It wasn’t great at times, but Jaoby Brissett and the Cleveland Browns outlasted the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday night.
The Browns, thanks to a clutch touchdown drive to open the fourth quarter and then a last-second defensive touchdown, went on to beat the Steelers 29-17 at FirstEnergy Stadium. The win both gives them a leg up on a division rival and erases last week’s late loss to the New York Jets.
Brissett went 21-31 for 220 yards and 2 touchdowns in the win, in what was arguably his best performance, filling in for Deshaun Watson as the Browns’ starter. Nick Chubb rushed for 113 yards on 21 carries, too, and had a touchdown of his own in his second 100-yard game of the season.
“Jacoby is a dog,” Chubb said on Amazon Prime Video after the win. “He’s a big leader for us, he’s vocal, he’s a playmaker. We need a game, he’ll make it for us.”
With a two-point lead to start the fourth quarter, Brissett and Chubb led the Browns down the field on an 11-play, 80-yard drive to finally pull them away from the Steelers. Chubb handled nearly the entire drive on the ground except for a 32-yard deep throw to Amari Cooper.
The Steelers made a field goal on a promising late drive of their own, their first in quite some time, and got the ball back in the final seconds inside their own five-yard line. That final play backfired horribly, however, and Denzel Ward recovered a fumble in the end zone after several onside plays to give Cleveland their 12-point win.
Brissett had a go in the first half and found the end zone twice while racking up 134 yards — first to Cooper for an 11-yard score and then again to David Njoku for a seven-yard toss. They would have been level at the break except for a missed extra point.
But it was Steelers wide receiver George Pickens who stole the show in the half and kept Pittsburgh right in it. Pickens pulled down what could easily be the catch of the season with his extended one-handed catch in the first quarter that set up their first touchdown of the night.
Steelers quarterback Mitch Trubisky then ran in another one to give them the lead at the break.
Outside of those scoring patterns, however, the Steelers struggled to get much going offensively — especially in the second half. They had two straight 3-pointers on either side of Cleveland’s fourth quarter before Trubisky once again put them in scoring position. They had to settle for a field goal, however, and then missed the onside kick to seal the loss.
“If you can’t slow down Chubb, you can’t beat this group. … We have to own the outcome and we will,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. “So there’s not a lot to talk about. We’ve got to watch that tape and learn and get better, and get better real quick.”
Trubisky finished the night 19-of-31 for 209 yards and a rushing touchdown. Najee Harris, who scored the other touchdown for Pittsburgh, had 56 yards on the ground on 15 carries. The Steelers are now on a two game losing streak after last week’s loss to the New England Patriots.
Browns LB Anthony Walker out
Browns linebacker Anthony Walker was carted off the field in the third quarter after taking a shot to the face and then planting his foot.
Walker was blocked on the ground by Chukwuma Okorafor, who then jumped over him to hold him down. As Walker was on the ground, however, Steelers lineman James Daniels was seen accidentally stepping on his foot.
Walker was then placed in a wheelchair with a leg brace and wheeled off the field. He didn’t come back. The details of his injury are not yet known and the team ruled him out with a knee injury. Coach Kevin Stefanski later said he had a sprained knee.
Walker had a team-high six total tackles when he went down. The 27-year-old, who is in his second season with the Browns, had seven total tackles through the first two games of the season.