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Browns Vs. Steelers NFL Preview: Cleveland Looking To The Future

For more on the Browns, go to Dawgs By Nature.

It's now right about that time that the Cleveland Browns should be looking to 2012 and beyond as opposed to the here and now. After a one-sided loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, they're effectively out of the running for the highly competitive AFC North division and a wild card berth just isn't going to happen. There was a great opportunity to really do some damage over the last two weeks with divisional matchups against the aforementioned Ravens and the Cincinnati Bengals, but Pat Shurmur's team was unable to capitalize on the opportunity.

Next, the Browns will take on another divisional rival, the Pittsburgh Steelers, on Thursday Night Football. The next best thing to making the playoffs would be beating their division rivals whenever possible, and on primetime, it doesn't get much better. The Browns are looking for a lot of things right now. They want young guys like Greg Little to show that they're the answer at their respective positions, and they want to see if quarterback Colt McCoy shows any progress at all in leading the offense.

The Steelers are coming off a big division win over Cincinnati in which they dominated on Sunday. They beat the Bengals 35-7, with 28 points coming in the second quarter. Pittsburgh has already lost both games against the Ravens this season, so they're looking to make up for it with other divisional wins, which is why the Browns could really play spoiler on Thursday. 

Many things are going to be evaluated on Thursday within the Browns organization. Every position on the football team will be scrutinized, and the coaching staff may get a long look as well. The game is set for Thursday Night Football on the NFL Network at 8:20 p.m. eastern.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.