Browns vs Steelers: 3 storylines in Week 18

Browns. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images)
Browns. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images) /
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Over the past couple of seasons, the Cleveland Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers have concluded their regular seasons by playing one another. Last year, the Steelers beat the Browns in the finale but the year before, Cleveland was able to get by Pittsburgh in the regular matchup — they then upended them in the playoffs as well.

This season the two teams played in Week 3 where the Browns controlled the tempo of the game and beat them on Thursday Night Football 29-17. The Steelers were struggling at the time, but now they’ve won three games in a row and have an opportunity at the postseason.

Cleveland, on the other hand, will not be going to the playoffs, so there are a lot of questions again and stories to consider as they enter the offseason. Let’s look at a few storylines in this last game before we head to that break.

Cleveland Browns, Joe Woods
Cleveland Browns, Joe Woods /

No. 3: Which Browns coaches will stay and which will go?

We’re now entering the end of season three with Kevin Stefanski as head coach. Over the past 20 years, there have been many coaches that have come and gone and not reached the three-year mark.

While there has been speculation about Stefanski’s future, most suggest that he still has next season to prove himself. It helps that he led them to the playoffs as a rookie coach but there have been struggles ever since for a variety of reasons. He currently has a 26-23 record and is 3-3 against the Steelers.

In other coaching decisions, there has been a lot of speculation about defensive coordinator Joe Woods. The Browns defense has played better recently, but the first half of the season wasn’t very good. There have been numerous players on defense that have talked about the struggles, and it hasn’t painted a great picture of Woods’ ability to coach the group.

Cleveland has also struggled in the special teams’ department so is coach Mike Priefer save after this game? His unit had some horrible moments early in the season. One of those included not being able to secure a very important onside kick in a loss to the New York Jets in Week 2. The Browns had a 13-point lead in that game with under two minutes to play and the Jets were without any timeouts.

Cade York missed an extra point earlier in the game to make for the 13 rather than 14-point difference and then the muffed kick return only magnified the moment that ended in a brutal loss.