Still full of holiday cheer?
This should help return you to those typical doldrums of a Cleveland Browns season this time of year.
Sunday’s season finale will be the fourth consecutive year the Browns are finishing against the Pittsburgh Steelers. It’s also the fifth time in six years and sixth time since 2001.
Not surprisingly, the Browns lost every single game:
2012: L, 24-10
2011: L, 13-9
2010: L, 41-9
2008: L, 28-0
2001: L, 28-7
Now, we know the drill. A loss Sunday does more for the Browns than a win. This May’s NFL draft will be important to this team and this regime as the continued quest for a franchise quarterback will once again attempt to be solved.
Here are the starting quarterbacks the Browns have trotted out against the Steelers in these season-ending games.
2013: Jason Campbell
2012: Thad Lewis
2011: Seneca Wallace
2010: Colt McCoy
2008: Bruce Gradkowski
2001: Tim Couch
Gee, and you wonder why the Browns can’t beat the Steelers?
The Browns are one of five teams at 4-11 along with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Oakland Raiders, Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Depending on how things shake out Sunday, the Browns could be picking anywhere from third to seventh.
A loss would be so advantageous for the Browns come May, but…
All these losses against the Steelers have got to stop at some point. Yes, the Browns beat the Steelers last year, but it was a blip on the radar screen. The Browns haven’t won in Pittsburgh since 2003.
This year, the Steelers have rebounded from their 0-4 start to go 7-8 including a 27-11 win at Cleveland on Nov. 24. Pittsburgh is clinging to playoff hopes. The Steelers need to win followed by losses by the Ravens, the Dolphins and the Chargers.
Although the Steelers chances are slim (actually, six percent), it would be sweet to end any hopes of a Steelers’ playoff berth with a Browns win. But that hurts the Browns’ draft spot. And around and around we go…
In the first meeting last month, the Steelers knocked Campbell out of the game with a concussion. In came Brandon Weeden, which doomed any chances of a Browns’ victory.
Meanwhile, Ben Roethlisberger continued to do what he does against the Browns. Roethlisberger was 22-for-34 for 217 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. Antonio Brown caught six balls for 92 yards, Emmanuel Sanders caught six balls for 52 and Heath Miller caught five for 41.
This is a bad sign for a Browns defense that in recent weeks have been struggling to stop everyone from Tom Brady and Jay Cutler to Chad Henne and Geno Smith.
It’s all set up for the season to end the same way it has the last three years. Maybe this will finally help the Browns in the coming draft not only select a top-tier quarterback but one that will help this team beat the Steelers on a regular basis.
Or, as it usually has been the case, we will have this same conversation about these same two teams at this point of the year in 2014.