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NFL Capsule – Steelers at Browns

OPENING LINE—Pittsburgh by 6

RECORD VS. SPREAD—Pittsburgh 8-6-1; Cleveland 5-9-1

SERIES RECORD—Steelers lead 59-56

LAST MEETING—Steelers beat Browns 28-10, Oct. 17, 2010

LAST WEEK—Steelers beat Panthers 27-3; Browns lost to Ravens 20-10

STEELERS OFFENSE—OVERALL (15), RUSH (9), PASS (16)

STEELERS DEFENSE—OVERALL (2), RUSH (1), PASS (14)

BROWNS OFFENSE—OVERALL (29), RUSH (19), PASS (30)

BROWNS DEFENSE—OVERALL (21) RUSH (26), PASS (13)

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES—This one will decide AFC North title. With win, Steelers take division, earn first-round playoff bye and guarantee themselves one home game in postseason. … Steelers had hoped to be resting starters by now, but will have no choice but to go all out in regular-season finale. … Steelers 6-1 on road this season. … Giving up just 64.1 yards rushing per game, Steelers on pace to shatter team record for rushing defense. Pittsburgh’s 2001 team gave up 74.7 yards per game. … Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger, an Ohio native, is 11-1 against Browns. … Roethlisberger needs 80 yards passing to surpass 3,000 for fifth straight season. … Steelers have allowed league-low 223 points. … Following Oct. 17 win over Browns, Steelers LB James Harrison was fined $75,000 for hit on WR Mohamed Massaquoi—blow that led to NFL’s crackdown on helmet-to-helmet hits. Harrison has been fined $125,000 for four hits this season. … Browns trying to avoid second straight 5-11 season under coach Eric Mangini, whose future’s in doubt. … Mangini is 2-9 against AFC North. … Browns rookie QB Colt McCoy gets second shot at Steelers after making pro debut at Pittsburgh in Week 6. McCoy went 23 of 33 for 281 yards and two TDs against Steelers first time. … Browns RB Peyton Hillis (ribs) missed some practice this week, but expected to play. Hillis had 41 yards in first game against Steelers. … Browns are 4-20 against Steelers in rivalry since 1999. Last year, Cleveland snapped 12-game losing streak with home win over Pittsburgh. … Browns rookie CB Joe Haden’s six interceptions tied for second most in league, one behind Philadelphia’s Asante Samuel

Matt Loede has been in the sports media for over 16 years, with experience covering the MLB, NBA, and NFL. On Sunday’s during football season, you can hear Matt on national networks like Fox Sports Radio, Associated Press, and others. Born and raised in Cleveland Ohio, Matt studies and talks football inside and out, and is anxious to share his thoughts and comments with readers on a daily basis.

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