Pittsburgh Steelers 22-24 Cleveland Browns
The Cleveland Browns overcame the weight of recent history, Covid-19 disarray, and an embarrassing loss to the Jets last week to clinch a playoff spot against their division rivals for the first time since 2002.
Baker Mayfield converted a third-and-two with a minute left to allow Cleveland to run out the clock, having already wrested momentum back in the third quarter with a 28-yard scramble on third down after Pittsburgh had pulled within one, allowing the Browns build a 15-point lead that proved to be just enough.
After forcing a Pittsburgh three-and-out, Nick Chubb took off for a 47-yard touchdown run on the Brown’s opening drive, evading multiple tackles before outracing Minkah Fitzpatrick.Embed from Getty Images
With Mason Rudolph in for the rested Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers struggled to generate offence early, and Cleveland added a field goal early in the second quarter.
However, Rudolph managed to pull out a big pass on three consecutive drives, one each to Diontae Johnson, JuJu Smith-Schuster and standout Chase Claypool, allowing three field goals to pull them within a point early in the second half.
At the same time, the depleted Steelers’ defence contained the Browns’ offense with sacks from Chris Wormley, Alex Highsmith and Jay Elliott.Embed from Getty Images
Just when Browns fans were fearing an embarrassing collapse to extend the streak of missing the playoffs, Mayfield shifted momentum with a huge scramble shortly followed by a touchdown pass to Austin Hooper.
After an M.J. Stewart interception, Jarvis Landry scored a touchdown on an end-around to make it 24-9.
Soon after, Claypool caught a 28-yard touchdown, making it a one-score game, and a huge 47-yard bomb to Johnson set up a Smith-Schuster touchdown catch to put them two points behind, but the equalising two-point conversion fell incomplete to ultimately preserve the victory for Cleveland.Embed from Getty Images
Sub-edited by Sam Carroll
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