The Steelers crushed the Browns, 38-7, on Sunday to improve to 5-0 on the season. In the meantime, they sent a message to Cleveland that they will never be on Pittsburgh’s level no matter how many shiny toys they add to the roster.
The Browns thought they finally had the team to beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh
The Browns have been the laughing stock of the NFL for over a decade. Before this season, Cleveland has gone 12 straight years with a losing record. They haven’t made the playoffs since 2002.
But there’s finally some optimism in the city with Baker Mayfield, Odell Beckham Jr., Myles Garrett, and company leading the team. After losing their season opener to the Baltimore Ravens, the Browns rattled off four straight wins to get to 4-1.
That marked the best start to a season for Cleveland since 1994. It seemed as if the Browns finally had a playoff roster for the first time in almost two decades, and they even had hopes of competing for the NFC North title heading into their huge Week 6 matchup against the Steelers.
The Browns hadn’t beaten the Steelers in Pittsburgh since Mayfield was in elementary school, so this was the litmus test to see if Cleveland was for real this year.
The Steelers crushed the Browns to prove Cleveland is still the little brother
The Browns had a chance to overtake the Steelers in the NFC North with a win Sunday and prove they’re no longer the laughing stock of the division, but that didn’t exactly go how they planned. Pittsburgh blitzed Cleveland from the opening whistle and cruised to a 38-7 victory.
The defense stifled Mayfield and the Browns’ offense all game. Mayfield went 10-18 for just 119 yards and one touchdown. He also threw two interceptions in the game, one of which was taken back for a pick-six.
The Steelers punished Mayfield all the way to the bench, as Kevin Stefanski benched the QB in the second half after his poor performance. The Browns mustered just 220 yards of offense in the blowout.
No matter how promising the Browns roster might be, Cleveland learned it will always be the little brother to Pittsburgh in the division.
The Browns haven’t beaten the Steelers in Pittsburgh in 17 years
The NFL is an ever-changing league. New teams pop up every year and surprisingly make the playoffs while other usual contenders disappoint and finish with a losing record. But one thing seems to never change — the Steelers own the Browns in Pittsburgh.
The Steelers’ win on Sunday marked the 17th straight home win over the Browns. Mike Tomlin, who’s coached the Steelers for 14 seasons, has never lost to the Browns in Pittsburgh.
Ben Roethlisberger might be close to retirement, and the team’s two best offensive weapons might no longer be with the team, but the Steelers aren’t yet ready to give up their label as the big brother in this NFC North rivalry.