A Defensive Battle Ensues For the Second Half
On the other side of the break, the Steelers forced a fourth down after Chubb picked up a quick first down to kill the Browns' first drive of the second half.
Starting at the 20 after the touchback, Pickett scrambled to pick up a third down, but Chukwuma Okorafor was called for a hold, forcing third-and-long and eventually a punt from Pittsburgh
The Browns respond in kind by going three-and-out as a defensive battle begins between these teams that lit up the scoreboard in the first half.
The game started to pick up again as Pickett got the first down the game had seen since the first play of the half when he found Harris over the middle for 15 yards. The third quarter comes to an end after a few more plays with the Steelers in field goal range. The Steelers pick up another first down with a pass to Pickens after the quarter change but do have to settle for a field goal. Chris Boswell knocks in a 40-yard attempt to give the Steelers the lead once again, 17-14.
Trailing once again, the pressure was on Cleveland to take their first lead of the game with the clock winding down. Watson scrambled on a third-and-short and fumbled after picking up the first, but Jedrick Wills managed to fall on it in a sea of Steelers.
On the next play, Watson found Donovan Peoples-Jones for 20 yards to cross the 50. As the 2-minute warning hit, Watson completes to Chubb over the middle to set the Browns up with first and goal from the three. Watson scrambled in for a touchdown two plays later, beating Highsmith to the pylon in a footrace. The Browns take a 21-17 lead with 1:28 on the clock.
Kenny Pickett took over at just the 17-yard line needing a touchdown to win. He's been pretty good at these situations early in his career.
Harris got the drive going on a third-down screen pass, getting the Steelers up to the 36. On the next play, Pickett scrambled left and threw across his body to the right sideline, finding Pickens at the Browns 44. Freiermuth picked up a first down on the next play as the clock dipped under a minute to go. Calvin Austin III made the clutch catch on the sideline on the next play, setting the Steelers up at the 11.
Pickett was sacked by Dalvin Tomlinson, but only lost two yards and the Steelers had an extra timeout to burn. On the next play, Pickett found Austin one more time on a corner route, blanketed in coverage by Newsome, but the speedy second-year receiver came down with it for the go-ahead touchdown. Pittsburgh held a 24-21 lead with less than 30 seconds for Watson to respond.
From the 19, Watson only has 25 seconds. He nearly throws an interception into the hands of Kwon Alexander on the first play. His next pass out to Peoples-Jones fell incomplete. But on third down, Watson found Cooper yet again down the seam for a big first down to give Cleveland some hope. Watson tossed up a Hail Mary two plays later, but he was pressured and had to get rid of it early. Despite catching Elijah Moore in stride with a chance to score, the ball fell through the receiver’s hands, ending the game.
The Steelers balance their record back in the real world, but move to 2-0 in the virtual one.