Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers will host the Cleveland Browns for the last time in Roethlisberger’s career. He has never lost to the Browns at home in the regular season, so the team will look to solidify that streak with finality. The Browns were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs already, but the Steelers are close behind. Their sole hopes remain in winning out against the Browns and the Ravens while relying on the Jacksonville Jaguars to take down the Indianapolis Colts. Get ready for a whole lot of Ben Roethlisberger milestone and career achievement updates in today’s thread as I am sure the broadcast has content loaded up.
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Steelers Inactive Players
ILB Buddy Johnson
QB Dwayne Haskins
P Pressley Harvin III
DT Isaiah Buggs
Browns Inactive Players
QB Kyle Lauletta
CB Troy Hill
RB Kareem Hunt
S Ronnie Harrison Jr.
S John Johnson III
LB Mack Wilson
G Hjalte Froholdt
The Steelers lost the toss and will receive the ball. Ben will take the field first.
Ben is tossing the ball around a bit early. Picking up a first down to Chase Claypool. Diontae Johnson failed to haul in a catch on 2nd down which would have been good for a 1st. Ultimately the drive stalled out at 4th and 6. Corliss Waitman’s punt landed inside the 10, returned only a few yards. Good for 53 yards.
Justin Layne was called for a face-mask penalty, so the Browns will start at the 27. Waitman has a pretty great average on his first three punts for the team.
It is worth noting that with JC Hassenauer in, the snap issues are popping up still. Kendrick Green has also struggled with that at times this season.
Robert Spillane met Nick Chubb in the backfield for a loss of 2 on 1st down. Jarvis Landry ran an option route on Spillane the next play for an easy 1st down and a 20 yard gain.
1st and 10 from their own 45 yard line, Mayfield deep to Austin Hooper, but Terrell Edmunds in good coverage and the ball fell incomplete. Mayfield tried to throw a crosser on 2nd, but it fell incomplete just a bit behind his target. Cameron Heyward got a finger on it to effect the throw. On 3rd and 10, Austin Hooper dropped a pass in the flat.
The Browns punt went deep, but rolled into the endzone for a touchback.
Najee Harris got the ball the first few plays of the drive picking up the first down. He picked up 1000 yards and is just shy of Franco Harris’ record for a Steelers’ rookie running back.
Diontae Johnson was called for a false start, caught leaning a bit anticipating the snap. The Steelers did a running back screen to Najee Harris on 3rd down, but he was tackled in the backfield. A nice tackle by the defender. Waitman’s punt was downed at around the 30.
Nick Chubb running power picked up 32 yards on 1st down. A big play to open the drive. D’Ernest Johnson in on the next play for a gain of two. False start makes it 3rd and 7 for the Browns. Alex Highsmith got pressure and forced the incompletion on 3rd down. 4th and 7, the Browns go for it. Baker dropped back and Cameron Heyward knocked the ball down at the line of scrimmage. Turnover on downs.
Najee Harris fought through two or three tackles on 1st down to pickup 5. On 2nd down, Ben connected with Diontae Johnson for the 1st down and a gain of 6.
Ben Roethlisberger thought he caught some defenders offsides, so he tossed deep to Diontae Johnson. The pass was incomplete, with some contact. No penalties, so the free play ended up just being an incompletion. On 2nd down, Najee Harris went up the middle for about 7 yards. Najee Harris in again for the carry on 3rd down. He didn’t get it, but the Steelers went for it on 4th. Derek Watt powered through for the fresh set of downs.
On 1st down, Diontae Johnson was tackled just behind the line of scrimmage for a loss of a yard. Grant Delpit made a nice tackle there. Ben Roethlisberger deep to James Washington. The deep ball is looking good from Ben, but James Washington had zero separation. 3rd and 10, Diontae Johnson underneath on the crosser, but only good for 5 yards. The Steelers are letting Ben have his way today going for it on 4th and 5. It would be a difficult 54 yard field goal for Chris Boswell. Malik McDowell broke up the pass and nearly intercepted it. Ben thought he had Freiermuth wide open, but he didn’t see the defender.
On 2nd down, TJ Watt knocked the ball straight up in the air at the line of scrimmage, but he couldn’t locate it. TJ Watt could have maybe intercepted and returned that one. On 3rd and 6, TJ Watt came in for the sack. There is a flag on the play, but its on the Browns and declined.
END OF 1ST QUARTER 0-0.
The Browns punt was only good for 35 yards after a short roll. A nice break for the Steelers offense and their best starting field position of the day.
Najee Harris found a hole for a gain of 7. Some nice running from Najee so far tonight. 2nd and 3, Ben complete to Ray-Ray McCloud for a 1st down on a gain of 11.
Ray-Ray McCloud again short in the middle of the field complete for 8 yards, but there was an offsides call. 2nd and 5, Ben complete to Najee Harris in the middle after the pump fake good for a first down. Najee Harris is stepping up for the offense on an important night for the team.
On 1st and 10, Ray-Ray McCloud was hit before the ball got to him. No flag though, so it counts as an incomplete pass. It was a really close “bang-bang” type play. On 2nd, Diontae Johnson dropped the ball across the middle of the field. A couple drops for Diontae. He had really cleaned it up all year, but the last couple games have been rough. 3rd and 10, Ben with a quick screen out to Chase Claypool well short of the 1st down. Unsportsmanlike conduct on Jadeveon Clowney. Clowney ripped off his shoe and threw it downfield for some reason. A free 1st down for Pittsburgh.
On 1st down, Najee Harris ran hard up the middle for 7 yards. The inside running game is looking a lot better with JC Hassenauer. Najee up the middle again for the 1st down pickup the next play.
1st and goal from the 5 yard line, Ben with a quick play fake and he hit Diontae Johnson crossing from right to left for the touchdown. The linebacker was influenced by the play fake just enough. The PAT is good. 7-0 Steelers.
The kickoff was returned to the 24 yard line by D’Ernest Johnson. The defense relentlessly pursued the ball there on 1st down. Nick Chubb was running hard, but the Steelers gang tackled him for a gain of just 1. Isaiahh Loudermilk batted the ball on 2nd down. 3rd and 9, the pass was dropped by Johnson. TJ Watt with the pressure on the 3rd down play.
Ray-Ray McCloud returned the punt to the 37 yard line. It was a solid 53 yard punt for the Browns. On 2nd down, Jadeveon Clowney in for the strip sack, but Ben was able to dive on the ball. 3rd and 16, Najee Harris underneath and he turned upfield stopped just short of the 1st down. Najee Harris never touched the ground on the tackle, but the quick whistle ruined the play.
Corliss Waitman boomed the punt to the 10 yard line, but a substitution error led to some extra yards. Justin Layne’s 2nd penalty on special teams today.
Greedy Williams injured for the Browns as he went to the locker room. On 1st down, Ahkello Witherspoon undercut the route and intercepted the pass. He extends his team lead for interceptions.
On 1st down, Ben Roethlisberger avoided the sack and hurled it downfield to Chase Claypool. Claypool stopped a bit on the route and it fell incomplete. Najee Harris with a gain of 14 and a 1st down on the next play. Najee Harris is on a mission today.
Ben avoided pressure again and threw a perfect pass to Pat Freiermuth in the flat who made a man miss and pushed upfield for the 1st down.
On 1st and 10, Ray-Ray McCloud received the quick screen behind Chase Claypool and ran for a few yards. Ray-Ray McCloud was targeted again on 2nd down, but the ball fell incomplete in tight coverage. On 3rd and 7, Ben Roethlisberger pump faked and hit Ray-Ray McCloud for a gain of 9. Credit to McCloud for hanging on to that ball with a hard hit after the catch.
On 1st and goal from the 4 yard line, McCloud couldn’t get his head around quick enough in the flat and the ball sailed incomplete. On 2nd, Ben threw out of the back of the end zone. Chase Claypool and Grant Delpit collided, so that is why no receiver was there. Delpit down injured holding his knee after the play. On 3rd, Ben had to throw off his back foot towards Zach Gentry, but it didn’t have enough power on it. Chris Boswell’s field goal is good. 10-0 Steelers.
The kickoff was returned to the 21 yard line.
On 1st down, Robert Spillane cut underneath the blockers and made a nice tackle for a short gain of 2. Cameron Heyward chased Baker Mayfield out of the pocket on 2nd down, and it was thrown away as a result. On 3rd and 8, Baker Mayfield complete to Jarvis Landry for a 1st down.
TWO MINUTE WARNING 10-0 STEELERS
On 3rd and 11, Baker Mayfield complete to Donovan Peoples-Jones for 22 yards and a 1st down. The Browns don’t use any timeouts yet.
On 1st down, Marcus Allen stopped D’Ernest Johnson for a gain of 1. Jarvis Landry got out of bounds nearly picking up the 1st, so 3rd and short coming up. On 3rd and 2, TJ Watt sacked Baker Mayfield. TJ Watt is doing his best to lock up defensive player of the year. He is at 19.5 sacks, just 3 shy of tying the all-time record. The punt goes for 37 yards.
Pittsburgh gets the ball back with 00:34 remaining in the half with two timeouts deep on their own side. Najee Harris went up the middle for a couple yards. The Steelers seem to be opting to run the clock out. The Browns called a timeout for some reason. On 2nd down, Diontae Johnson got out of bounds with 22 seconds remaining. 3rd and 7, Pat Freiermuth got out of bounds after picking up the 1st down. A flag came in for a late hit. The Steelers moving near Boswell field goal range after that mistake from the Browns.
With 17 seconds remaining and two timeouts, Ben hit Pat Freiermuth in the flat for a short gain. He was able to get out of bounds with 12 seconds remaining. They only need a few more yards to give Chris Boswell a solid chance. Ben’s pass was defended by AJ Green intended for Diontae Johnson. Johnson didn’t have a chance there. 3rd and 6 with 00:07. One play to get a few yards and kick a field goal. Cleveland called a timeout. Ben Roethlisberger rolled out trying to make something happen, but he threw an interception.
END OF 1ST HALF 10-0 STEELERS
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