PITTSBURGH - Give Le'Veon Bell the edge in the battle of Spartans.
Bell, who replaced Edwin Baker as the primary runner at Michigan State University, rushed for 90 yards and scored one touchdown for the Steelers in their 20-7 win over the Browns Sunday at Heinz Stadium. The rushing total was 21 yards more than the 69 gained by Baker, who became the Browns number one back in December.
Bell finished a productive rookie season with 770 rushing yards. He probably would have surpassed the 1,000-yard mark if he hadn't missed four games with an injury.
Bell finished with 1,259 yards from scrimmage. He broke the team rookie record of 1,235 set by Franco Harris.
"It's an honor to even be in the same category," Bell said. "Franco Harris is one of the greatest runners to ever come through here, and being mentioned with him is a great accomplishment. Obviously, I can't do it all myself. It's a credit to the whole offense and the offensive line."
Baker has been a pleasant surprise since being signed by the Browns off the Houston Texans practice squad. He moved ahead of Willis McGahee and Fozzy Whittaker as the featured back, showing a quick burst and an aggressive style in a power-packed, 5-8, 210-pound body.
Baker and Bell talked briefly after the game.
"It was a great feeling to see him play on the other side," Baker said. "He's doing a fantastic job this season. I'm tremendously happy for him."
MISSED THE CALL: Cornerback Joe Haden was a surprise inactive. Haden played last week after missing one week with a hip injury.
Haden, who was selected this week to play in his first Pro Bowl, was replaced by rookie Leon McFadden.
CHANGE UP FRONT: The defensive line was without tackles Phil Taylor (concussion) and John Hughes (knee). Those two losses, combined with the absence of Desmond Bryant, put a dent into the front seven.
Billy Winn started in place of Hughes. Ishmaa'ily Kitchen got the call for Taylor.
Bryant was placed on injured reserve a few weeks ago after undergoing surgery to repair a heart condition.
A LITTLE THIN: The Browns played without guards Jason Pinkston (concussion) and Shawn Lauvao (thigh), which tested depth at the position. John Greco returned from a knee injury and started at right guard in place of Lauvao.
Rookie Garrett Gilkey received his first-ever start, replacing Greco at left guard. Gilkey is a sixth-round draft choice.
DISAPPOINTING STARTS: The Browns and Steelers haven't received the kind of production they expected from their first-round draft choices linebacker Barkevious Mingo (Browns) and linebacker Jarvis Jones (Steelers). Mingo entered the game with five sacks. Jones, who started because of an injury to Jason Worilds, had only one.
UNIQUE RECORD: Antonio Brown of the Steelers became the first receiver in NFL history to have at least five catches and at least 50 yards in all 16 games of a season. The NFL record for consecutive games achieving the same target marks is 19, set by Laveranues Coles.
BACK AT IT: Tight end Jordan Cameron finished a Pro Bowl season with five receptions for 69 yards. Cameron missed the previous game with a concussion and was questionable throughout last week.
WE'LL TAKE IT: For the first time this season the Browns elected to receive the opening kick instead of deferring the choice to the second half after winning the coin toss.
INJURY REPORT: Greco left in the first half and was replaced by Oniel Cousins. Cornerback Buster Skrine injured a shoulder throwing his body into running back Le'Veon Bell on a failed tackle attempt in the first half and didn't return.
INACTIVES: Out for the Browns were quarterback Alex Tanney, Haden, Pinkston, Lauvao, tight end Andre Smith, Hughes and Taylor.
Out for the Steelers were quarterback Landry Jones, cornerback Isaiah Green, linebacker Terence Garvin, defensive end Brian Arnfelt, offensive lineman David Snow, defensive tackle Hebron Fangupo and Worilds.