It was a short week for two AFC North rivals Thursday night as the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns played on the shore of Lake Erie. Both teams were coming off of disappointing week 2 losses, but Pittsburgh once again had a much-maligned offense, and tired defense, that proved too little against a stout Cleveland run game. When the clock finally struck zero it would be the Browns coming away with a 29-17 victory.
Cleveland got the scoring started late in the first quarter. Jacoby Brissett threw an 11yd touchdown pass to Amari Cooper to put their team up seven. The Steelers were able to answer at the very beginning of the second quarter when Najee Harris rushed for a 5yd touchdown. The Browns retook the lead when Brissett hit David Njoku for a 7yd touchdown pass, though Cade York would miss the extra point. The final score of the half belonged to Mitch Trubisky, as he would rush for a 1yd touchdown, to give Pittsburgh a one-point lead heading into halftime.
The second half was all Cleveland, as they would outscore the Steelers 16-3 in the final thirty minutes. York would connect on a 34yd field goal for the only scoring in the third quarter. In the fourth, the Browns were able to add on when Nick Chubb rushed for a 1yd touchdown to put his team up nine. Chris Boswell kicked a 34yd field with just under two minutes left in the game. Cleveland got six more points as the clock struck zero on a Harris fumble during a lateral attempt to prolong the game.
During the first half, it looked like this game could have gone either way. It did not take long to see that the Browns made the appropriate adjustments at halftime to seal the deal on their second win of the season and put themselves at the top of the division standings. The physical running of Chubb, who rushed for 113 yards, and the ability to protect the ball by Brissett, really gave Cleveland the advantage in the second half.
Pittsburgh is a mess right now. Fans are calling for the head of Matt Canada, because his offense continues to underwhelm. Some think it is time for Kenny Pickett to make his debut at quarterback to spark the offense. The defense looks tired due to the offense not sustaining drives, and appears to have lost their spark since the injury to T.J. Watt in week one. Whatever the case may be, Mike Tomlin and company need to use the extra time they have to prepare for New York Jets at home in week four. It may only be the fourth game of the season, but the difference between 1-3 and 2-2 could be key for how the rest of 2022 plays out for our beloved black and gold.
Overall Record: 1-2