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Old 05-31-2009, 11:43 AM   #1
mesaSteeler
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Default It's official; the Browns/Steelers games are a joke

Joke is on Browns, Bills, Raiders
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Wickersham By Seth Wickersham
ESPN The Magazine
http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/columns/story?id=4211874

Ike TaylorMichael Fabus/Getty ImagesIn dominating Cleveland, the Steelers typically put plenty of heat on Browns quarterbacks.

These Pittsburgh-Cleveland, New England-Buffalo and San Diego-Oakland divisional games are becoming jokes. In each case, the former has beaten the latter 11 straight times, dating to 2003, tying each other for the longest current win streak one team has over another. It's a parody of parity: The Cardinals won the NFC despite not being able to run or play defense; meanwhile, Barack Obama was three years from becoming a U.S. senator the last time the Browns, Bills and Raiders beat those particular division foes.

The winners are already in the losers' heads, of course. The Raiders, Bills and Browns don't know if they can beat these teams because they haven't; not for a while, at least. So how exactly did this ownership of one team happen? And what are the chances of the streak ending this year?

Browns and Steelers

Why the Steelers always win: Pittsburgh has a defense that's harder to read than an Augusta green. Browns quarterbacks -- Tim Couch, Kelly Holcomb, Jeff Garcia, Trent Dilfer, Charlie Frye, Derek Anderson and Bruce Gradkowski -- have completed only 51 percent of their passes during the losing streak and have been sacked once every 11.4 drop-backs. Meanwhile, Ben Roethlisberger and other Steelers QBs have hit 60.2 percent, getting sacked almost half as often, once per 19.6 passing plays.

The Steelers "blitz almost every down and get to the quarterback," said a former Brown. "Zone blitzes from everywhere, every down so they confuse you. The Browns run basic coverages and barely go get the quarterback. Not really any pressure at all. So the quarterback can sit back there all day and make his reads."

Chances of the streak ending in 2009: Not good. The Browns' schemes will be better under Eric Mangini, but not enough to faze or frighten the defending champs.

Raiders and Chargers

Why the Chargers always win: San Diego's blitz packages take advantage of Oakland's constantly reshuffled pass protection. Oakland has used 11 different starting offensive line combinations in the 11 losses. Couple that with an offensive playbook that forces quarterbacks to drop deep and hold the ball behind a line that can't protect them in the first place, and you see why Chargers players say privately that the Raiders are a "pad your stats" game. San Diego's substitution packages -- pulling two defensive linemen for linebackers, adding speed -- have accounted for 46 sacks during the winning streak. "The Raiders quarterbacks drop deep, hold the ball, and that always slows them down," said former Chargers DE Igor Olshansky, now a Cowboy. "That's why we had success against them."

Chances of the streak ending in 2009: Better than it appears. The Chargers open against the Raiders, and the past two years have taught us that San Diego is capable of anything during the regular season.

Bills and Patriots

Why the Patriots always win: Nobody adjusts like New England, and the Patriots have beaten the Bills 11 times by a combined score of 321-96 with a variety of schemes and players. In 2007, Tom Brady topped 300 yards in both games. Before last season's finale, the Pats designed a bevy of route combinations to expose backup CB Leodis McKelvin, subbing for injured Jabari Greer. But 30 mph winds and 65 mph gusts changed that plan, and the Pats won with 168 yards rushing, with quarterback Matt Cassel attempting only eight passes. "I played the Bills seven times," said former Patriots fullback Heath Evans, now a Saint, "and every single game plan was drastically different."

Chances of the streak ending in 2009: In theory, the Bills should have the offensive talent to surprise the Patriots, like the Dolphins did last year. But with Brady back, Buffalo might have to surprise the Patriots to the tune of 35-plus points, which would be a little too surprising.

Seth Wickersham is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine and a columnist for ESPN.com.
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Old 05-31-2009, 04:02 PM   #2
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Default Re: It's official; the Browns/Steelers games are a joke

Its been official for a while. Remember the browns first game back in Ohio after they left for baltimore. They were so excited. With out looking it up I think the final was Pittsburgh 42 browns 0. Classic.
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Old 05-31-2009, 04:24 PM   #3
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Default Re: It's official; the Browns/Steelers games are a joke

a joke ? but its rivalry just ask a browns fan ...... but really though, sooner or later the browns will win a game....
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Old 05-31-2009, 05:04 PM   #4
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Default Re: It's official; the Browns/Steelers games are a joke

Geez - all our D has to do is yell "BOO" to the Browns during pre-game warmups and we're guaranteed a W.

The Browns will win a game against us eventually, but probably long after I'm taking a dirt nap.

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meanwhile, Barack Obama was three years from becoming a U.S. senator the last time the Browns, Bills and Raiders beat those particular division foes.
Oh how I wish we could turn back the hands of time.
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Old 05-31-2009, 05:18 PM   #5
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Default Re: It's official; the Browns/Steelers games are a joke

One thing for sure, the Steelers will never go 0-16 as long as the browns are around.
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Old 05-31-2009, 05:30 PM   #6
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Default Re: It's official; the Browns/Steelers games are a joke

The Steelers will drop one to the Browns someday, that's why I'm enjoying this streak against them. All it takes is one loss and Cleveland will come out of the woodwork.

To this date, Ben still HAS NOT lost to the Browns.
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Old 05-31-2009, 06:35 PM   #7
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Default Re: It's official; the Browns/Steelers games are a joke

The Clowns will pull one off somehow one of these days. Probably when the Steelers take them too lightly and Ben has one of his brain fart days with 3 or 4 INTs. It is bound to happen sooner or later. I don't see it happening with Mangini at he controls though.
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Old 05-31-2009, 06:40 PM   #8
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Default Re: It's official; the Browns/Steelers games are a joke

Quote:
Originally Posted by triphahn View Post
Its been official for a while. Remember the browns first game back in Ohio after they left for baltimore. They were so excited. With out looking it up I think the final was Pittsburgh 42 browns 0. Classic.
Actually, it was 43-0 nothing and when teams and fans start blowing smoke about their greatness and others inability................

turnabout is around the corner

This thread is NOT good for Steeler football
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Old 05-31-2009, 07:16 PM   #9
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Default Re: It's official; the Browns/Steelers games are a joke

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Originally Posted by rich4eagle View Post
Actually, it was 43-0 nothing and when teams and fans start blowing smoke about their greatness and others inability................

turnabout is around the corner

This thread is NOT good for Steeler football

I agree with the above mentioned superstitions. Didn't one of the Browns' players stomp on a terrible towel last week and predict winning the division?
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Old 05-31-2009, 07:59 PM   #10
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Default Re: It's official; the Browns/Steelers games are a joke

the browns will get a game in there eventually.... lol i didnt think i could get that out without laughing. they have turned into a pitiful excuse of a franchise since they have come back. however, i do think that the steelers and the purple browns down in baltimore has continued the rivalry
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