Kevin Stefanski became the first Browns coach to beat the Steelers three times since the 1999 restart.

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Kevin Stefanski is the 10th head coach of the Cleveland Browns, whose franchise returned to the NFL in 1999 following a three-year hiatus. On Thursday night, Stephenson became the first Browns coach to beat the Steelers three times.

In 2020, his first season as head coach of the Browns, Stefanski’s team defeated the Steelers in the final game of the regular season to clinch a playoff berth. They then defeated Pittsburgh in the wild card round of the playoffs, marking the franchise’s first playoff victory in 26 years. Stefanski took credit for the win despite being at home after testing positive for Covid-19 (special teams coach Mike Breifer served as interim head coach for that game).

Stefanski had a hat trick in the Browns’ 29-17 win over the Steelers on Thursday night. He did so while playing for an offense that ran the ball 38 times and threw it 31 times. Jacoby Brissett had a big first half and finished the night with 220 yards and two touchdowns. His biggest completion, a 32-yard completion to Amari Cooper on third-and-1 play-action, set up Nick Chubb’s 1-yard touchdown run that extended Cleveland’s lead to 23–14.

Speaking of Chubb, the Browns’ abrasive running back imposed his will on the Steelers’ defense, rushing for 113 yards on 23 carries. Kareem Hunt contributed another 47 yards on the ground as the Browns racked up 171 yards on 38 carries.

However, Stefanski’s defensive play took control of the game in the second half. The unit, which went without many key plays throughout the game, forced five consecutive punts in the second half and helped Pittsburgh go just 1 of 9 on third downs. After taking a 14-13 lead into the second half, the Steelers’ layoff allowed them to score just three points.

With the win, the Browns improved to 2-1 on the season. Stefanski evened his record at 3-3 against the Steelers, the team that had dominated the competition for the previous three decades.

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