The Pittsburgh Steelers have only the Cleveland Browns standing in their way to between a winning season and perhaps a third straight playoff berth.
Cleveland will have nothing to play for in Week 18 when the two teams meet, but that doesn’t mean the Browns will be a push over. Browns defensive end Myles Garrett delivered a message to the Steelers after Cleveland’s Week 17 about how they’d “love” to ruin their season.
“I mean, we’d love to do that. We consider them our rivals. Divisionally, if we can’t make it, we are definitely going to make sure those guys can’t,” Garrett told reporters after beating the Commanders on January 1. “We are going to do everything in our power. Much respect to them for being in this position, but we live for times like this.”
The Browns have already played spoiler. They defeated the Washington Commanders, 24-10, in Week 17, which helped eliminate Washington from the playoffs.
Garrett’s Added Spice in Steelers-Browns Rivalry
The Browns hold a 3-5-1 record against the Steelers when Garrett plays. While that’s not a great record, Cleveland posted a 4-30 record versus Pittsburgh from 2001-16 before the Browns selected Garrett at No. 1 overall.
Garrett has played very well in his career against the Steelers, posting 6.0 sacks, 26 combined tackles, including 6 tackles for loss and 13 quarterback hits. He’s also recorded 3 forced fumble versus Pittsburgh.
In the first Steelers-Browns 2018 matchup, Garrett turned the game with 2 forced fumbles. Cleveland rallied with 14 points in the fourth quarter to come back and force a 21-21 tie.
While that was only Week 1, essentially, Garrett and the Browns spoiled that season for the Steelers. Pittsburgh went 9-6-1 in 2018, and the tie meant the Steelers finished half a game back of the final playoff spot.
Garrett and the Browns also ruined the Steelers’ Super Bowl hopes in 2020 when Cleveland won the teams’ first-round playoff matchup, 48-37.
The Browns beat the Steelers in Week 3, 29-17. Garrett recorded 2 combined tackles and a quarterback hit in the Cleveland win.
Steelers’ Playoff Hopes on the Line in Week 18
The Steelers’ playoff chances sat at a meager 0.3% after a loss in Week 14. But since then, they have won three straight and received some help across the AFC.
That means the Steelers will have a shot at the final AFC postseason spot during the final week of the season. In addition to a win, the Steelers need the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins each to lose or tie to make the playoffs.
Pittsburgh has come back from the dead with a pair of last-minute victories each of the last two weeks. Rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett threw a 14-yard touchdown to fellow rookie George Pickens with 46 seconds remaining to beat the Las Vegas Raiders on December 24, 13-10.
Pickett nearly repeated those heroics with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Najee Harris with 56 seconds left to beat the Baltimore Ravens on January 1, 16-13.
The Week 18 matchup will be Pickett’s first action against the Browns. Mitch Trubisky went 20-for-32 with 207 passing yards and a sack versus Cleveland in Week 3.
Including the 2020 playoff matchup, the Steelers own an 18-1 record versus the Browns in Pittsburgh since 2004.