The Pittsburgh Steelers took a 21-3 deficit into halftime after the Cleveland Browns put up three touchdowns in the second quarter. The Steelers offense was moving well early on before sputtering late, but red zone inefficiency and a botched field goal means that they have just three points to show for it. The Browns start the second half with the ball as well. Steve McLendon was ruled out for the rest of the game.
From the 20, Ben Tate picked up eight yards on first down. Travis Benjamin ran around the right side and collected just enough to move the chains. Brian Hoyer used play action before hitting Benjamin for 31 yards in front of Cortez Allen. Troy Polamalu brought Tate down near the line on first down, and Hoyer had to throw it away on second down. On third and eight, Hoyer and Miles Austin were not on the same page, and the Browns had to punt, downed at the five.
Le’Veon Bell picked up a yard on first down. Picking up five or six on second down, Ben Roethlisberger pump faked Antonio Brown open on third down for a 23-yard gain. Bell again up the middle for four yards. Heath Miller caught his first pass of the game near the first down marker.
From the 47, Miller couldn’t hold on to the ball on first down. The Browns were flagged for holding, giving the Steelers a first down. Bell broke through for nine yards closing in on field goal territory. He gained a new set of downs on the next play. Roethlisberger took his first sack from the 30 after play action and trying to step up into a deep throw. On second and 11, he went down again. He lofted one down the field to Lance Moore, but it bounced incomplete.
Isaiah Crowell cut inside Cameron Heyward for 24 yards on first down to the 44. The bootleg cross-field throw worked again to the other tight end. From the 25, Crowell put the ball on the ground again, recovering it for a loss. Mike Mitchell separated man from ball again on third down, but Lawrence Timmons got caught up on his backside and jarred his head backward, though he seems to be fine. A field goal made it 24-3.
Dri Archer was tripped up on a screen pass for no gain on first down. Roethlisberger hit Miller on the run for a first down. His next pass was tipped at the line, however, and scooped off the ground for an interception by Buster Skrine.
Taking over at the Steelers’ 39, Tate took it up the middle for a few yards on first down. Timmons blasted Tate off a pitch after a gain of a few yards. On third down and five, Mitchell was flagged for pass interference down the field. Mitchell had to cut Tate down after 12 yards after the penalty. Hoyer threw incomplete on third down, but Allen was flagged for holding, giving the Browns first and goal. Tate punched it in on seconddown.
Brown got his fifth catch of the game on first down, extending his streak, which has never felt less significant. After an incompletion, Roethlisberger threw at Brown’s feet on third down, and the Steelers went three and out despite being down 28.
Crowell put the ball on the ground for the third time today, this time after a long gain on a hit from Mitchell, but this time the Steelers actually recovered it.
Brown went over 100 yards receiving following the recovery. After a holding penalty on the defense, Markus Wheaton caught only his second pass of the day for nine yards. Moore couldn’t grab a short pass for a first down. After a five-yard run from Bell to move the chains, Roethlisberger found Wheaton for nine yards again on a tough catch and throw. Kelvin Beachum was penalized for unnecessary roughness on first and goal from the one. Now second and goal from the 16, Roethlisberger just overthrew Wheaton wide open in the end zone. Justin Brown caught it for six yards on third down. On fourth and goal, Ben and Wheaton were clearly not on the same page and the Steelers lost possession on downs.
The Steelers got the ball back with 3:39 to play. Bell picked up seven yards on first down to go over 100 total yards for the game. He has done so in each of the first six games. Brown picked up 16 yards on the next play, and two plays later, Roethlisberger found Moore into the end zone for the score.
The Steelers failed to recover an onside kick. After three runs and three timeouts, Pittsburgh got the ball back with 1:37 to play. They punted it away wth nine seconds to go, ending the game in an embarrassing defeat.