles/2008/09/14/sports/doc48cc8d241031f428316969.txt
  6. ^ Mike Bires (11-03-2011). "Renegade: A Nation's Anthem". timesonline.com. Retrieved 12-06-2011.  Check date values in: |date=, |accessdate= (help)
  7. ^ http://www.timesonline.com/sports/sports_details/article/1424/2010/september/28/steelers-insider-batch-will-start-again.html

External links[edit]