The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cleveland Browns will meet in the playoffs on Sunday. The Steelers eliminated the Browns the last time they made the playoffs 18 years ago when Tommy Maddox out-dueled Kelly Holcomb in a Wild Card game. In the eyes of many, not much has changed since then. Steelers receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster was asked about the rivalry earlier this week and gave a bulletin board-worthy answer.
In Smith-Schuster's career, the Steelers are 5-2-1 against the Browns, but they're just 3-2-1 over the last three seasons and have split the last two seasons.
As a rookie, Smith-Schuster had zero catches in his first game against the Browns. By the final game of his rookie season against Cleveland he had emerged as a legitimate threat, catching nine passes for 143 yards and a touchdown. He also missed the Steelers' win over the Browns during the 2018 season. So he, specifically, is barely over .500 against Cleveland.
Then there's the fact that the Steelers have missed the playoffs the last two seasons, so it's not like they've been a powerhouse lately. For Smith-Schuster to dismiss Cleveland, even if they are dealing with injuries and COVID issues, seems a little short-sighted. Especially with Ben Roethlisberger nearing the end of his career. Pittsburgh should win this weekend, but the days of the Browns simply being the Browns for Pittsburgh may be almost over.