With their best field position of the game, Pittsburgh’s offense woke up and started making plays. Primarily behind Najee Harris, the Steelers were able to get in Chris Boswell’s field goal range. When it looked like the drive had stalled, Browns defender Jadaveon Clowney was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct after throwing Chase Claypool’s shoe down the field. This gave the Steelers new life, and it took just three plays for Ben Roethlisberger to find Diontae Johnson for the first touchdown of the game.
.@_BigBen7 ➡️ @Juiceup__3— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) January 4, 2022
: ESPN pic.twitter.com/4iO5EUm88n
Chris Boswell’s point after was good, making the score 7-0 Steelers with 10:39 left in the first half.
T.J. Watt continued to be a force along the Steelers’ defensive front, and he was a major reason why the Pittsburgh defense got their first three-and-out coming off that Johnson touchdown.
Pittsburgh’s offense was unable to muster a first down on the ensuing drive, Waitman punting the ball back to Cleveland after a three-and-out. Baker Mayfield’s pass on first down was intercepted by Akhello Witherspoon, his third interception of the season.
Ben Roethlisberger and Najee Harris continued to move the ball on the Cleveland defense, and put themselves in position to add to their point total after the first turnover of the game. Once in the red-zone the Steelers got away from the run, and they had to settle for a Boswell field goal to make the score 10-0 with 3:02 left in the second quarter.
Baker Mayfield and company were able to move the football in their no-huddle offense, but another Watt sack on 3rd down forced a punt. The Steelers took over with 34 seconds remaining in the half, and two timeouts. The drive didn’t equate in points, and the players would head into halftime with the Steelers up 10-0.