The Pittsburgh Steelers are just an hour away from their final game of the regular season on the road in Cleveland versus the Browns. The Steelers are resting several starters, including Ben Roethlisberger, so Mason Rudolph will be at the helm on offense today.
The Browns have their own set of issues, as covid has caused issues throughout the past two weeks and they have had positive tests as recent as yesterday. The Steelers also have some players missing due to covid after Joe Haden tested positive late in the week.
The Browns must win this game to ensure their spot in the playoffs, but the Steelers have told the media that they are preparing like this is the first playoff game and they aren’t going to let the Browns walk in to the playoffs.
Steelers vs. Browns all time record: 77-59-1
Steelers at Browns: 28-38-0
Last match result: 38-7 Steelers (2020)
Notable offseason addition: DT Sheldon Richardson
Notable draft picks: OT Jedrick Wills, S Grant Delpit, DL Jordan Elliot, WR Donovan Peoples-Jones
Steelers Inactive Players:
QB Ben Roethlisberger
C Maurkice Pouncey
DT Cameron Heyward
OLB T.J. Watt
K Chris Boswell
S Terrell Edmunds
Browns Inactive Players:
S Tedric Thompson
C Nick Harris
G Blake Hance
T Kendall Lamm
WR Alexander Hollins
DE Joe Jackson
Cleveland won the coin toss and deferred to the second half. Mason Rudolph will be taking snaps in a few short moments.
The first couple plays were to James Conner to set up 3rd and 4. Mason Rudolph’s first pass of the day and he threaded the needle to Chase Claypool for the first down conversion.
Another 3rd down here after the off target dump off to James Conner. This time, Myles Garrett got pressure and Rudolph’s pass fell into the turf. The Steelers punt to the Browns 15 yard line.
The Browns are going up tempo here and picked up a couple first downs early on this drive.
Nick Chubb, behind some excellent blocking, ripped off a 47 yard touchdown run. 7-0 Browns.
Minkah Fitzpatrick made a bit of a business decision there. After talking up the teams level of focus for this meaningless game, he doesn’t seem to be backing it up early.
Anthony McFarland due to get some reps here. On first, he probably could have let his hole develop more, but instead ran into several people for a short gain.
On second down, Josh Dobbs was in and tried the jet sweep to Ray-Ray McCloud. On third down, Rudolph back in and picked up 9 yards to Vance McDonald, but just short of the first.
Special teams came to play with a couple good stops in punt coverage.
The Browns are at 3rd and long on their own 10 yard line, but Donovan Peoples-Jones complete along the left sideline to convert for the first down.
After a false start, the Browns had a 2nd and 11 and the officials called a completion along the sideline to set up 3rd and short, but Mike Tomlin threw the red flag.
The call was overturned to set up 3rd and long and the pass was well short. The Browns punted to the Steelers 10 yard line. James Conner with a couple nice runs early on this drive to give the Steelers some breathing room.
The end of the first quarter. Another slow start for the Steelers.
Mason Rudolph, after the break, tried to go deep to Claypool, but was just a bit far. Third and seven coming up here, and Mason Rudolph tried to scramble and was stopped short. The Steelers forced to punt once again.
Rashard Higgins streaked down the right sideline and caught the pass in stride for a gain of 42. The second Browns play of 40+.
The Browns picked up a first down to set up first and goal from the 4 yard line. Minkah Fitzpatrick broke up the pass in the end zone on first. On second, the run was stuffed. On third, the ball was caught in the back of the end zone, but David Njoku couldn’t get both feet in bounds. The Browns are set to kick the field goal. 10-0 Browns.
Josh Dobbs getting some snaps. On 3rd and three, Anthony McFarland ran to the left end and planted his foot in the ground to pick up the first.
On first down, Josh Dobbs tried to throw the hook route, but the receiver was not on the same page and continued downfield. McFarland was shut down on the next run to set up 3rd and long.
Mason Rudolph placed the ball perfectly deep to Diontae Johnson for a pickup of 41 yards. Dobbs was back in the next play for the keeper scramble for another first down. The Steelers are now within the red zone.
The offense was unable to get anything going in the red zone and had to settle for a field goal. 10-3 Browns.
Chris Wormley with the sack on 2nd down to set up 3rd and 16. Alex Highsmith also in on the pressure there. Cleveland stayed on the field for 4th down on 4th and 4. They called the timeout after running the clock down to eventually punt.
Mason Rudolph will have 2:25 and two timeouts from the 24 yard line. The Browns jumped into the neutral zone, so 1st and 5 to start the drive. Juju Smith-Schuster with the reception for 12 yards.
After a hold, the Steelers have 1st and 20, and the pass bounced off Chase Claypool’s hands into the secondary. Luckily no defender was able to get in position to intercept. James Conner for 11 on a dump off pass in the flat. Mason Rudolph is showing some really good stuff, delivering a 1st down reception to Juju on 3rd and 9. Juju tip-toed up the sideline for several yards.
The Steelers offense is almost in the red zone. Olivier Vernon came in and drilled Mason Rudolph who didn’t sense the pressure. Luckily the ball didn’t fly out for the fumble. 3rd and 13 now after the sack. Just barely out of field goal range for Matthew Wright.
Josh Dobbs in after that big sack. He ran the option to Anthony McFarland and kept the ball for a pickup of just a few yards. The Steelers had to settle for the field goal. 10-6 Browns.
Donovan Peoples-Jones hit hard while he jumped up in the area to catch the ball. Sean Davis planted his helmet square on Jones’ back and he was down hurt. Injury timeout.
Alex Highsmith got around two blockers to land the sack on Baker Mayfield. The Browns forced to punt, effectively ending the quarter.
HALFTIME – 10-6 Browns