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Browns Browns Archive Brownie Bits: Week 12
Written by Jonathan Knight

Jonathan Knight

brownie elfUseless nuggets of information from Sunday’s Browns game that you can certainly live without…

WHETHER TO LAUGH OR CRY: It had been 1,081 days since the last time the Browns defeated the Steelers. Putting that in perspective, JFK’s presidency lasted 1,036 days and the Korean War lasted 1,128.

RUN STUFFERS: The Browns’ defense limited Pittsburgh to a mere 49 rushing yards - the lowest total since holding Arizona to 41 in 2003. It was the fourth time this season the Browns held an opponent under 100 rushing yards - something they only accomplished twice last season.

MORE FUN: The last time the Browns beat the Steelers, Brady Quinn was the starting quarterback, Chris Jennings was the No. 1 running back, Eric Mangini was the Browns’ rookie head coach, and Mike Holmgren was 11 days away from becoming team president. 

PICK SIX...AGAIN: Lawrence Timmons’ pick-six in the opening minutes was the second interception return for a touchdown the Browns have allowed this season, joining Cary Williams’ 63-yard return in Week 4 against Baltimore.

THANK-YOU CARD’S IN THE MAIL: Only twice in Browns’ history had an opponent turned the ball over in a game more times than the Steelers did on Sunday. The most recent, ironically, was when the Steelers coughed up nine giveaways in a 45-12 Browns’ win in 1958. Thanks to Pittsburgh’s charitable nature, the Browns’ giveaway/takeaway ratio for the season leapt to plus-eight.

INCREASED USAGE: In the last four games, Trent Richardson has averaged more than 26 carries per contest. In the season’s first seven games, he averaged less than 15 carries per game.

ANOTHER THREE-YEAR STRING SNAPPED: Sunday’s crowd of 69,661 was the Browns’ largest for a home game in more than three years - when 69,797 saw the Packers obliterate the Browns in October of 2009. It was the largest Cleveland crowd for a Steelers game since a sellout in 2008.

TOUGH GOING: While Trent Richardson tallied a solid 85 rushing yards, it took 29 carries - an average of just 2.9 yards per carry. Take away his 15-yard touchdown run (his longest carry of the afternoon) and his average drops to 2.5.

SPECIAL SPECIAL TEAMS: The Browns’ punt-coverage team - which has been strong all season - had a fantastic day. Reggie Hodges placed five punts inside the 20 and the Steelers only managed five yards on three returns. The Browns’ 10 punts were a season-high.

WEIRD: The Browns’ longest play from scrimmage all day was their first - the 26-yard pass to Josh Gordon. That single play turned out to represent 11% of the Browns' offense for the afternoon...The Steelers had more turnovers (eight) than punts (six)...On their last five possessions, the Browns picked up two first downs and accumulated a grand total of eight yards.

YELLOW HANKIES: In their last two games, the Browns have amassed 219 penalty yards. The good news was that after being penalized eight times for 92 yards a week ago, the Cleveland secondary was only flagged once on Sunday.

COLT SIGHTING: Colt McCoy’s brief cameo after Brandon Weeden’s injury marked his first appearance in a regular-season game since getting slobberknockered the Browns’ loss in Pittsburgh last December, 13 games ago.

CONTROLLING THE FOOTBALL: This was the first time all season the Browns held the football longer than their opponent (33:30 to 26:30). They ran nine more plays than the Steelers, though collected four less total yards.

POINTS AT A PREMIUM: The Browns had failed to score more than nine points in their previous three meetings with the Steelers. This was the first time they’d scored more than 14 points in the last eight meetings.

DEFENSIVE NUMBERS: Combined, the offenses were a meager 4 for 25 on third-down conversions. The teams also combined for 13 tackles for loss - eight by the Steelers and five by the Browns - and 12 defended passes (7-5, Browns).

WHOSE HOME FIELD IS THIS?: Pittsburgh’s record in Cleveland Browns Stadium now stands at 11-3. The Browns’ average margin of victory in their three wins is 5.3 points. The Steelers’ margin in their 11 wins is 16.6 points.

OFFENSIVE STRUGGLES: The Browns’ longest drive of the day was just 44 yards. Four of their possessions netted negative yardage and they went three-and-out six times.

THE REVOLVING DOOR CONTINUES: Brandon Weeden became the 12th different quarterback to start a game for the Browns against the Steelers since their return. By contrast, over the same period, the Steelers have started five different quarterbacks against the Browns.

MILESTONES: Trent Richardson topped the 750-yard mark for the season - he’s now at 755 and will need to average 49 yards per game the rest of the way to top the 1,000-yard mark. Brandon Weeden is 44 passing yards away from the 2,500-yard mark.

DEFENSIVE IMPROVEMENT: Over their past five games, the Browns are allowing just 286 total yards per game. This is a wildly dramatic improvement over their first six games, when they allowed a whopping 426 yards per game. The improvement has also shown up on the scoreboard, as they’ve allowed only 17 points per contest over their last five, compared to 27 in their first six.

AWESOME DAWSON: Phil Dawson extended his string of consecutive made field goals to 27.

THE SERIES: The Steelers still lead the all-time series, 64-57. Going in, they’d won the last four meetings, 16 of the previous 17, and 22 of the last 24.

ENDING A DROUGHT: Until Jordan Cameron’s scoring catch in the second quarter, the Browns hadn’t scored a touchdown against the Steelers in more than two years - a Colt McCoy-to-Ben Watson scoring pass in October of 2010. In between, they played more than 200 consecutive minutes against Pittsburgh without crossing the goal line.

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