The Pittsburgh Steelers are up 10-0 at halftime. Ben Roethlisberger threw one touchdown pass and a late interception on the last play of the first half. Najee Harris has played very well, with some changes on the personnel and coaching of the offensive line the inside running game is looking way better so far.
The defense pitched a first half shutout, with TJ Watt notching two sacks. Baker Mayfield has had three or four batted passes so far as well. TJ Watt is currently at 19.5 sacks, just 3 shy of tying the all-time single season record.
Baker Mayfield’s woes continue with an interception, multiple batted passes, and otherwise off target passes in this game. The Browns have nothing to play for except being spoiler to the Steelers. If the Steelers’ lead gets any worse, you could start to see some relenting play from the Browns.
The opening kickoff for the half was returned to the 35. Not much power on that from Boswell.
Cleveland started with the ball and the first two plays resulted in 3rd and 3. On 3rd down, Derrek Tuszka is in the game for TJ Watt. Cameron Heyward sacked Baker on 3rd down. The punt team is coming out onto the field. Isaiahh Loudermilk was near the sack as well.
The punt had nice hangtime and was only returned a few yards to the 22 yard line.
Ben Roethlisberger back in for the first snap of his last half at Heinz Field. On 1st and 10, play action pass was off target and fell incomplete. Najee Harris took the ball 30 yards up the left sideline. He finished the play with a stiff arm for the longest run of the Steelers’ season and breaking Franco Harris’ Steelers rookie rushing record. What a way to break the rookie record!
On 1st down, Najee was tackled for a loss of 1. He nearly stiff armed his way out of that tackle, too. On 2nd and 11, Ben complete to Diontae Johnson for 3 yards. 3rd and 8, Ben with a free play to Chase Claypool. It fell incomplete, but the flag should move them up and give them a re-do. 3rd and 3, Diontae Johnson made space for himself at the top of the route and converted the first down.
1st and 10, Najee Harris up the middle for 5 yards. Najee Harris is over 100 yards now on the game. Ben Roethlisberger got rid of the ball on 2nd down just in time to avoid the Myles Garrett sack, he connected with Ray-Ray McCloud for another 1st down.
On 1st down, Diontae Johnson was hit hard as he tried to catch the ball and it fell incomplete. Ben way overthrew the ball on 2nd down. It was an RPO and Ben wishes he handed the ball off. 3rd and 10, Ben with a short completion to Pat Freiermuth for two yards. Chris Boswell coming out to kick the field goal. The field goal is good. 13-0 Steelers.
TJ Watt batted the ball down on 2nd down to set up 3rd and 7. Mayfield slid to avoid a big hit with Montravius Adams in pursuit. A big man was running towards him. The Browns out to punt again after picking up just 1 first down on that drive.
Ray-Ray McCloud called for the fair catch and then muffed the punt. Thankfully the Browns players were caught sleeping and McCloud was able to hop on the ball.
That Baker Mayfield slide was credited as a TJ Watt sack. That moves him to 20.5 sacks this season. He needs just 2 to tie the single season all time record.
On 1st and 10 from their own 5 yard line, Najee Harris went up the middle for 4 yards. The offensive line looks miles better today. Whether its the release of Adrian Klemm and the promotion of Chris Morgan, or JC Hassenauer playing instead of Kendrick Green, it is working. Jadeveon Clowney got the sack on 3rd down. Nearly a safety, but Corliss Waitman will have a tough punt from the back of his end zone.
Corliss Waitman fielded a high snap and made a tough punt under immense pressure for 53 yards. His punt average so far for the Steelers is incredibly impressive.
With Minkah Fitzpatrick in pursuit, Donovan Peoples-Jones crossed the field and ran for 39 yards into the red zone. On 1st and goal, Nick Chubb up the middle for 3 yards. TJ Watt with the stop. Alex Highsmith got the stop on 2nd down for another two yard gain. On 3rd and goal from the 3 yard line, David Njoku had an amazing double catch in the end zone over Joe Haden. 13-7 Steelers.
That was a nice throw by Baker Mayfield, too. By far his best of the night. Now we have a ballgame.
The kickoff resulted in a touchback.
On 1st down, Najee Harris ran up the middle and was face masked by Jadeveon Clowney. The flag was picked up and the stadium is not happy. On 2nd down, the pass fell incomplete intended for Ray-Ray McCloud. Ben skipped the pass to McCloud on 3rd, so Corliss Waitman will punt and give the Browns a chance to take the lead on this upcoming drive.
On 1st down, Alex Highsmith notched the 5th sack of the night for the Steelers.
END OF 3RD QUARTER 13-7 STEELERS
Austin Hooper picked up a first down and much more with a catch over the middle that he turned up field for another handful of yards. 21 yard gain on the play. Robert Spillane getting picked on in coverage.
On 1st down, D’Ernest Johnson went up the middle for 5 yards, but holding was called on the offense. 1st and 20, Mayfield incomplete to Jarvis Landry with Ahkello Witherspoon in coverage. WItherspoon is really playing well and has been for a few weeks now. On 3rd and 20, Witherspoon broke up the pass. He planted his foot and drove on the pass. He hit the snow angel after the play.
Colquitt shanked the punt and injured himself on the punt. The Browns might not have a punter ready to go the rest of the game. His toe his the ground with a bad swing.
Najee Harris ripped off another 10+ yard run on 1st down. He is up to 128 yards.
Najee Harris took over the next series with three straight runs for another first down. Ben Roethlisberger put the ball in a spot for a 50/50 jump ball with Chase Claypool. The ball was knocked away. On 2nd, Benny Snell Jr. up the middle for 3 yards. He hasn’t played much in this game. On 3rd and 8, Najee Harris is back in the game. Diontae Johnson was targeted, but the ball was uncatchable. Diontae slipped a bit. Chris Boswell good from 50 yards. 16-7 Steelers.
At least the game is back to two possessions now, but the drives keep stalling out in scoring range. Browns still very much have a chance with most of the 4th quarter remaining.
Heinz Field is rocking with Renegade before this drive on defense. Alex Highsmith with the tackle for loss on 1st down. He is having a strong game as well. Derrek Tuszka sacked Baker Mayfield on 2nd down. That was the 6th sack on him tonight. On 3rd and 18, Isaiahh Loudermilk was held, so 3rd and 26 from their own 9 yard line. The stadium is very loud which caused a false start. 3rd and 30 from their own 3 yard line, Marcus Allen made the tackle as the Browns opted to run. They didn’t want to risk the safety.
Colquitt’s punt went 50+ yards, but Ray-Ray McCloud had a nice return for 14 yards up to Cleveland’s 37.
Najee Harris got the ball on 1st and 2nd down, picking up 7 total yards. On 3rd down, Ben Roethlisberger incomplete intended for Chase Claypool. Claypool had a chance back shoulder and he nearly secured it, but not quite.
Chris Boswell good from 48 yards, but there is a flag on the field. Two players called for unsportsmanlike conduct, one on each team. Offsetting, but both players get a strike against possible disqualification for the game. 19-7 Steelers.
On 1st and 10, David Njoku with his second catch of the game for 7 yards. Nick Chubb picked up enough for the 1st down on the next play.
TJ Watt got a sack on 2nd down, hitting Baker Mayfield hard from his blind spot. TJ Watt is up to 4 sacks on the day, 21.5 on the season, and just one shy of tying the all-time record.
TJ Watt nearly got a sack on 3rd down as well, but Alex Highsmith got to him first. Its a sack party today for the Steelers defense. On 4th and 19, Joe Haden was called for pass interference. Automatic first down and a small opportunity for the Browns.
On 1st down, the pass was dropped by Higgins in the flat. Browns called for illegal formation, but the pass was incomplete, so the Steelers declined. 3rd and 10, Baker Mayfield ran it himself for a first down. He didn’t quite get out of bounds though as he opted for contact. He lowered his injured shoulder there, not a smart move.
On 1st and 10, Henry Mondeaux and Alex Highsmith share a sack for the 9th sack tonight by the Steelers defense. On 2nd down, Ulysees Gilbert III made the tackle on the screen pass for a gain of just 1.
Ben Roethlisberger looks emotional on the sideline realizing he might not touch the ball again in this game.
TWO MINUTE WARNING 19-7 STEELERS.
Baker Mayfield completed on 3rd down for a first down and then some.
On 1st down, Joe Haden knocked the ball away in the end zone intended for Higgins. On 2nd down, David Njoku picked up 9 yards. On 3rd down, the Browns went on first sound and Baker kept the ball himself for the sneak up the middle.
On 1st down, Jarvis Landry got turned around and couldn’t locate the ball in the end zone. Joe Haden in coverage. Cameron Sutton called for pass interference on 2nd down.
On 1st and goal from the 1 yard line, Harrison Bryant wide open in the end zone. With 1:10 to play, the Browns have a small chance with a quick three-and-out to win. 19-14 Steelers.
That was a 17 play drive for the Browns. Some of the Steelers’ issues from weeks past creeping back in late in the game. Those drivers are killers. Hopefully it killed enough clock.
The Browns opted for the onside kick, but Minkah Fitzpatrick swooped in and cradled the ball to secure the Steelers win. The Browns have two timeouts with 1:09 remaining, so a first down wins the game.
On 1st down, Ben Roethlisberger handed off to Najee Harris who ran off the left end for 4 yards. Timeout #2 called by the Browns.
On 2nd down, Najee Harris fell forward for another 4 yard gain to set up 3rd and 2. Cleveland called their final timeout. On 3rd and 2, Najee Harris had his biggest run of the season for 37 yards and a touchdown. 26-14 Steelers.
Najee Harris is up to 188 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Another 18 yards on the ground.
Tre Norwood intercepted the football to give Ben his curtain call with 10 seconds left. His last 10 seconds at Heinz Field. What an awesome and emotional moment. Football is the best.
The Steelers called a timeout after Ben kneeled the ball. Tomlin is just messing with him for his final snap of his career at Heinz Field.
END OF GAME – FINAL SCORE 26-14 STEELERS