Deshaun Watson says Cleveland Browns biggest rival remains Pittsburgh

Deshaun Watson knows which team the Browns hate the most
Cleveland Browns, Deshaun Watson
Cleveland Browns, Deshaun Watson / Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

The AFC North is full of talented teams as all four made the playoffs in 2023. That includes the Cleveland Browns, who needed four quarterbacks to make it through the season, and had a fifth play in Week 18 with nothing on the line.

It's not just a division with good teams either, but one where the teams understand the importance of a rivalry. The Browns and Cincinnati Bengals are both in the state of Ohio and have that battle. Then there's the Baltimore Ravens, who stole the franchise from Cleveland back in 1996.

Despite these ties, there's one team Cleveland fans hate more than any other — the Pittsburgh Steelers. As much as the Dawg Pound has enjoyed their team finding a rhythm as of late, Pittsburgh's struggles might bring an equal amount of joy.

Deshaun Watson, who enters his third season with the franchise, has seen this and understands how big the rivalry is. While speaking on his podcast, he said as big as the other rivalries are, none are as real as Cleveland vs. Pittsburgh.

"Cleveland-Pittsburgh, for sure,” Watson said during his QB Unplugged podcast. "It’s even bigger than Cincinnati. It’s not Baltimore. Baltimore is a big game, for sure. It’s up there, but it ain’t as real as Pittsburgh."

What makes the Browns vs. Steelers so significant?

There are three reasons for the rivalry being so important. One is the duration. This is one of the oldest rivalries in the entire NFL, dating back to 1950. The series is led by Pittsburgh who has a record of 81-63-1 in 145 meetings (including the postseason). The NFL is all about stories and these two teams are full of intrigue and history.

Second is the proximity and similarity of the cities. A two-hour drive separates Cleveland and Pittsburgh — compared to 5.5 hours for Cleveland and Baltimore and 3.5 hours for Cleveland and Cincinnati. They're also both known as blue-collar towns where they take immense pride in their work ethic.

Third, and most importantly, the Steelers are the worst.

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