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1990 Steelers 35 vs Browns 0
I LOVE this one! The Browns suffer through a comedy of errors, fumbling the ball on the first snap of 3 consecutive drives and ultimately commiting an additional half dozen turnovers (9 total) before the afternoon is over. The shell-shocked Brownies never have a chance and the blank look of utter futility on coach Jim Shofner's hound dog face throughout the game is PRICELESS. Meanwhile, Bubby Brister throws 4 TDs and rookie Barry Foster has his very first 100 yard game.
1994 Steelers 14 vs Eagles 3
An absolutely SUPERB defensive performance by the Steelers! A long return by Herschel Walker on the opening kickoff sets up an Eagle FG but the Steeler Curtain (90's Edition) gives Philly NOTHING, playing perhaps their most dominating game of '94 (which is saying a lot). While the Steeler offense flounders for 3-1/2 quarters, plagued by off-target passes and an uncharacteristic case of drop-itis by Yancey Thigpen, the Blitzburgh defense allows only 105 total yards and absolutely crucifies Randall Cunningham, who finishes the game a pathetic 9 of 27 for 59 yards, 3 sacks and a back-breaking 4th quarter INT (Darren Perry) as the snowflakes fly. I love defensive slugfests, so this is among my favorite 90's-era games.
1994 Steelers 17 vs Browns 7
The Steelers strike quickly following a Cleveland offsides penalty that turns a punting situation into a Pittsburgh first down. Neil O'Donnell hits Yancey Thigpen for a stunning 40-yard TD bomb on the very next play, the Browns go 3-and-out and Pittsburgh immediately mounts a second TD drive (capped by Barry Foster's 1-yard plunge) to take a 14-0 first quarter lead. At that point, the Bill Cowher lets the air out of the ball and the Steelers never look back en route to a convincing AFC Central Division title.
1994 AFC Playoffs Steelers 29 vs Browns 9
Cleveland never knew what hit 'em! The Steelers thoroughly dominate the Bill Belichick-coached Browns in the first-ever postseason match-up between these two bitter rivals, defeating Cleveland for the third time in the same season. While Cleveland seems jittery and unprepared, Pittsburgh is efficient and focused, scoring on their first three possessions to open a 17-0 lead. Barry Foster (24 carries, 133 yards) dissects Cleveland's supposedly staunch defense for huge chunks of yardage and the Steeler O-line simply blows the Browns off the ball over and over and over. Bam Morris carries 22 times for 60 yards and John L. Williams gains 43 yds and scores a back-breaking 26-yard TD as the Pittsburgh piles up 424 yards on offense, controlling the ball for 42:37 vs 17:23. The vaunted Blitzburgh Defense puts on a stellar performance as well. With the running game humming, O'Donnell is efficient and untouched. Meanwhile, Cleveland can muster nothing on the ground and Vinnie Testeverde (13 of 31, 144 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT), is forced to run for his life all afternoon, including a sack for a safety by Carnell Lake. A win that remains incredibly satisfying to this day.
Perspective: The Factory of Sadness
It's interesting (and illustrative of how consistently good the Steelers really are) that as bad as things seemed during the "Dark Years" of the 1980's, the Steelers still made the playoffs 4 times and only suffered 3 seasons with a losing record. Contrast those results with the last 14 years of futility from the Factory of Sadness in Cleveland: