It didn’t go well at times, but Jacoby Brisset and the Cleveland Browns beat the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday night.
The Browns, thanks to a long touchdown early in the fourth quarter and a last-second defensive touchdown, held on to beat the Steelers 29–17 at FirstEnergy Stadium. The win gives the Browns an edge over their division rival and helps offset Sunday’s loss to the New York Jets.
Brisset went 21 of 31 for 220 yards and threw two touchdowns on Thursday in what was arguably his best performance as he replaced Deshawn Watson in the Browns’ starting lineup. Running back Nick Chubb scored 113 yards on 21 carries and threw a touchdown in the second 100-yard game of the season.
“Jacoby is a dog person,” Chubb said on Amazon Prime Video after the win. “He’s a great leader for us, he’s vocal, he’s a playmaker. We need a play, he’ll do it for us.”
With a two-point lead early in the fourth quarter, Brissett and Chubb led the Browns forward down the field in an 11-game, 80-yard play that separated them from the Steelers. Chubb handled nearly every move on the ground except for one deep 32-yard throw to Amari Cooper.
The Steelers hit a field goal from their own promising late shot for the first time in quite some time and returned the ball in the final seconds at their own 5-yard line. However, that last game flopped horribly, with Denzel Ward recovering a fumble in the end zone after several side kicks to give Cleveland a 12-point win.
Brisset gave up in the first half and found the end zone twice, gaining 134 yards, first to Cooper with an 11-yard score and then to David Njok with a 7-yard throw. By the break, they would have been tied if not for the missed extra point.
Steelers wide receiver George Pickens stole the show in the half and kept Pittsburgh squarely in it. Pickens achieved what could easily have been the catch of the season with his increased one-handed production in the first quarter, which secured the Steelers’ first touchdown of the night.
Steelers quarterback Mitch Trubisky then ran into another one to put them ahead at halftime.
Aside from these scoring attacks, the Steelers struggled to get the attack going. They had two straight outs on both sides after Cleveland’s fourth-quarter touchdown before Trubisky put them in scoring position. Pittsburgh went for a field goal and then missed a field goal to seal the loss.
“If you can’t slow down Chubb, you can’t beat this group … We have to own the result and we will,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. “So there’s really nothing to talk about. We have to watch this record and learn and get better, and very fast.”
Trubisky ended the night throwing 19-of-31 for 209 yards and one rushing touchdown. Naji Harris, who scored Pittsburgh’s second touchdown, had 56 yards on the ground on 15 carries. The Steelers have lost two games in a row since Sunday’s loss to the New England Patriots.
Browns LB Anthony Walker taken away
Browns linebacker Anthony Walker was wheeled off the field in the third quarter after being hit in the face and then landing on his foot.
Walker was blocked to the ground by Chukwum Okorafor, who then jumped on top of him to restrain him. While Walker was on the ground, Steelers linesman James Daniels accidentally stepped on his foot.
Walker was put on a cart with a cast on his leg and taken off the field. He didn’t come back. Browns head coach Kevin Stefansky later said Walker sprained his knee.
Walker had six team tackles when he went down. The 27-year-old, who is in his second season with the Browns, had seven tackles in his first two games of the season.