Written by: Matt Sympson
The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cleveland Browns will renew their old-time rivalry on Sunday as the two teams face off in the first match-up of the season at Cleveland Browns Stadium.
According to afc-north.com, the rivalry began in Pittsburgh, in October of 1950, with a game that the Browns won 30-17.
They continued to dominate the rivalry throughout the ‘50s and ‘60s.
But when the Steelers hired head coach Chuck Noll, the Browns’ winning streak ended and the Steelers became a powerhouse team.
In 1974, after winning their first Super Bowl, the Steelers beat the Browns for the first time in over a decade.
The Steelers and the Browns faced off in some of the toughest games.
In a 1976 game, Browns defensive end Joe “Turkey” Jones lifted Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw off his feet and spiked him into the turf head-first, according to afc-north.com/rivalry.
The vicious hit left Bradshaw sidelined for two games.
Winning in the opposing team’s stadium was difficult in this rivalry.
The Browns beat the Steelers nine consecutive times at Cleveland Municipal Stadium from 1965 to 1973.
Three Rivers Stadium opened in 1970, and the Browns didn’t get their first victory there until 1986, according to afc-north.com/rivalry.
The worst defeat the Steelers have suffered in the NFL was against the Browns, on opening day in 1989.
The Steelers were crushed 51-0 on their home turf.
When the Steelers hired head coach Bill Cowher in 1990, they slowly began to take control of the rivalry.
In 1994, the Steelers and the Browns met in the post-season for the first time ever, and the Steelers completed the first three-game season sweep of the Browns.
The only other post-season meeting between the Browns and Steelers came in the 2002 Wild Card round.
Heading into halftime, the Browns led the Steelers 24-3. Under quarterback Tommy Maddox, the Steelers came back to win 36-33 and eliminate the Browns.
The Steelers would then go on to lose to the Tennessee Titans the following week.
Since the Browns returned to Cleveland in 1999, they have only beaten the Steelers a total of two times, the first dating back to October of 2003, when the Browns dismantled the Steelers 33-13.
The second came on a very cold evening in 2009.
With Brady Quinn as the starting quarterback, the Browns defeated the Steelers 13-6, ending the longest losing drought against a division rival in NFL history.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was sacked nine times in the loss, which ended the Steelers’ hopes of making the playoffs that season.
Browns fan Amanda Van Fossan can’t wait for the upcoming game, and is hoping to see her Browns come away with a victory.
“It’s been quite a while since the Browns beat the Steelers,” Van Fossan said. “I can’t wait, though, to see this rivalry back. Every game is so exciting, and with the two cities so close to each other, it’s become one of the best rivalries in sports.”
With the two teams meeting on Sunday, and Roethlisberger out with an injury, it’s sure to be an interesting game.
Third-string quarterback Charlie Batch will be starting for the Steelers, after second-string Byron Leftwich was injured in Sunday’s loss against the Baltimore Ravens.
They’ll try to continue their dominance against the Browns on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Cleveland Browns Stadium.