|Series leader: Pittsburgh has a 60-55 overall series edge, thanks to its recent dominance over its chief rival (includes playoffs).
Streaks: The Steelers have beaten the Browns 12 straight times.
» Brian Billick: Steelers
» Mike Mayock: Steelers
» Solomon Wilcots: Steelers
» Vote: Who will win?
|Pittsburgh is just 1-3 against the AFC North, and though they have to be heavy favorites in this game, the same could have been said against Oakland last week. There is a chance Troy Polamalu returns, which seems to make all the difference in the world. As much heat as Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers' offense has faced recently, the real problem is the defense. They can't get teams off the field in the fourth quarter and overtime â Baltimore, Kansas City and Oakland all mounted recent game-winning drives against them â and the special teams is a mess. The Steelers are a middle of the pack team in terms of points allowed. Cleveland has few, if any, positives to take from this lost season, but the recent play of QB Brady Quinn has been one of them. The team has been fighting for 60 minutes lately despite a string of debilitating injuries. A win Thursday â thereby derailing Pittsburgh's playoff hopes â would do something to salvage the season for Browns fans. Given the Steelers' recent fourth-quarter woes, the longer the Browns hang around, the more likely it is Pittsburgh might wilt. I have a hard time believing I just wrote that sentence, but it has proven true. Pittsburgh is now finding ways to lose games.
||The Steelers and Browns met for the first time in 1950. ... Cleveland is just 1-10 in its last 11 divisional games. ... The Browns are eliminated from the playoffs. The Steelers still have a shot, but they would be on the outside looking in, if the playoffs started today. Get an updated look at the postseason picture.