Connect with us


Cleveland Browns Will Try To Win a Regular Season Game in Pittsburgh for First Time in 20 Years on Monday Night – The Three Rivers Jinx 2.0?


The Cleveland Browns will travel to Pittsburgh to play in a nationally televised football game on Monday night. 

The game will be shown locally on ABC and can also be streamed online on ESPN+.  Kickoff is scheduled for 8:15pm.

This is must-see TV as the Cleveland Browns will try to defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers in a regular season game in Pittsburgh for the first time in 20 years. 

The Steelers have definitely had a home advantage against the Browns as the Browns all-time record in Pittsburgh over 70 years is 21-49.  Put another way, the Cleveland Browns have only won 30 percent of the games they have played in Pittsburgh.

Week One For Browns and Steelers

The Cleveland Browns started the 2023 season 1-0 last week as they defeated the Cincinnati Bengals, 24-3. 

The Browns defense played great last week only allowing the Bengals 67 yards through the air and 75 yards rushing. In fact, the Browns only allowed the Bengals six first downs.

However, it was an opposite story in week one for the Steelers. Just as the Bengals only managed one score against the Browns, the Steelers only managed one score against the San Francisco 49ers in their 30-7 loss last week.

The Steelers did move the ball much more than the Bengals did last week. In fact, the Steelers managed 198 yards through the air, but only 43 yards rushing last week against the 49ers.  

The Steelers allowed five sacks and threw two interceptions last week. Whereas the Bengals against the Browns last week only allowed the Browns defense two sacks and no interceptions.

Week 2 Against the Steelers

As noted, the Browns have not won many games in Pittsburgh in recent years. In fact, maybe what we have been witnessing is the Three Rivers Jinx 2.0. The original “Three Rivers Jinx” was used to describe the fact that the Cleveland Browns lost 16 straight games in Pittsburgh from 1970 until 1986.  

The Browns finally won in Pittsburgh, 27-24, in October of 1986. In that game, Bernie Kosar was 14-23, for 186 yards and threw one touchdown pass. Earnest Byner led the Browns with 79 yards rushing.

The Browns will now try to do what they did in 1986 as they have not won a regular season  football game in Pittsburgh in the last twenty years. The last time the Cleveland Browns beat the Steelers in a regular season game in Pittsburgh was 2003.

On that day in 2003, also a night game (Sunday night) the Cleveland Browns defeated the Steelers 33-13. Browns starting quarterback Tim Couch was 20/25 for 208 yards, and he threw for two touchdowns.

So maybe this will be the year we reverse this trend of losing regular season games in Pittsburgh. Vegas seems to believe that the Browns have a chance to win as they have the Browns favored.

Thoughts About Browns Offense in Monday Night’s Matchup Against The Steelers

On offense, offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt provided his thoughts about playing the Steelers on Monday night.

A sign of things to come on Monday may be that the Browns may try to really establish the run right away. 

In fact, the Browns offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt noted that San Francisco was successful last week because they really tried to establish the run and didn’t move away from that part of their game plan. 

“I thought they were persistent with the run,” said Van Pelt. “I thought they stuck with it. They got some looks of some one, two, three yard gains, and then they just kept running. And you hang your head in the run game and eventually you’re going to get some of those to pop.”

The Browns had a very successful running game in week one as they gained 206 yards on the ground against the Bengals.

So, it would be very surprising if the Browns do not try a run first approach especially with having Nick Chubb in the backfield. In fact, last week Chubb carried the ball 18 times for 106 yards (5.9 yards per carry).  

So look for the Browns to get Chubb close to approximately 20 carries against the Steelers.

Obviously, the Steelers will be trying to force the Browns to pass as Watson was only 16/29 for 154 yards last week. Purdy was just a bit more successful last week against the Steelers as he was 19/29 for 220 yards.

Thoughts About Browns Defense in Monday Night’s Matchup Against The Steelers

With as well as the Browns defense played last Sunday, what did Coach Schwartz attribute their success to?  

Did he cite specific statistics, certain schemes?  No.

He explained that the success the defense had was based on the mental game of football.

“…but I think the thing I was most proud of was the way the players played together and their spirit and the things we’ve been talking about,” said Schwartz. “I thought you put the tape on and that stood out the most, not the efficiency or the run yards or the pass yards or any of those numbers. It went beyond numbers.”

Certainly, as Schwartz alluded to, the Browns defense played great against the Bengals and had a high level of cohesion.  In fact, they held Joe Burrow to only 82 yards passing for the game. 

However, they will be going up this week against a Steelers quarterback who had a very good game passing against the 49ers, except for throwing two interceptions. Kenny Pickett was 31/46 for 232 yards and a touchdown.  

So it seems clear that the Browns will look to have that same high level of energy and cohesion on Monday as they try to stop Pittsburgh.

And an offense it appears that they will focus on having Nick Chubb lead the offense.

If they do these things well, the Browns just might win their first regular season game in Pittsburgh in the last 20 years.


Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *





Show Your Team Spirit

NEO Sports Insiders Newsletter

Sign up to receive our NEOSI newsletter, and keep up to date with all the latest Cleveland sports news.

Recent Comments


More in Browns