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Browns Browns Archive Brownie Bits: Week 17
Written by Jonathan Knight

Jonathan Knight

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

FAMILIAR ENDING: This was the 11th time in the last 17 seasons that the Browns have closed out their campaign with a game against the Steelers. The last 10 have all been defeats. In the six Pittsburgh finales since 1999, the Browns have been outscored 173-68.

GOOD DEFENSE: The Steelers’ 212 total yards were the fewest the Browns had allowed in a game all season, their best showing since limiting Seattle to 137 in October of 2011.

SECOND-WORST: Pat Shurmur completed his career in Cleveland with the second-least number of victories of any full-time Browns’ head coach (nine), besting Chris Palmer by four wins.

FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH, PART 1: Thaddeus Lewis’ passer rating of 83.3 on Sunday was higher than what Brandon Weeden posted in nine of his 15 games this year. In the Browns’ first meeting with Pittsburgh last month, Weeden posted a 78.7.

PHIL FANTASTIC ONCE AGAIN: Phil Dawson’s 51-yard field goal in the second quarter was his seventh successful kick of 50 or more yards this season and the 24th of his career. He finished his fantastic season having successfully converted 58 of 60 field goals and extra points.

THE SERIES: The Steelers now lead the all-time series, 65-56. They’ve won the last nine meetings in Pittsburgh and have an overall record of 12-1 against the Browns at Heinz Field. Since 1970, the Browns are 6-37 in Pittsburgh.

TIDBITS: The announced attendance of 51,831 was the smallest for a Browns-Steelers game since 1993...The Browns’ 138 rushing yards was a season-high...This was only the second game this season in which the Browns failed to force a turnover.

GIVEAWAYS: Before losing four fumbles on Sunday, the Browns had only lost 12 all season. They finished the season with a giveaway/takeaway ratio of plus-one.

FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH, PART 2: Brandon Jackson’s 54 rushing yards were more than Trent Richardson picked up in eight of his 15 games this year.

ONE-HIT WONDER: Barring a bizarre turn of events, Thaddeus Lewis became the eighth quarterback to start one game and only one game for the Browns. The others: Len Dawson (1961), Gary Lane (1967), Don Gault (1970), Will Cureton (1975), Terry Luck (1977), Spergon Wynn (2000), and Bruce Gradkowski (2008). Only Dawson’s and Gault’s starts were Cleveland victories.

SACK SURGE: With two sacks on Sunday, Jabaal Sheard finished the season with seven and stole the team lead away from Juqua Parker, who had six.

BAD FINISHES: This marks the seventh time in the Browns’ last 18 seasons that they’ve lost their final three games.

BIG PLAYS FOR BROWNS: The Steelers’ longest play from scrimmage was just 16 yards - the Browns had three plays of more than 20 yards. The Browns averaged 5.2 yards per play while the Steelers averaged 4.0.

A DIFFERENT KIND OF TRIPLE OPTION: In three of the last five years, the Browns have started at least three different quarterbacks over the course of the season. It’s the fifth time this has happened since the Browns’ return.

ROOKIE COMPARISON: Brandon Weeden finished the season with a 57.4 completion percentage, a yards-per-attempt clip of 6.5, 14 touchdowns, 17 interceptions, and a 72.6 passer rating, leading the Browns to a 5-10 record. Here’s how that compares to the 14 other Browns’ rookie starting quarterbacks:

Colt McCoy (2010): 2-6 record, 60.8 comp.%, 7.1 yds/att, 6 TD/9 INT, 74.5 rating

Derek Anderson (2006): 0-3 record, 56.4 comp.%, 6.8 yds/att, 5 TD 8 INT, 63.1 rating

Charlie Frye (2005): 2-3 record, 59.8 comp.%, 6.1 yds/att, 4 TD/5 INT, 72.8 rating

Luke McCown (2004): 0-4 record, 49 comp.%, 6.2 yds/att, 4 TD/7 INT, 52.6 rating

Spergon Wynn (2000): 0-1 record, 40.7 comp.%, 3.1 yds/att, 0 TD/1 INT, 41.2 rating

Tim Couch (1999): 2-12 record, 55.9 comp.%, 6.1 yds/att, 15 TD/13 INT, 73.2 rating

Eric Zeier (1995): 1-3 record, 50.9 comp.%, 5.4 yds/att, 4 TD/9 INT, 51.9 rating

Bernie Kosar (1985): 4-6 record, 50 comp%, 6.4 yds/att, 8 TD/7 INT, 69.3 rating

Terry Luck (1977): 0-1 record, 50 comp.%, 6.3 yds/att, 1 TD 7 INT, 37.2 rating

Will Cureton (1975): 0-1 record, 31.3 comp.%, 3.0 yds/att, 1 TD/1 INT, 38 rating

Don Gault (1970): 1-0 record, 10.5 comp.%, 3.5 yds/att, 0 TD/3 INT, 2.2 rating

Mike Phipps (1970): 0-1 record, 48.3 comp.%, 8.8 yds/att, 1 TD/5 INT, 49.9 rating

Milt Plum (1957): 2-1 record, 53.9 comp.%, 7.8 yds/att, 2 TD 5 INT, 60.7 rating

Tommy O’Connell (1956): 3-2 record, 43.8 comp.%, 5.7 yds/att, 4 TD 8 INT, 41.6 rating

STEEL CITY MEDIOCRITY: This marked the first time the Steelers did not finish the season with a winning record since 2006. They haven’t posted a losing mark since 2003. Since then, the Browns have posted nine losing records.

THREE RIVERS, FEW POINTS: In their last five games in Pittsburgh, the Browns have scored a total of 37 points.

A FAMILIAR RECORD: This was the seventh time in their history the Browns finished with a 5-11 record, the most repetitive mark in team history. Over the past three decades, on average, they’ve finished with that mark once every four years.

STEELERS MISERY BY THE NUMBERS: Since the Browns’ return in 1999...

Number of Browns’ quarterbacks who have started against the Steelers: 14

Number of Browns’ quarterbacks who have defeated the Steelers: 3

Number of times the Browns have been held to single digits against the Steelers: 12

Number of times the Browns have allowed the Steelers to score more than 30 points: 9

Number of Browns’ head coaches who have lost to the Steelers: 5

Number of Browns’ total wins over the Steelers: 4

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