There is not much that can be said about the first half. The Steelers beat themselves with multiple bad turnovers, drops, bad snaps, and bad tackling, among other things. The Browns are set to receive the ball in the second half and are currently up 35-10 in Heinz Field while their coach is quarantined in his basement unable to communicate with the team.
The Browns start out picking up a few first downs in a row to cross the midfield mark. After a penalty negated another first down, Baker Mayfield scrambled for a few yard to set up 3rd and 13.
The Steelers need to start to connect with their pressure and knock Baker Mayfield off his game. They did not convert, so the Steelers now have the ball back to the Pittsburgh 16 yard line.
The first several plays for the Steelers this half were all nice chunks of yardage as they are now into Cleveland territory.
Still a perfect start to the half for the offense who has marched straight down into the redzone, and its capped off by a touchdown pass over the shoulder of Eric Ebron. The Steelers go for two and fail. 35-16 Browns.
The Browns offense all of a sudden seems hapless, with a nice breakup by Cameron Sutton on 3rd down to force the punt.
There is still a very steep battle uphill, but this is the sequence that was needed to start the half to have a chance.
Ben Roethlisberger threw to Juju Smith-Schuster in triple coverage which was almost picked off, but instead fell incomplete. Diontae Johnson kept the drive alive with a nice reception on a comeback route near the right sideline.
Juju with a nice 27 yard catch and run to put the Steelers down at the 20 yard line.
Another catch for Juju, this time landing the Steelers at the five yard line. A drop by Vance McDonald and another incomplete pass set up 3rd down. Incomplete to Ebron on 3rd down. Ben and the offense went for it on fourth down and Juju Smith-Schuster with the combat catch for the touchdown. They opted to go for the extra point this time and it was good. 35-23 Browns.
The Steelers forced another shockingly quick three-and-out and now have the ball down 12.
The offense backed themselves into a corner with 3rd and long, and Juju came up just short to set up fourth and short. The quarter ended, but the Steelers are likely to punt after the break.
END OF QUARTER 3 – 35-23 Browns
The Steelers came out of the break with the punting team. Perhaps a fake? Either way, the field is flipped and the Browns should be pinned deep after the punt. The Steelers used presnap motion for the protector on the punt, but took the delay of game.
After the punt, the Browns will start at the 20 after the touchback. The punt barely bounced into the endzone. It was *this* close to being pinned at the one yard line.
The Steelers bit on a screen pass, and Nick Chubb took it 40 yards for the touchdown. 42-23 Browns.
That is probably the final nail in the coffin of the Steelers 2020 season. Everything was going right in the second half, but the margin for error after the first half disaster was low.
Juju Smith-Schuster with a big catch going up the seam for 25 yards. Juju now has 10 catches for 105 and a touchdown.
The very next play, Chase Claypool deep for 29 yards. Touchdown. The two point attempt was no good. 42-29 Browns.
The Browns have been moving down the field with ease, mostly with the help of the running backs who are picking up chunks on the ground and contributing in the short passing game as well.
The Browns are at 2nd and goal from the 6 yard line. Kareem Hunt got stopped at the line of scrimmage to set up 3rd and goal. Terrell Edmunds broke up the pass in the endzone.
The Browns kicked the field goal 45-29 Browns.
The Steelers have now allowed 45 points each of their last two playoff games. 90 points allowed in total. The defense was a top unit this year and completely laid an egg in the postseason. The pass rush was invisible.
Ben Roethlisberger with his fourth interception. Was that the last pass we will ever see him throw?
The Browns with the field goal. 48-29 Browns.
Apparently not, because the Steelers got the ball back. Ben with a couple more long receptions to pad his playoff yardage stats.
Roethlisberger is currently at 461 passing yards, which is just one big pass away from breaking the record.
With a big pass to Juju Smith-Schuster, Ben was set up to connect with Chase Claypool for a touchdown. The two point after attempt to James Conner was good. 48-37 Browns.
Ben has now thrown for 501 yards, just 4 shy of Tom Brady’s single game playoff record. That is how the game will end as the Browns recovered the onside kick with 1:04 remaining.
END OF GAME – END OF SEASON – 48-37 Browns.
Thank you to everyone who followed along for all 17 games this season. It was not the ending any of us wanted, but we appreciate all of you for reading and sharing in this journey with us.