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Subfreezing temperatures expected for Browns-Steelers

You want cold-weather football?

You're going to get a taste of it Thursday night in Pittsburgh, when the Steelers (9-3) host the Browns (4-8), two teams intimately familiar with the elements of December.

Our friends at Weather.com are calling for subfreezing temperatures at kickoff, recalling the last prime-time clash between these two, on a frigid Thursday evening in December 2009. Facing temperatures in the 20s and swirling winds, the 1-11 Browns played for pride, pulling the plug on the Steelers' playoff hopes with a 13-6 victory shot straight out of 1925.

Those Steelers were down on their luck, but there's very little sense this Cleveland team can catch Pittsburgh -- winners of seven of eight -- asleep at the wheel.

Browns quarterback Colt McCoy must move mountains -- or at least his band of ascetics on offense -- to keep pace with the Steelers, who haven't lost to Cleveland at home since 2003.

"It's a tough place to play," McCoy said this week of Heinz Field, where he's 0-1 as a starter. That loss -- in his first start as a rookie last season -- kicked off a troubling 0-7 run against the AFC North. 

Where Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has made a living of winning big games in vicious weather, Colt has never won a game in December.

It's a tall order, but he has his chance tonight.

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