The Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns have a hearty rivalry which includes many wins from both teams, although the Steelers lead the overall series 74-58. But when they met at First Energy Stadium for the first game of the season, they did something that’s never been done before in their history: A Tie.
After getting through overtime in which both teams missed game-winning FG attempts, the Steelers and Browns ended in a 21-21 tie. It’s the Steelers first tie since they did so against the Atlanta Falcons in 2002 when they tied 34-34 and the Browns first tie since 1989 when they tied the KC Chiefs 10-10 and it’s also the first tie to open the NFL season since 1971 when Miami and Denver did so.
Although it wasn’t a loss for the Steelers, it probably didn’t leave them with a good feeling as they had this game won on a couple occasions: First they blew a 14-point lead with 2 of their game-high 6 turnovers (including 3 interceptions by QB Ben Roethlisberger, and a fumble by RB James Conner) and also in overtime when Pro-Bowl K Chris Boswell missed a sure game-winner, but it sailed left.
But Conner was truly the star of the game as he because the season filling in for the absent Le’Veon Bell. The former Pitt standout ran for 135 yards and scored 2 TDs. He also added 57 yards receiving. WR Antonio Brown also scored on a 22-yard TD pass from Big Ben as he finished with 9 catches for 93 yards. WR JuJu Smith-Shuster had 5 receptions for 119 yards and Big Ben himself passed for 335 yards. Browns WR Jarvis Landry had 106 yards on 7 receptions and QB Tyrod Taylor rushed for 77 yards. h
So, what went wrong? Well, the weather was horrible for both teams as the rains continued the entire day which could’ve caused bad throws and turnovers. Whatever the reasons, it was truly an odd game that ended in a tie.
The Browns defense truly has improved as they put the pressure on Big Ben early and often. They sacked the Steelers QB 3 times (2 by DE Myles Garrett) and the 3 interceptions. The Steelers defense sacked Taylor 7 times which included 4 by Watt, who had 7 all last season. But that unit wishes they could get those 14 points back as they failed to stop Taylor on the ground (24-yard TD) and through the air (17-yard TD pass to WR Josh Gordon)
In overtime, Boswell missed a 42-yard FG with 1:44 remaining and when the Browns forced a Big Ben turnover which put the deep in Steeler territory. K Zane Gonzales 42-yard FG was blocked by Watt, which sealed the tie game.
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Pittsburgh 21, Cleveland 21 OT
Sept. 9, 2018
- The game’s tie marks the Steelers’ third tie following overtime since 1970 (Sept. 22, 1974 at Denver and Nov. 20, 2002 vs. Atlanta).
- Pittsburgh is now 11-4-1 in its last 16 season-opening games (since 2003).
- The Steelers are now 72-58-1 in regular-season history against the Browns (28-37-1 on the road) and 15-4-1 at FirstEnergy Stadium.
- Pittsburgh is now 11-6-1 in regular-season games against Cleveland in the month of September (5-5-1 on the road in the month).
- The Steelers are now 5-2-1 against Cleveland in Kickoff Weekend history.
- Pittsburgh recorded seven sacks – the team’s third consecutive regular-season game with at least five quarterback takedowns, dating back to Dec. 25, 2017 at Houston.
- The Steelers are 457-285-3 during the regular season since 1970.
Head Coach Mike Tomlin
- Owns a 116-60-1 record in the regular season since becoming the Steelers’ head coach in 2007 (51-37-1 on the road).
- Is now 7-4-1 as the Steelers’ head coach on Kickoff Weekend.
- Is now 21-3-1 as Pittsburgh’s head coach in regular-season games vs. Cleveland (8-3-1 on the road).
- Holds a 87-45-1 in regular-season games vs. AFC opponents (39-27-1 on the road).
- Is now 47-19-1 in regular-season games vs. AFC North foes (21-12-1 on the road).
- Is now 21-16-1 in regular-season games during the month of September (9-13-1 on the road).
- Is now 87-15-1 when the Steelers hold a lead at halftime.
QB Ben Roethlisberger
- Appeared in the 201st regular-season game of his NFL, moving into a tie with Donnie Shell for the third-most regular-season games played in team history.
- Completed 23-of-41 passes for 335 yards with a touchdown pass.
- Is now 135-63-1 as a starter during the regular season (60-39-1 on the road).
- Is now 21-2-1 against Cleveland in the regular season as a starter (11-2-1 on the road).
- Has compiled a record of 54-17-1 as a starter against AFC North opponents (25-10-1 on the road).
- Increased his record among NFL quarterbacks in career totals against Cleveland to 459 completions, 6,088 passing yards and 38 touchdown passes.
- Increased his Steelers records for pass completions to 4,187, passing yards to 51,400 and touchdown passes to 330.
- Totaled 335 passing yards, the 54th 300-yard passing game of his career during the regular season, extending his franchise record.
- Eclipsed 300 passing yards for the fifth time in his regular-season career against the Browns.
WR Antonio Brown
- Caught a game-high nine passes for 93 yards, including a 22-yard touchdown reception.
- Has registered at least one reception in 124 consecutive games in which he has played, including the postseason – dating back to October 3, 2010.
- Has registered at least one reception in 114 consecutive regular-season games – dating back to October 3, 2010.
- Reached 10,000 receiving yards in the 116th regular-season game of his NFL career – tying Torry Holt for the second-fewest games in NFL history to the milestone. MORE