After a Landry Jones interception, and a failed 4th-and-goal situation, the Pittsburgh defense did not surrender a first down throughout the first half. After Tyler Matakevich tipped a punt, Jones connected with JuJu Smith-Schuster on third down to put the Steelers up 14-0.
7️⃣th TD of the season for @TeamJuJu.— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) December 31, 2017
PIT 14 | CLE 0 pic.twitter.com/sWiNhSPixD
The two score lead was short lived as DeShone Kizer hit Josh Gordon for a huge play to get the Browns to the 2-yard line. Two plays later, Duke Johnson punched the ball into the endzone to give the Browns their first touchdown of the game, making the score 14-7.
Jones moved the ball down the field on their next drive with huge passes to JuJu Smith-Schuster and Martavis Bryant, and on a 3rd and 3 inside the red-zone, Myles Garrett was called for roughing the passer. After the penalty was assessed, the Stevan Ridley was able to get the ball into the endzone for his first touchdown as a member of the Steelers.
Welcome to Steel City, @StevanRidley.— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) December 31, 2017
PIT 21 | CLE 7 pic.twitter.com/97aO1i2sXN
On the Browns’ next possession it was a case of deja-vu for the Steelers, considering it was another huge pass play by Kizer to Rashard Higgins to move the Browns within a touchdown of Pittsburgh, 21-14.
That would be the score heading into halftime, with Cleveland getting the football to start the third quarter.