It wasn’t great at times, but Jacoby Brissett and the Cleveland Browns got past the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday night.
The Browns, thanks to a long touchdown drive to start the fourth quarter and a last-second defensive touchdown, held on to beat the Steelers 29-17 at FirstEnergy Stadium. The win gives the Browns a leg up over a divisional rival and helps erase Sunday's loss to the New York Jets.
Brissett went 21-of-31 for 220 yards and threw for two touchdowns Thursday in what was arguably his best performance filling in for Deshaun Watson as the Browns’ starter. Running back Nick Chubb racked up 113 yards on 21 carries and had a touchdown in his second 100-yard game of the season.
“Jacoby’s a dog man,” Chubb said on Amazon Prime Video after the win. “He’s a great leader for us, he’s vocal, he’s a playmaker. We need a play, he’s going to make it for us.”
With a two-point lead to start the fourth quarter, Brissett and Chubb led the Browns down the field on an 11-play, 80-yard drive that them separation from the Steelers. Chubb handled nearly the entire drive on the ground except for one deep 32-yard toss to Amari Cooper.
The Steelers got a field goal after a promising late drive of their own, their first in quite some time, and got the ball back in the final seconds inside their own 5-yard line. That final play failed terribly, however, and Denzel Ward recovered a fumble in the end zone after several laterals to give Cleveland its 12-point win.
— NFL (@NFL) September 23, 2022
Brissett was dealing in the first half, and found the end zone twice while racking up 134 yards, first to Cooper for an 11-yard score and then to David Njoku for a 7-yard toss. They would have been tied up at the break except for a missed extra point.
Steelers receiver George Pickens stole the show in the half and kept Pittsburgh right in it. Pickens brought down what could easily be the catch of the season with his one-handed extended catch in the first quarter, which set up the Steelers' first touchdown of the night.
Steelers quarterback Mitch Trubisky then ran in another to give them the lead at the break.
Outside of those scoring drives, the Steelers struggled to get much offense going. They had two straight three-and-outs on both sides of Cleveland’s fourth quarter touchdown before Trubisky got them in scoring position. Pittsburgh settled for a field goal and then missed the onside kick to solidify the loss.
"If you can't slow down Chubb, you can't beat this group ... We've got to own the outcome, and we will," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. "So there's not a lot really to talk about. We've got to look at this tape and learn and get better, and get better very fast."
Trubisky finished the night throwing 19-of-31 for 209 yards, and had one rushing touchdown. Najee Harris, who scored the other touchdown for Pittsburgh, had 56 yards on the ground on 15 carries. The Steelers have now lost two straight following Sunday's loss to the New England Patriots.
Browns LB Anthony Walker carted off
Browns linebacker Anthony Walker was carted off the field in the third quarter after he took a shot to the face and then had his leg landed on.
Walker was blocked to the ground by Chukwuma Okorafor, who then jumped on top of him to keep him down. As Walker was on the ground, Steelers lineman James Daniels was seen stepping on his leg accidentally.
Anthony Walker suffered an injury and got pummeled by a Steeler while on the ground.
Is this dirty? 🤔pic.twitter.com/LNNsEgyiyj
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) September 23, 2022
Walker was put on a cart with an aircast on his leg and taken off the field. He didn’t return. Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski later said Walker suffered a sprained knee.
Walker had a team-high six total tackles when he went down. The 27-year-old, who is in his second season with the Browns, had seven total tackles in their first two games of the season.