The Steelers were able to a pull out a pretty fun win against the Browns. They were without the stars but the youngsters showed a lot.
The Steelers were able to get some valuable experience to some young players. They also were able to see how these young players did in extended play against NFL starters, Browns or otherwise. At the same time the stars and the most banged up players go to rest.
So it was nice to see the Steelers, led by Landry Jones, win such a close and exciting game. The team showed a mental toughness. Now let’s go over what happened.
The Browns got the ball first and they went three and out. Then the Steelers got their turn and punctuated with a sack, they did the same. The Browns started with good field position and moved the ball down the field with short passes and runs. They ended up scoring on a 12 yard touchdown pass to DeValve. Steelers down 0-7.
Landry Jones answered with a 12 yard pass to Eli Rogers, but following a third down sack the Steelers had to punt again. RGIII had a nice 19 yard scramble but Sean Davis gave the Steelers a sack of their own, resulting in a punt. A punt that gave the Steelers a chance to go three and out.
Gary Barnidge caught a 12 yard pass to start the drive. A few plays later Louis caught a 16 yard. Then Crowell took a short pass 13 yards. Griffin followed up a pair of 7 yard Terrelle Pryor passes with a 4 yard touchdown throw to Barnidge. Browns up 0-14.
The Steelers did get a first down out of Eli Rogers on the drive, but they would not turn it on yet, and punted. The Browns marched down the field again. A 15 yard pass to Barnidge, a 10 yard run from Atkinson, and a 16 yard run from Crowell got the Browns in the redzone. But an intended touchdown pass was intercepted by Ryan Shazier. Now the Steelers would turn it on …
… on defense. The offense went three and out. But Sean Davis, the Steelers Rookie of the Year, recovered a Robert Griffin fumble. Now the offense would come on. They did need to have DeAngelo Williams convert a 3rd down, but once they did a 14 yard pass to Jesse James set up an 11 yard hard fought touchdown pass to Williams. Browns up 7-14.
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The Steelers started the second half with the ball. Despite DeAngelo Williams taking a short pass 17 yards another sack led to a punt. The Browns suffered a sack of their own though courtesy of Bud Dupree and went three and out. Not to be outdone, the Steelers did the same. The Browns put together a first down but punted on the next set.
Cobi Hamilton did get a 17 yard reception but the notable thing about this drive is how it ended. The ball was intercepted and ran all the way back to the endzone. But the touchdown was reversed. Darrius Heyward-Bey, all hustle, came darting across the field, leapt over Boddy-Calhoun and subtly stripped the ball before it broke the plain. It was therefore a touchback.
Now the Steelers offense started to get going. Williams started it off with runs of 12, 10, and 8 yards. Then 9, 1, and 15 yards from Toussaint. Ayers, who had a nice game for his second stab at NFL football, pulled in a 15 yards pass. He also drew a pass interference penalty that got them to the 1 yard line, where Williams scored. Tied game 14-14.
Griffin came fighting back. He threw a short pass that Pryor took 19 yards. Crowell moved it another 12. Griffin converted on third down with a 10 yard pass to Hawkins. But a sack from big Dan McCullers forced a field goal, which was missed.
The Steelers moved quickly to pull ahead. A huge throw to Heyward-Bey moved the chains 46 yards. Then DeMarcus Ayers took a pass 11 yards to the endzone. Steelers up 21-41.
The Browns moved to tie it up just as quickly though. Following a Jarvis Jones sack Crowell ran 67 yards to the 5 yard line. Atkinson finished it off. Tied game 21-21.
The Steelers suffered another sack that forced a punt. Though Griffin tossed a 43 yard pass to Terrelle Pryor, Jarvis Jones forced a fumble on the next play that Mike Mitchell recovered. Despite a 17 yard run from Williams the Steelers couldn’t get out of their own red zone before the clock ran out. Overtime!
Overtime! Anyway, the Browns struck forth on a long drive to start. They moved down the field slowly. No play went for more than 11 yards, unless you count a 15 yard face mask on Mitchell. But they got the Pittsburgh 2. Then Hawkins lost 14 yards on a short pass when Shazier took him down. They took the field goal. Browns up 21-24.
Now it all comes down to Landry Jones. The drive started with a 1 yard loss on a run play but then a 6 yard pass to Eli Rogers, then an 11 yard pass to Hamilton, and then a 19 yard pass to Rogers. On 3rd down an 8 yard pass to Rogers came up short and then a 6 yard pass to Ayers caused a 4th down conversion. Then a 26 yard rainbow to Cobi Hamilton sealed the win. Steelers, 28-24.
As Mike Tomlin said in his post game press conference, “Landry jones stayed in the fight.” Not just in the game but in his career today. Everything to take away from this game is positive. The young receivers played well. The defense got some sacks. A positive showing for the seventh straight win heading into the playoffs, with health stars.
All stats via NFL.com