Sorry for the reminder, but it was important to get that seemingly obligatory statement out of the way from the jump.
The Browns, who come into the game at 4-1 after four consecutive wins, will look to break that streak on Sunday when they face the Steelers at Heinz Field. The game is the biggest meeting between the two teams since the Wild Card Playoff game on January 5, 2003.
The Browns faced the Steelers in Pittsburgh for the first time on October 17, 1950, a game that saw two Otto Graham touchdown runs lead the Browns to a 30-17 victory. Since that day, the Browns and Steelers have played in Pittsburgh 69 times, and here are five of the most memorable victories by the Browns.
Browns 24, Steelers 3 (November 16, 1969)
The Browns ran their record to 6-2-1 following a defeat of the Steelers at Pitt Stadium. Quarterback Bill Nelsen had two touchdown passes and 290 passing yards, connecting with wide receiver Paul Warfield five times for 132 yards, including a 12-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter. Running back Leroy Kelly added a one-yard touchdown run to go with 97 rushing yards.
It was all part of an effort that would see the Browns finish the season in the NFL Championship Game, while the Steelers bumbled their way to a 1-13 record.
The game is significant for two reasons. The first is that it closed out a dominant 20-year stretch that saw the Browns go 31-9 overall against the Steelers. The second is that it marked the final game between the two teams before the Steelers moved into Three Rivers Stadium, where the Browns would go just 5-24 before the stadium closed in 2000.
Browns 16, Steelers 15 (November 14, 1999)
The Browns pulled off what is certainly in the discussion for one of the most surprising wins in franchise history as quarterback Tim Couch drove the Browns 80 yards in the final two minutes to set up a game-winning 39-yard field goal by Phil Dawson.
The game just a little more than two months after the Browns lost to the Steelers in the season opener by a score of 43-0. In that game, the Browns defense allowed 464 yards of offense and 33 first downs to the Steelers, but turned the tables in the rematch, holding Pittsburgh to 298 yards, 17 first downs, and intercepting quarterback Kordell Stewart two times.
Little did anyone know that the game would be just one of two that the Browns have won in Pittsburgh since returning to the NFL in 1999.
Browns 33, Steelers 13 (October 5, 2003)
The Browns shocked the Steelers and entertained a national television audience on a Sunday night. Cleveland built a 23-10 halftime lead thanks to a strip-sack from defensive end Courtney Brown, and a pair of touchdowns from quarterback Tim Couch - one on a six-yard pass to André Davis and the other on a nine-yard run.
Cleveland’s defense helped to cut off any hope of a Pittsburgh comeback when cornerback Daylon McCutcheon picked off quarterback Tommy Maddox and returned it 75 yards for a touchdown just five minutes into the second half.
Couch finished the game by completing 20-of-25 passes for 208 yards and two touchdowns in what turned out to be the last highlight of his career.
Browns 51, Steelers 0 (September 10, 1989)
The Browns gave head coach Bud Carson a debut to remember by completely dominating the Steelers to open the 1989 season. The Cleveland defense held Pittsburgh to just 53 total yards of offense and forced eight turnovers - three of which they turned into touchdowns as linebacker Clay Matthews returned a fumble four yards for a touchdown, and linebacker David Grayson had a fumble return and an interception return for scores.
With the defense sitting in the spotlight, the offense put together an efficient day with a pair of rushing touchdowns from running back Tim Manoa and a rushing touchdown by running back Mike Oliphant, the only touchdown of his career.
Browns 27, Steelers 24 (October 5, 1986)
The Browns finally broke the Three Rivers Jinx after 16 consecutive losses by taking down the Steelers, thanks in part to a 100-yard touchdown on a kickoff return by Gerald McNeil.
Cleveland’s defense came up big by forcing four turnovers, including a fumble recovery in the game’s final minutes to stop Pittsburgh from pulling out another improbable win. Following that turnover, quarterback Bernie Kosar hit wide receiver Reggie Langhorne with a 38-yard pass to give the Browns a first down and the opportunity to run out the clock and head home with a victory in Pittsburgh for the first time since 1969.