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Week 17's top NFL game: Steelers-Browns

Yahoo Sports Staff
·2-min read

Yahoo Sports NFL senior writers Terez Paylor and Charles Robinson each select a Week 17 game that will leave us buzzing into Monday.

Paylor’s must-watch
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns

There are no shortage of good choices this weekend, but we've got to go with Pittsburgh-Cleveland.

With a victory, the Browns can clinch their first playoff spot since the 2002 season and ensure that the NFL sees its two longest active droughts end in the same season (Tampa has already clinched its playoff berth in the NFC).

The Steelers have already clinched the AFC North but can take the No. 2 seed in the conference with a victory and a Buffalo defeat at home against Miami.

This is a huge game for the Browns, who have a chance to finish with 11 wins in the first year of their Andrew Berry-Kevin Stefanski partnership. This would be a huge step for such a moribund franchise, and a sign the franchise's losing days are finally behind them. For as much progress as they've made this season, to many Browns fans missing out on the playoffs this postseason — after losing to the horrific Jets last week — would feel an awful lot like "Same Ol 'Browns," even if it's not.

Robinson’s must-watch
Steelers at Browns

Sure, Pittsburgh is sitting a swath of key players and doesn’t have much to play for beyond landing the No. 2 seed and some momentum heading into the postseason. This is still a pride game — including the first meeting between Browns defensive end Myles Garrett and Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph since last season’s ugly altercation.

Beyond that, this is a monumentally important game for the progression of Cleveland’s franchise. The year has been too good to blow the postseason with back-to-back losses to the Jets and an extremely short-handed Steelers team.

COVID infection issues or not, the Browns need this win to validate everything good that has happened this year. Period.

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