The Cleveland Browns entered this past Sunday 2-20 in their last 22 games against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Well, 3-20 never felt so good – especially since Cleveland ran off 31 unanswered points in a 31-10 win.
“Everybody knows in our rivalry, Pittsburgh’s got most of those games, but I feel the way we beat them, we switched things around,” Browns cornerback Buster Skrine said on The MoJo Show. “We won by 21 points, so it’s just a good feeling. I’m glad we got to do it for our fans.”
Yes, and now Browns/Steelers is officially a rivalry again, even though there’s no denying which team is better this season. The Steelers beat the Browns in Week 1, but they needed a last-second field goal to do so – despite leading 27-3 at halftime.
The Browns have outscored the Steelers 55-13 in the last six quarters they’ve played.
“When we played Pittsburgh (in Week 1), as a team, we couldn’t have played any worse than we played in that first half,” Skrine said. “We came back in that second half and fought back. We actually tied the game, (but) Pittsburgh kicked the game-wining field goal. I mean, just to come back from the deficit that we were in, it just gave our team a lot of confidence and showed us how good we could be.”
Skrine, 25, is in his fourth year with the Browns and has thoroughly enjoyed playing for head coach Mike Pettine and defensive coordinator Jim O’Neill.
“This new coaching staff, they always preach we’re not the same old Browns,” Skrine said. “We don’t do things the same. We practice harder, we prepare better – things like that. (Coach Pettine is) a good guy. He’s consistent. He treats everybody the same. He always has great information for the team all throughout the week. He’s prepared us the right way. Using him as a tool throughout the week helps us going into the game.
“With this new defensive system, this is probably the most calls I’ve ever had to study in my life,” Skrine continued. “This is my third defensive coordinator since I’ve been in Cleveland. I feel most comfortable in this defense. We get to the quarterback, and in the back end we put a lot of pressure on our corners to make a lot of plays.”
At 3-2, Cleveland is looking like a playoff team. The Browns also have an extremely favorable schedule upcoming: at Jacksonville (0-6), against Oakland (0-5) and against Tampa Bay (1-5).
Still, Skrine insists the Browns aren’t getting ahead of themselves.
“We just want to use this momentum we’re going on right now,” he said. “We can’t underestimate anybody. I mean, who are we to say we’re way better than the Jaguars or any other team that we play? So we’re going to take this team just like we’re playing the New England Patriots. We’re going to approach it the same way. The season is still early. We got a lot to prove.”