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What are the Cleveland Browns Playing for Against the Pittsburgh Steelers?

December 27th, 2013 at 8:09 AM
By Jeff D. Gorman

'Cleveland Browns Training Camp 2013' photo (c) 2013, Erik Drost - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

In the past, the Cleveland Browns didn’t need a reason to play to the Pittsburgh Steelers. It was a rivalry based on proximity and good old-fashioned hatred.

These days, the Browns-Steelers rivalry has cooled, and fans look at the game with a clear head. The Browns would love to finish the season on a positive note after losing six games in a row.

However, some Browns fans would not be heartbroken by a loss this week, because it would put Cleveland in position for the No. 3 or 4 pick in the 2014 NFL draft. A win over the Steelers could move the Browns down the draft board to No. 8 or 9.

Cleveland might not have much choice in the matter, because the Steelers have something to play for. Despite an 0-4 start, Pittsburgh could actually make the playoffs.

They need to beat the Browns and hope for losses by the Baltimore Ravens, Miami Dolphins and San Diego Chargers.

Pittsburgh’s efficient offense and the Browns’ inability to hold late leads make the Steelers likely to close out the year with an 8-8 record and set the Browns’ sights on Draft Day.

Tags: Cleveland, Cleveland Browns, Football, NFL

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