The Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers have been playing each other since 1950 and for the first 20 years the Browns dominated the series, winning 32 of the first 41 games between the two teams.
But that started to change in 1970, a fact that was most evident whenever the Browns traveled to Three Rivers Stadium.
Starting with their first game at Three Rivers in 1970 (a 28-9 loss) and continuing through 1985 (a 10-9 defeat), the Browns found every way imaginable to fall to the Steelers.
But that all changed on Oct. 5, 1986.
Fueled by Gerald McNeil’s 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, the Browns took a 17-14 lead into the half. The game went back and forth in the second half before the Browns regained the lead on an Earnest Byner touchdown run with just under nine minutes remaining.
But this was Three Rivers, so it would not be that easy.
The Steelers were driving in Browns territory with just under two minutes remaining and trailing by just three, only to fumble the ball and Cleveland to recover – one of four turnovers the Browns forced on the day.
A 38-yard pass from Bernie Kosar to Reggie Langhorne helped the Browns earn a key first down and run out the clock.
Finally, after 16 years of heartbreak, the Browns finally walked off the Three Rivers turf with a victory. – TM
Next: No. 22: Paul Brown reintegrates pro football