Cleveland Browns stare down 0-16 season, trail Steelers 21-14

Monday, 01 Jan, 2018

That lone Cleveland victory came on October 5, 2003, a season in which the Steelers went 6-10 under Bill Cowher.

The Cleveland Browns haven't won at Heinz Field since 2003. Odds are against them; they haven't won on the road since October 11, 2015, when they beat the Ravens in Baltimore. It's a tough spot to be in and I'm the one that is quarterbacking them.

Despite this one last chance to avoid the dreaded 0-16 and cancel the "Perfect Season Parade" scheduled for January 6, coach Hue Jackson hasn't lined up anyone special for an emotional "win one for the Gipper" speech. We're going to let the outcome of the game decide itself by how we play.

"I know I'll be able to get back into football mode", Bell said.

"It's kind of been our M.O. all year", left guard Joel Bitonio said.

You would think by now the Browns would be used to losing.

"I'm thankful we got the win, but we got to bury a team like that man", Mitchell said. Harrison sacked Roethlisberger on the final play to preserve Kent State's 24-20 victory. "I have to make the play".

"Unfortunately we couldn't get the W, but you could see how close we were". Jackson and Joe Thomas came to tears in the locker room after they beat the Chargers on Christmas Eve.

And even with Cameron Heyward, Ben Roethlisberger, Le'Veon Bell, Maurkice Pouncey and David DeCastro rested, Mitchell wasn't interested in any of the psychology of playing a dead rubber game against the league's worst team. Both were limited for non-injury reasons in practices leading up to the game.

The impressive score gave Browns fans something to cheer about, closing the score to 21-14 in the second quarter after the conversion.

"It looked like the first game of the year", offensive coordinator Todd Haley said. "We had a chance to win it, and we didn't make enough plays". "I'm kind of exhausted of so many people saying - even within the organization - that we don't have the guys or we need more guys". But make no mistake about it; the expectation will be what it is. Heretofore unseen acceleration from the wide receiver torches the Steelers defense right up the gut. He is out with a calf injury.

Kick off against the Browns is 1:00 PM. The Steelers are 11-1 in those games.