That is why when the 6-4 Steelers play the 2-8 Browns this Sunday at Cleveland Browns Stadium, you can expect a battle.
“Ever since I have been here, every time we go there it’s been a fourth quarter game,” said linebacker Larry Foote. “Their record at this point doesn’t mean anything to us. We have to get a win and we know it’s going to be a battle. We are going to get their best shot.”
The Steelers-Browns rivalry dates back to the 1950 season, with the Steelers holding a 62-56 advantage overall, but the Browns have a 35-24 edge over the Steelers in Cleveland.
“This is a division game,” said safety Ryan Mundy. “The last five games they have been in every game, very competitive in each game. They are a play here and a play there away from winning those games. This game will be no different. We expect a great challenge from them. They have a lot of young talent and they are coming together. Their record doesn’t indicate how good they are.”
As of late, the Steelers have had the upper hand in the series, winning 16 of the last 17 games, including sweeping the series the last two years. This week, though, is a whole new game and there is no room for any kind of letdown.
“This is the National Football League,” said receiver Emmanuel Sanders. “Everyone is good. Everyone is competitive. The last five games they have been playing some really good football. We have to go out there and bring our ‘A’ game.”
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Ziggy Hood (back) returned to practice in a limited basis on Thursday, but still sitting out were WR Jerricho Cotchery (ribs), T Marcus Gilbert (ankle), QB Byron Leftwich (ribs), S Troy Polamalu (calf), and QB Ben Roethlisberger (right shoulder), who left quickly after practice after his wife Ashley gave birth to their son, Ben, Jr., on Wednesday night. Receiver Antonio Brown (ankle) continued to be limited in practice.