1988? An odd year to choose, eh? Well, not really. 1988 was the last year that the Cleveland Browns have swept the Pittsburgh Steelers in a season. Meaning, the Browns have not defeated the Steelers twice in one season since Chuck Noll roamed the sidelines.
If you think that’s embarrassing, Cleveland’s stats are saved by their three-year hiatus in 1996, 1997 and 1998 before returning in 1999. Otherwise, it could be worse.
Out of 58 matchups, including two clashes in the postseason, the Browns are a combined 12-45-1 against the Steelers since ’88.
That’s a lot of seasons and a lot of quarterbacks, the latest of which is undrafted rookie Devlin Hodges… which got me to thinking: who all has beaten Cleveland?
The answers lie below!
Todd Blackledge (1)
Cleveland's infamous streak begins with Blackledge, who led the Steelers to a 17-7 victory on October 15, 1989.
Bubby Brister (3)
Browns fans were squinting on Sunday, believing they were seeing a flashback of another player who wore a Black and Gold #6 jersey. Brister defeated the Browns three times between 1990-1992.
Neil O'Donnell (6)
O'Donnell holds the distinction of being the only Steelers quarterback to beat the Cleveland Browns three times within the same season!
Kordell Stewart (4)
Despite several appearances against Cleveland in his "Slash" role or as a stand-in when games got out of hand, Stewart still has four victories against Pittsburgh's long-time divisional foe.
Kent Graham (1)
A name long forgotten in Pittsburgh, one of Graham's few wins in the Steel City came against... you guessed correctly! The Cleveland Browns!
Tommy Maddox (3)
"Tommy Gun" also had success against the Browns and is the second half to the trivia question of "Which Steelers quarterback has defeated the Browns three times in the same season?" Technically, Kordell Stewart started one of the three games Maddox appeared in during the 2002 season, but he would enter late in the fourth quarter of the first matchup, leading the Steelers to a game-winning touchdown drive with 2:05 remaining in the game!
Ben Roethlisberger (23)
No list would be complete without the "owner" of the Cleveland Browns himself, Mr. Ben Roethlisberger!
Charlie Batch (1)
In Batch's lone win over the Browns, he didn't throw a touchdown pass or an interception in the Steelers 34-21 route.
Landry Jones (3)
The former Steelers backup received three different starts against the Browns, with two of them coming in final week of the season match-ups, one of which Jones won with a walk-off touchdown strike to Cobi Hamilton in overtime.
It should be noted that another Jones' "wins" is tainted: he was the starter for the game, but got injured and gave way to "backup" Ben Roethlisberger, who went on to wallop the competition in a game where the team was trying to get more rest for their injured franchise quarterback!
Duck Hodges (1)
Duck is the latest in a long line of Steelers quarterbacks who have ensured that the streak remains alive until at least 2020, with his 20-13 victory over the Browns on December 1st, 2019!