Pittsburgh Steelers have avenged their defeat against the Cleveland Browns, with a 20-13 win at Heinz Field. Mike Tomlin’s guys rallied back after a slow start, and they also picked up Baker Mayfield’s pass in the final moments of the match, preventing the Browns from getting into the position to endanger them.
After a lot of trash-talking and provocations from the guests, relating to the scenes from their first matchup when Myles Garrett hit Mason Rudolph with the helmet, and all hell broke loose, the Steelers and their fans found their piece.
“We weren’t concerned about it, to be quite honest with you”, Tomlin said. “We were about beating them today. That’s how you deal with some of that stuff; you beat ‘em”.
With the result 20-13 for the hosts, Cleveland had the possession, and Mayfield led the last attack of the Browns. It was 1:45 to go when last year’s No.1 pick took over the command at the 20-yard line on his turf. Some 36 seconds later, the Browns were at the 40-yard mark and were going towards the Pittsburgh’s end zone.
However, Joe Harden intercepted his pass and returned it for 16 yards, igniting the Steelers’ fans and players.
“No, I honestly couldn’t think of a better script to end such a significant game,” he told reporters. “I’m very excited about it. Anytime you can get an interception and the close the game out. Last week I dropped two of them to close the game.
Devlin Hodges kneeled three twice, to close this match and hand his team the seventh win of the season, leaving them in a good position when talking about the Wild Card hunt.
“I’ve always believed in myself. I know I’ve had people in my corner that have believed in me”, he said after posting the second win as a Steelers’ starting QB.
Hodges who replaced Mason Rudolph played solid in this one, posting 212 yards, 14 for 21, for one touchdown and interception each. He was sacked only once for 13 negative yards.
The Browns opened the game very good, and although they haven’t scored a touchdown after almost six and a half minutes of play during the opening drive, they took the lead after Austin Seibert’s 31-yard field goal. It was their 39th point of the season when looking only at the opening drives, which was at the moment the No.1 in the NFL.
With 7:40 left in the second, Mayfield tossed the football to Kareem Hunt who delivered a 15-yard TD, to lift the Browns to 10-0. But until the end of the same period, the hosts tied the result.
It was first Chris Boswell, who scored a 39-yard field goal, and after that, Hodges threw a 30-yard pass to James Washington with exactly one minute to go.
The Browns fall to the Steelers and have now lost 16 straight games on the road at Pittsburgh.
Cleveland entered the day with a 20% chance to make the playoffs. That number is now down to 6%. pic.twitter.com/xhFoPARi0f
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 1, 2019
Tomlin’s boys would score on the opening drive of the second half, when Benny Snell Jr. rushed for one yard to score a go-ahead TD. Snell ended the night with 63 yards on 16 carries, and a solid impression while replacing James Conner.
When mentioning replacement, Washington was excellent as the first option through the air with 111 yards on 4 receptions, not allowing the productivity to drop due to JuJu Smith-Schuster’s absence.
Until the end of the match, both sides trade one field goal, but the distance stayed the same.
Mayfield had 196 yards, 18 for 32 for one TD and interception, while Nick Chubb, recorded just 58 rushing yards on 16 carries. Meanwhile, Jarvis Landry posted 76 yards, and Odell Beckham Jr, miserable 29.
The Browns (5-7) are facing Bengals in the next round, at home, while Steelers head to Arizona to meet the Cardinals and Kyler Murray.