The Cleveland Browns had the ball and a 22-19 lead with a little more than seven minutes left in the game as they looked to win their first regular season game in Pittsburgh in twenty years.
But as fate would have it, the Steelers T.J Watt would recover a Deshaun Watson fumble and return the ball 16 yards for a touchdown to give the Steelers the lead. After the successful extra point the Steelers led 26-22 and secured the victory with 6:58 left in the game.
Even after four giveaways throughout the game, two of which led directly to touchdowns on the giveaway, the Browns still had a chance to win the game in the fourth quarter.
After the Steelers took the 26-22 lead, the Browns had two more offensive possessions but were not able to move the football into scoring position.
In their first possession after Pittsburgh took the fourth quarter lead, they punted the ball away to Pittsburgh with 4:44 left in the game.
The Browns defense would then get a huge three and out and get the ball back for the Browns.
With 2:55 left in the game, the Browns offense would now try to engineer a game winning drive.
The Browns looked like they might just make an epic 4th quarter comeback on the last drive as Watson moved the Browns to the 50 yard line with three straight quick completions to David Bell, Amari Cooper, and Elijah Moore.
However, after the two minute warning, the Browns drive fizzled out from the 47-yard line.
On second down with two minutes left, Watson threw a short incomplete pass targeted for Moore.
Then on third down, Watson was sacked for a 2 yard loss. The Browns turned the ball over on downs with a minute left as Watson threw a deep incomplete pass intended for Donovan Peoples-Jones.
The Browns gave great effort throughout the game, but came up just a little short as the Steelers defeated the Browns 26-22.
“You’re not going to win games turning it over four times, you’re just not,” said Cleveland Browns Head Coach Kevin Stefanski at the post-game press conference. “So that was the frustrating part. We didn’t play well enough as a team to win the game. It doesn’t mean it wasn’t great effort, it was.”
As Stefanski alluded to, the giveaways were a big problem for the Browns in the loss to the Steelers.
In fact, the Steelers scored on the first play of the game when Alex Highsmith had a pick six. After the extra point by Chris Boswell, the Steelers led 7-0 with only nine seconds of the game having elapsed.
The Browns would add a 43-yard field goal in the first quarter by Dustin Hopkins with 8:46 to go.
At the start of the second quarter, Jerome Ford, filling in for Nick Chubb who sustained a season ending knee injury on the play before, caught a 3-yard touchdown pass to make the score 11-7.
The Steelers then added nine points in the second quarter. First, they added three points on a 52-yard field goal by Chris Boswell.
Then with 6:05 left in the half, Kenny Pickett connected with George Pickens on a 72-yard touchdown pass. After the two point conversion was missed, the Steelers were ahead 16-11.
The Browns ended the first half with a Dustin Hopkins 55-yard field goal to make the score 16-14 going into halftime.
In the third quarter the Steelers scored on a 50-yard field goal by Chris Boswell to make the score 19-14.
The Browns added a touchdown with 10:01 left in the third quarter on a 1-yard run by Pierre Strong. After the two point conversion, the Browns led 22-19.
The Steelers made the final score 26-22 when TJ Watt returned Watson’s fumble for a touchdown with 6:58 left to go in the game.
The Browns, now 1-1 on the season, return home to host the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.
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