Steelers Manhandle Browns 38-7
All week there was talk that the Steelers/Browns matchup was going to be a significant one. After all, the Browns had not been 4-1 since 1994 and the Steelers were 4-0 for the time since 1978 and both teams had not played a meaningful game against each other since the playoff game in the 2002 season and the Mason Rudolph/ Myles Garrett drama.
But for the Steelers, playing the Browns at Heinz Field was just another day in the office as they easily disposed of the Browns 38-7 to improve to 5-0 for the first time since 1978-when they finished 14-2 and won Super Bowl 13.
“We were varsity today, really kind of all across the board and met a challenge versus a very good and a team that was very hot.” Said Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin.
” Appreciative of the efforts. It is not without consequence. Devin Bush appears to have a significant knee injury. He is being evaluated. Maurkice Pouncey went down with a foot. He was able to get through the majority of the game with it, but we pulled him at the end as you saw him come off. And Mike Hilton has a shoulder that needs to be evaluated but can’t say enough about the effort of our guys.”
Bush’s injury occurred in the 3 rd quarter on a tackle attempt. He was replaced by Robert Spillane. Hilton’s and Pouncey’s injuries also occurred in the 3 rd quarter. The Steelers did not give the Browns a chance from the start as they jumped to a 10- lead on an
FG by K Chris Boswell and a 33-yard interception return for a TD by S Minkah Fitzpatrick. It
was his first interception of the season. They made it 17-7 on a 2-yard run by RB James Conner, who finished with 101 yards on 20 carries. (His 3 rd 100-yard game of 2020)
“Minkah Fitzpatrick is an A-player.” Said Tomlin. “It was a significant play. He is capable of
delivering those type of plays and we will keep snapping the ball and watching him do it. That’s the type of player he is.”
But it was the Steelers defense who truly made life miserable for the Browns, especially QB
Baker Mayfield as they intercepted a 2 nd time (DB Cam Sutton) and sacked him 4 times (2 by LB Bud Dupree) and 3 turnover-on-downs. The Browns only points came on a 13-yard TD pass to WR Rashard Higgins. Mayfield (10/18, 119 yards, TD, 2 INT) was eventually replaced by Case Keenum in the 4 th quarter.
The Browns (4-2) running game was also ineffective against the Steelers defense as RB Kareem Hunt was held to 40 yards.
“Part of being good in this league is identifying problems and eliminating them, hopefully before they happen but once they happen you have to eliminate them quickly.” Said Tomlin. “We acknowledge that third down was an issue for us last week defensively. I thought they answered that challenge well and emphatically today. It was necessary to slow down a dangerous Browns attack, one that had been bringing up a bunch of points per game.”
However, Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger was highly effective as he passed for 162 yards, and a TD to WR James Washington (4 rec, 68 yards) which (at the time) extended the Steelers lead to 24-0. In the 2 nd half, Rookie WR Chase Claypool’s (4 rec, 74 yards) 3-yard TD run, and RB Benny Snell’s 1-yard run sealed the Steelers 38-7 victory.
The Steelers will now prepare to travel to Tennessee to face the Titans, who are also 5-0 after beating the Houston Texans 42-36. This game is rescheduled from week 4 due to Covid-19 protocol.
“Just can’t say enough about the effort all the way around in all three phases of the game.” Said Tomlin. “Appreciative, and now we transition our attention toward the Battle of the Oasis in Tennessee.”
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