The 2022 season came to an end today for the Pittsburgh Steelers with a 28-14 victory over the Cleveland Browns. Pittsburgh had a shot to reach the postseason when the day began, all they needed to do was win and have the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins lose or tie. New England lost, but Miami won to claim the final Wild Card spot in the AFC.
As far as the game at Acrisure Stadium went, neither team was able to score in the first quarter. Cleveland would strike first to claim their only lead of the day with 6:33 left in the first half. Deshaun Watson would throw a 10yd touchdown pass to David Njoku. The Steelers answered to tie the game five minutes later on a Kenny Pickett 31yd touchdown pass to George Pickens. Pittsburgh took the lead just before halftime on a 49yd field goal by Chris Boswell.
Boswell was at it again in the third quarter when he connected from 34yds out to put his team up six. Najee Harris would run for a 4yd touchdown with just over three minutes left in the quarter to give the Steelers a 20-7 lead. The Browns got it back to within six when Watson connected with Nick Chubb for a 2yd touchdown pass early in the fourth. Pittsburgh put the game away with 4:39 remaining on a Derek Watt 1yd rushing touchdown. Pickett threw a pass to Diontae Johnson for the 2pt conversion.
Pickett would go 13-29 today for 195yds. Harris led all rushers with 84yds on 23 carries. Pickens had three catches for 72yds. On the defensive side of the ball, Cameron Hayward had eight total tackles and two sacks. Alex Highsmith led the team with 2.5 sacks. Damontae Kazee and Levi Wallace each had an interception.
With the win, Mike Tomlin keeps his streak of never having a losing season in tact. Though it will also mark the sixth straight year that the Steelers haven’t won a playoff game. Had Pittsburgh handled their business earlier in the year they would not have had to rely on two other teams to get into the playoffs. Hopefully that message remains with them heading into the 2023 season. I have some optimism heading into next year based on how this year ended. Hopefully a new offensive coordinator will be added, along with some upgrades to the offensive line.
Final Record: 9-8