Jacoby Brissett threw two touchdown passes, Nick Chubb ran for a score and the Cleveland Browns bounced back from their upset defeat four days earlier to beat the rival Pittsburgh Steelers 29-17 on Thursday night.
Story of the Game
The Browns (2-1) built a nine-point lead early in the fourth on Chubb’s one-yard run and then held on for dear life.
Pittsburgh (1-2) pulled within 23-17 on Chris Boswell’s 34-yard field goal with 1:48 left before attempting an onside kick. But unlike in Sunday’s 31-30 loss, when the New York Jets overcame a 13-point deficit in the final 1:55 helped by a recovery, the Browns batted the ball out of bounds.
Cleveland fans could finally exhale when cornerback Denzel Ward fell on a Steelers fumble in the end zone on the final play for a meaningless touchdown.
Brissett connected with Amari Cooper and David Njoku for touchdowns, and finished 21 of 31 for 220 yards. The 29-year-old had his second straight solid game as he fills in while Deshaun Watson serves an 11-game suspension.
Chubb finished with 113 yards and pushed and twisted across the goal line on fourth-and-goal with 9:29 left to put the Browns ahead 23-14.
Mitch Trubisky and the Steelers’ stagnant offense showed signs of life in the first half, but became bogged down after half-time, punting on their first three possessions while gaining just 54 yards. Criticised for not throwing deep the first two weeks, Trubisky launched a few long balls but did not connect nearly enough.
Rookie Cade York’s 34-yard field goal gave the Browns a 16-14 lead in the third quarter, when Cleveland lost four players, including starting linebackers Anthony Walker Jr and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, to injuries.
Brissett’s seven-yard TD pass to Njoku put the Browns up 13-7 with 8:58 left before half-time, but for the second straight week York missed an extra point.
Trubisky led the Steelers on a 75-yard scoring drive – 51 yards coming on the ground – before the quarterback rolled right and scored from the one-yard line. Boswell’s PAT put Pittsburgh ahead 14-13.
Steelers rookie receiver George Pickens expressed frustration about not getting the ball during a loss to New England last week, saying he was open 90 per cent of the time. Trubisky finally hit him with a long ball, but it took a spectacular, one-handed catch by Pickens for a 36-yard gain.
- Passing: Jacoby Brissett, 21/31, 220 yards, 2 TDs
- Rushing: Nick Chubb, 23 carries, 113 yards, one TD
- Receiving: Amari Cooper, seven catches, 101 yards, 1 TD
- Passing: Mitchell Trubisky, 20/32, 207 yards
- Rushing: Najee Harris, 15 carries, 56 yards, 1 TD
- Receiving: Diontae Johnson, eight catches, 84 yards
|Steelers 0-7 Browns||Jacoby Brissett 11-yard TD pass to Jacoby Brissett (extra point)|
|Steelers 7-7 Browns||Najee Harris five-yard rushing TD (extra point)|
|Steelers 7-13 Browns||Jacoby Brissett seven-yard TD pass to David Njoku (extra point missed)|
|Steelers 14-13 Browns||Mitch Trubisky one-yard rushing TD (extra point)|
|Steelers 14-16 Browns||Cade York 34-yard field goal|
|Steelers 14-23 Browns||Nick Chubb one-yard rushing TD (extra point)|
|Steelers 17-23 Browns||Chris Boswell 34-yard field goal|
|Steelers 17-29 Browns||Denzel Ward fumble recovery in end zone|
What they said… Steelers lacking ‘consistency’
Browns head coach, Kevin Stefanski: “That is just a great team win. I am really proud of those guys for fighting. Short week with all of the thing with last Sunday.
“For those guys to come through, first of all just battled to make it to this game which is not easy, but then to fight for 60 minutes, I thought it was really a team win. I think it was offense, defense and special teams all working together to get a W in front of our fans who were outstanding tonight. I really felt they brought it.
“I am trying to find new ways to tell you how impressed I am with No 2 (Amari Cooper). He is really, really smart. He is a great team-mate. He runs every route imaginable – slants, go-balls, double moves or you name it. I just think he is so versatile. He is such a big, physical receiver. Trustworthy. I really enjoy No 2.”
Steelers quarterback, Mitch Trubisky: “We just have to be better in the second half and I thought the first half we did pretty good. We are getting there, it is just not where it needs to be and we need to get a victory. The first half we made steps in the right direction but the second half just was not good enough.
“Inconsistency, I would say in the second half. So, it was just inconsistent and not hitting those plays that we needed. We hit some in the first half which is why we scored 14 points. Three points in the second half is not going to do it for us. I would say not putting two halves together would be inconsistent.”
Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady; two NFL all-time greats meet for only the fifth time in their respective Hall of Fame careers, live on Sky Sports this Sunday.
The Week Three double-header live on Sky begins with the Buffalo Bills (2-0) travelling to the Miami Dolphins (2-0) in a clash of the two unbeaten AFC East teams outfits.
September 25, 2022, 5:00pm
Buffalo, many people’s Super Bowl favourites, have been hugely impressive to start the season, handily beating the defending-champion Los Angeles Rams 31-10, before following that up with a 41-7 hammering of the Tennessee Titans, in which star quarterback Josh Allen threw four touchdowns to take his tally to seven for the season.
After that divisional battle to whet the appetite, Rodgers and Brady will serve as the main course as Green Bay Packers (1-1) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-0) battle it out in Tampa, with kick-off at 9.25pm.
Rounding off the Sunday night action, we join our friends at NBC for Football Night in America and Sunday Night Football, to watch Jimmy Garoppolo lead his San Francisco 49ers (1-1) into Denver to face a familiar foe in former Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and the Broncos (1-1) – kick-off is at 1.20am early on Monday.
September 26, 2022, 1:15am
On Monday night, Week Three concludes with yet another fierce division rivalry battle as the Dallas Cowboys (1-1) go on the road to face the New York Giants (2-0), one of the surprise packages of the 2022 season so far after wins over the Titans and Carolina Panthers. Watch live on Sky Sports NFL from 1.15am Tuesday.
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