PITTSBURGH (11-5) at CLEVELAND (1-15)
Sunday, 1 p.m. EDT, CBS
OPENING LINE - Steelers by 8
SERIES RECORD - Steelers lead 72-58
LAST MEETING - Steelers beat Browns 27-24 in overtime, Jan. 1
AP PRO32 RANKING - Steelers No. 4, Browns No. 31
STEELERS OFFENSE - OVERALL (7), RUSH (14), PASS (5)
STEELERS DEFENSE - OVERALL (12), RUSH (13), PASS (16)
BROWNS OFFENSE - OVERALL (10), RUSH (19), PASS (28)
BROWNS DEFENSE - OVERALL (31), RUSH (31), PASS (21)
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - One of NFL’s fiercest rivalries has been spiced up by recent events as Browns cut two-time Pro Bowl CB Joe Haden, who signed with Steelers hours later. Also, teams completed trade last week, with Cleveland acquiring speedy WR Sammie Coates from Pittsburgh. … Steelers are 31-6 vs. Browns since 1999 and won eight of past nine. … Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell recently ended summer-long holdout and signed franchise tag. … Multi-talented Bell averaged 157 yards from scrimmage per game in 2016 and became first player in history to average more than 100 yards rushing, 50 receiving in single season. … Coach Mike Tomlin said Bell’s week of practice would determine workload vs. Browns. … Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger is 20-2 in career against Browns. Both losses came in Cleveland. … Roethlisberger has 49 career 300-yard games in regular season. Only eight QBs have reached 50-game plateau. … He needs 190 yards to pass Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton (47,003) for ninth place on career list. … WR Antonio Brown has 632 receptions in first seven seasons. Only Colts’ Marvin Harrison (665) had more. … Haden, who spent seven seasons with Cleveland, said he didn’t sign with rival to spite Browns but for chance to finally make playoffs. … Browns rookie DE Myles Garrett didn’t even make it to opener, suffering high ankle sprain in practice Wednesday. Top overall pick is expected to miss several games. … Browns rookie QB DeShone Kizer will be 27th different starter for Browns since ‘99. Like Roethlisberger, Kizer, a second-round pick from Notre Dame, grew up in NW Ohio and is familiar with heated Steelers-Browns rivalry, calling it “as blue collar as it gets.” … Browns went 4-0 in preseason for first time since 1986 and fourth overall. … Browns “Iron Man” T Joe Thomas enters season having played 9,934 consecutive snaps. He’s one of only five players to make 10 straight Pro Bowls. … Rookie S Jabrill Peppers will also handle punt and kick-return duties. … New Browns defensive coordinator Gregg Williams likes attacking style, but needs to be careful being too aggressive against Roethlisberger. … Fantasy Tip: With no Haden on hand for Cleveland, Steelers’ Brown becomes even better play.
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