The Pittsburgh Steelers fell to 6-4 in with a loss to the Cleveland Browns in Week 11, falling to third in the division with the Ravens at 8-3 and Browns at 7-3, respectively. With just 23 total points scored in the outing, it turned out to be exactly the type of gritty AFC North battle most had expected with these two defenses in play.
The Steelers won the opening coin toss and elected to defer to the second half, luckily able to hold off the Browns in their opening position, forcing a punt after just a 31-yard gain. The Steelers didn’t do any better on their opening possession, however, pinned inside their own 9-yard line with an 8-yard sack to Kenny Pickett on their first offensive play from scrimmage. Pittsburgh got lucky, too, as the play should have been called a safety. Their luck didn’t last long, however, as they were forced to punt... a recurring theme for the day.
The Browns enjoyed plenty more momentum in the first half — far more than the Pittsburgh Steelers, having been outgained by 99 yards in the first half by the Browns, entering the second totaling just 64 total yards and four first downs all of which came on the ground. The Steelers were down 10 points heading into the third quarter thanks to a Jerome Ford rushing touchdown and a field goal from Dustin Hopkins.
The run continued to be the only real spark shown by the Steelers offense in Week 12. To open up the second half, UDFA RB Jaylen Warren took a 74-yard run to the house. It was the team’s only touchdown on the day — the longest regular-season rushing touchdown the Steelers have had since the 2005 season.
The Steelers ended up tying the game 10-10 with a 28-yard field goal from Chris Boswell with 7:40 left in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, however, the offense continued to skid out, gaining just 22 total yards on three possessions through the remainder of the game.
The Steelers had one final opportunity to take the lead after the Browns were forced to punt with 1:47 left in the game. Pittsburgh went nowhere fast, however, taking just 14 seconds off the clock on their final offensive possession thanks to three consecutive incompletions, punting back to the Browns without having gained a single yard.
The defense came out and allowed the Browns to march methodically down the field, gaining 48 yards before setting up a 34-yard field goal attempt from Dustin Hopkins. The kick is good despite an offsides call on T.J. Watt; game over, Pittsburgh.
QB Kenny Pickett finished the day going 14-27 for 93 total passing yards, adding another 9 on the ground.