Game Preview: Steelers at Browns (Week 17)

Pittsburgh Steelers (9-6) at Cleveland Browns (3-12)
Date: Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016
Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET
Site: FirstEnergy Stadium (67,431) • Cleveland, Ohio
Playing Surface: Natural Grass
TV Coverage: CBS-TV (locally KDKA-TV, channel 2)
Announcers: Greg Gumbel (play-by-play), Trent Green (color analyst) & Jamie Erdahl (sideline)
Local Radio: Steelers Radio Network, WDVE-FM (102.5)/WBGG-AM (970)
Announcers: Bill Hillgrove (play-by-play), Tunch Ilkin (color analyst) & Craig Wolfley (sideline)

A Look at the Coaches:
Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin
Overall regular-season record: 91-52 (.636)/ninth season
Regular-season record with Pittsburgh: 91-52 (.636)/ninth season
Playoff Record/Years: 5-4/five years

Cleveland Browns Head Coach Mike Pettine
Overall regular-season record: 10-21 (.323)/second season
Regular-season record with Cleveland: 10-21 (.323)/second season
Playoff Record/Years: n/a

STEELERS-BROWNS SERIES HISTORY
Series History: Series began in 1950
Overall Regular Season: Steelers lead, 67-58
At Pittsburgh: Steelers lead, 42-21
At Cleveland: Browns lead, 37-25
Neutral Sites: n/a
Streak: Steelers won previous meeting
Last Regular-Season Meeting: Nov. 15, 2015, in Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh 30, Cleveland 9
Postseason Series: Steelers lead, 2-0
Last Postseason Meeting: Jan. 5, 2013, in Pittsburgh - Wild Card
Pittsburgh 36, Cleveland 33
(preseason and postseason record not included in overall series record)

This week’s game marks the 126th time the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns will meet in the regular season...the Steelers hold a nine-game advantage in the all-time series (67-58)...Sunday’s game will mark the 21st game between the two teams in the month of December, with the Steelers holding a 13-7 record vs. Cleveland in the previous 20 December meetings.

THE LAST TIME VS. CLEVELAND
Pittsburgh 30, Cleveland 9 Nov. 15, 2015
Heinz Field (64,402)
**

Check out the highlight photos from the Steelers vs Browns game.

PITTSBURGH -** The Steelers defeated the Cleveland Browns 30-9 at Heinz Field. The win marked the 12th straight home victory vs. Cleveland, the second-longest active home winning streak against a single opponent in the NFL.

QB Ben Roethlisberger entered the game in the first quarter after QB Landry Jones left the game due to an ankle injury.

Roethlisberger threw for 379 yards and three touchdowns. The 379 passing yards are the most in NFL history for a quarterback that did not start the game.

K Chris Boswell connected on a 24-yard field goal to give the Steelers a 3-0 lead. Browns’ K Travis Coons tied the game with his 23-yard field goal. Boswell made a 34-yarder near the end of the first quarter to give Pittsburgh a 6-3 advantage.

With less than four minutes to go in the second quarter, Roethlisberger threw a four-yard touchown to WR Antonio Brown. The Steelers’ defense forced a turnovers on the Browns’ next drive. Roethlisberger then threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to WR Martavis Bryant to give the Steelers a 21-3 lead at halftime.

Boswell made a 25-yard field goal midway through the third quarter to extend Pittsburgh’s lead to 24-3. Cleveland scored its lone touchdown of the game on QB Johnny Manziel’s seven-yard pass to TE Gary Barnidge.

On Pittsburgh’s ensuing drive, Roethlisberger threw a 56- yard touchdown to Brown to lift the Steelers to a 30-9 victory over the Browns.

The Steelers’ defense had a season-high six sacks and held the Browns to just 15 rushing yards.

GAME SUMMARY

Browns(2-8) 3 0 0 6 9
STEELERS(6-4) 6 15 3 6 30
**TEAM** **Q** **TIME** **PLAY** **DRIVE** **SCORE**
PIT 1 10:59 Boswell 24 yd. FG 4-6; 1:27 3-0
CLE 1 8:06 Coons 23 yd. FG 7-67; 2:53 3-3
PIT 1 4:45 Boswell 34 yd. FG 9-64; 3:21 6-3
PIT 2 3:27 Brown 4 yd. pass from Roethlisberger (Pass to Brown) 8-92; 3:49 14-3
PIT 2 0:37 Bryant 32 yd. pass from Roethlisberger (Boswell kick) 2-47; 0:28 21-3
PIT 3 8:33 Boswell 25 yd. FG 6-80; 1:38 24-3
CLE 4 12:28 Barnidge 7 yd. pass from Manziel (Kick failed) 2-11; 0:46 24-9
PIT 4 9:02 Brown 56 yd. pass from Roethlisberger (Kick failed) 7-80; 3:21 30-9

PIT-CLE SERIES HIGHS
Passing Yards
Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger - 417 (10/18/2009)
Browns: Bernie Kosar - 414 (11/23/1986)

Rushing Yards
Steelers: Willie Parker - 223 (12/7/2006)
Browns: Jim Brown - 175 (10/5/1963)

Receiving Yards
Steelers: Buddy Dial - 235 (10/22/1961)
Browns: Josh Gordon - 237 (11/24/2013)

STEELERS-BROWNS CONNECTIONS
**

Here is a look at the statistical leaders for the both the Steelers and Browns heading into the Week 17 contest at FirstEnergy Stadium.

Former Steelers/Browns**
• Steelers LB L.J. Fort entered the NFL as an undrafted rookie free agent with Cleveland in 2012 and played in 16 games with the Browns.
• Pittsburgh asst. HC/DL coach John Mitchell was the DL coach in Cleveland for three seasons (1991-93).
• Steelers DC Keith Butler was previously an LB coach with the Browns for four years (1999-2002).
• Pittsburgh WR coach Richard Mann was on the Cleveland coaching staff for nine seasons (1985-93).
• Cleveland owner Jimmy Haslam was a part owner of the Steelers from 2008-12.

Area Connections
• Pittsburgh QB coach Randy Fichtner is a native of Cleveland, Ohio.
• Steelers LB James Harrison is from Akron, Ohio, and attended Kent State University.
• The Browns have four coaches who spent time on the University of Pittsburgh coaching staff: HC Mike Pettine (1993-94), TE coach Brian Angelichio (2006-10), LB coach Chuck Driesbach (1993- 96) and secondary coach Jeff Hafley (2006-10).
• Cleveland has two former Pittsburgh Panthers on its roster in DB K’Waun Williams and P Andy Lee.
• Cleveland asst. strength and conditioning coordinator Mike Wolf held the same position with Penn State in 1991.
• Browns WR Terrelle Pryor is from Jeannette, Pa. NFL Connections
• Steelers OC Todd Haley was on staff for both the Cowboys (2005-06) and the Jets (1995-2000) while Cleveland asst. secondary/ DB coach Aaron Glenn was a DB for the two squads.
• Haley was the HC in Kansas City at the same time Browns WR Dwayne Bowe played for the Chiefs (2009-11).
• Steelers WR coach Richard Mann was also a coach for the Jets when Glenn was in New York (1994-96).
• Pittsburgh RB coach James Saxon coached three seasons (2008-10) with Browns asst. OL coach George DeLeone in Miami. Browns WR Brian Hartline and DL Randy Starks were also players in Miami during that span.
• Steelers OL coach Mike Munchak coached in Tennessee, while Browns DL Randy Starks was a player for the Titans (2004-07).
• Steelers LB James Harrison and Browns LB Jayson DiManche were teammates in Cincinnati for one year (2013).
• Pittsburgh QB Mike Vick was a player in Philadelphia while Cleveland asst. strength and conditioning coordinator Mike Wolf was the strength and conditioning coach for the Eagles (2009-10).
• Steelers RB DeAngelo Williams played in Carolina while Cleveland asst. secondary/S coach Bobby Babich was on staff with the Panthers (2011-12).
• Steelers LB Arthur Moats (2010-13) played in Buffalo under Browns HC Mike Pettine, DC Jim O’Neil, LB coach Chuck Driesbach, OLB coach Brian Fluery and DL coach Anthony Weaver.
• Moats was also teammates with Browns DB Donte Whitner in Buffalo.
• Pittsburgh WR Darrius Heyward-Bey and S Mike Mitchell each played four seasons with Cleveland DL Desmond Bryant in Oakland (2009-12).
• Mitchell and Heyward-Bey were also Raiders at the same time Cleveland OC John DeFilippo was the QB coach in Oakland (2012) and were teammates with Browns WR Terrelle Pyror from 2011-12.
• Steelers DT Cam Thomas and Browns QB coach Kevin O’Connell were teammates in San Diego in 2012.

College Connections

Here are your selections to represent the Steelers in the 2016 Pro Bowl in Hawaii.

• Pittsburgh S Will Allen spent one season (2003) at Ohio State with Cleveland DB Donte Whitner.
• Pittsburgh G David DeCastro was teammates with Cleveland DB Johnson Bademosi (2008-11) and TE Jim Dray (2008-11) at Stanford.
• Pittsburgh WR Markus Wheaton and Cleveland DB Jordan Poyer were teammates for four seasons (2009-12) at Oregon State.
• Steelers CB Ross Cockrell played collegiately at Duke while Browns senior offensive asst. coach Kurt Roper was a coach for the Blue Devils (2010-13).
• Steelers LB Anthony Chickillo was teammates Browns WR Travis Benjamin (2011) and RB Duke Johnson Jr. (2012-14) at Miami.

QB BEN ROETHLISBERGER
• 2016 Pro Bowl Selection
• Week 2 AFC Offensive Player of the Week
• Week 10 AFC Offensive Player of the Week/ FedEx Air Player of the Week
• Week 13 FedEx Air Player of the Week
• Week 15 FedEx Air Player of the Week

WR ANTONIO BROWN
• 2016 Pro Bowl Selection
• Week 9 Castrol Edge Clutch Performer of the Week
• November AFC Offensive Player of the Month
• Week 13 AFC Special Teams Player of the Week
• Week 15 AFC Offensive Player of the Week
• Week 15 Castrol Edge Clutch Performer of the Week

D DAVID DeCASTRO
• 2016 Pro Bowl Selection

RB DeANGELO WILLIAMS
• Week 9 FedEx Ground Player of the Week
• Week 13 FedEx Ground Player of the Week

K CHRIS BOSWELL
• Week 6 AFC Special Teams Player of the Week

WHAT TO LOOK FOR
FROM THE STEELERS
• With a win, the Steelers will improve to 433-277-2 during the regular season since 1970.
• With a win, the Steelers will become 9-1 in regular-season games in the month of January in team history and move to 5-0 on the road during the month.
• The Steelers look to improve to 68-58 all-time against the Browns in the regular season and to 26-37 on the road at Cleveland.
• With a win, Pittsburgh will improve to 6-0 in the regular season against Cleveland in the month of January, and to 3-0 on the road at the Browns during the month.

FROM HEAD COACH MIKE TOMLIN
• A win would improve Tomlin to 92-52 during the regular season, including 39-33 on the road.
• With a win, would improve to 4-0 in the month of January in regular-season games and to 4-0 on the road in the month.
• Coach Tomlin looks to improve his regular season series record vs. Cleveland to 15-3 with a win on Sunday and improve to 6-3 on the road at the Browns.
• Would improve to 3-0 vs. Cleveland in the month of January and to 3-0 at the Browns in the month of January.

FROM THE STEELERS OFFENSE
QB BEN ROETHLISBERGER
• Needs 416 passing yards to record 4,000 in 2015 to mark his fifth season with 4,000 in his NFL career.
• Will extend his franchise record for consecutive seasons with 4,000 passing yards to three with 416.
• Is 5 pass completions from 300 in 2015 to mark his third consecutive year (fifth in his NFL career) with at least 300 and to extend his franchise record for consecutive seasons with 300 completions.
• Will reach 20 passing touchdowns in 2015 with two to extend his consecutive seasons with 20 touchdown strikes to five (seven overall) and set a new Steelers record for consecutive 20-touchdown pass seasons.

**

WR ANTONIO BROWN**
• With his next touchdown, will move into a tie for eighth on the Steelers’ all-time touchdown chart with 43 (Ray Mathews).
• With his next touchdown catch, will move into sole possession for the seventh-most touchdown grabs in team history with 38.
• With two touchdown catches, will move into a tie for sixth on the team’s touchdown reception chart with Louis Lipps (39).
• With his next 100-yard game, will become the third player in in franchise history with 25-such performances in the regular season (Hines Ward – 29 and John Stallworth – 25).
• With 125 receptions in 2015, would become the first player in NFL history to record back-to-back seasons of 125 catches or more.

TE HEATH MILLER
• Is 11 receptions from joining Hines Ward (1,000) as the second player in team history with 600.
• Needs six touchdown catches to become the fourth player in Steelers history with 50.

RB DeANGELO WILLIAMS
• Will record the 23rd 100-yard rushing game of his career with his next 100-yard performance.

FROM THE STEELERS DEFENSE
DE CAMERON HEYWARD
• With a half-sack will match a single-season career-high set in 2014 with 7.5.

LB JAMES HARRISON
• Is three sacks from setting the Steelers sack record (Jason Gildon, 77.0) since sacks became an official statistic in 1982.

CB WILLIAM GAY
• Will break a tie with Rod Woodson (5) for the most interceptions returned for touchdowns in team history with his next pick six.

FROM THE STEELERS SPECIAL TEAMS
K CHRIS BOSWELL
• Is a point from breaking a tie with Kris Brown (105, 1999) for the most points by a rookie/first-year kicker in a season in Steelers history.

WR/PR ANTONIO BROWN
• Needs 98 punt return yards to surpass Antwaan Randle El (1,650) for the most in team history.
• One punt return for a touchdown to break a tie Antwaan Randle El (4) for the most in Steelers history.

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