What Went Right, What Went Wrong

What went right, wrong vs. Cleveland

Posted Dec 31, 2017

The highs and lows of the Steelers regular season Week 17 matchup vs. the Cleveland Browns.

The highs and lows of the Steelers regular season Week 17 game vs. the Cleveland Browns.

1:00 p.m. ET - Kickoff

1:11 p.m. ET - What went right: No. Ben. No Le’Veon. No Pouncey. No DeCastro. No problem, at least on the game’s opening possession. The Steelers took the opening kickoff and drive 72 yards in eight plays, with a reverse to Darrius Heyward-Bey covering the final 29 yards for the touchdown. Stevan Ridley carried three times for 39 yards, and Landry Jones converted a third-and-5 with a 7-yard pass to Fitz Toussaint.

1:15 p.m. ET - What went right: The Steelers came into the game needing five sacks to tie their single-season franchise record of 55, and by the time the Browns first series ended, they only needed three sacks to tie their single-season franchise record of 55. Tyson Alualu sacked DeShone Kizer on first down, and then Sean Davis sacked Kizer on third down, and the Browns eventually punted facing a fourth-and-30.

1:19 p.m. ET - What went wrong: On the second play of the Steelers’ second possession, Landry Jones tried to get the ball to JuJu Smith-Schuster over the middle on an intermediate route against zone coverage, and his pass was intercepted by Jabrill Peppers at the Cleveland 37-yard line.

1:35 p.m. ET - What went wrong: A 27-yard field goal by Chris Boswell apparently gave the Steelers a 10-0 lead late in the first quarter, but because the Browns were offside on a fourth-and-3 the Steelers took the penalty and the 5 yards that gave them a first down. The drive ended up netting them no points when Rosie Nix was stopped on consecutive running plays from the Cleveland 1-yard line. The Steelers led, 7-0, with 45 seconds left in the first quarter.

1:38 p.m. ET - End of 1st Quarter: Steelers 7, Browns 0

1:45 p.m. ET - What went right: Early in the second quarter, the Browns again were punting from out of their own end zone when Tyler Matakevich got a hand on Britton Colquitt’s kick and the ball traveled only 27 yards. After losing 6 yards on a sack, Landry Jones completed a 14-yard pass to Martavis Bryant and then on third-and-2 Jones changed the play at the line of scrimmage and hit JuJu Smith-Schuster for 20 yards and the touchdown that upped the Steelers lead to 14-0.

1:54 p.m. ET - What went wrong: On the series following the one that ended in a Steelers touchdown that made it 14-0, the Browns faced a second-and-3 from their own 44-yard line. DeShone Kizer found Josh Gordon on a deep crossing route and hit him in stride for a 54-yard gain to the Pittsburgh 2-yard line. Two plays later, Duke Johnson ran into the end zone for the 2-yard touchdown that cut the Steelers lead to 14-7 with 11:46 remaining in the second quarter.

2:06 p.m. ET - What went right: After the Browns scored their first touchdown, the Steelers needed eight plays to go 75 yards to restore their two-touchdown lead, and it came on a 4-yard run by Stevan Ridley. On the drive, Landry Jones completed 3-of-3 for 32 yards. The Steelers led, 21-7, with just under eight minutes left in the second quarter.

2:14 p.m. ET - What went wrong: After the Steelers took a 21-7 lead, Chris Boswell’s ensuing kickoff went out of bounds to give the Browns possession at their own 40-yard line. Two plays later, WR Rashard Higgins beat T.J. Watt to catch a quick slant from DeShone Kizer, and then he completed the 56-yard touchdown play by splitting safeties Sean Davis and Mike Mitchell. The Steelers lead was 21-14 with 7:13 left in the second quarter.

2:24 p.m. ET - What went wrong: With the ball at their own 8-yard line and with 70 seconds left in the first half, the Steelers chose to be in attack mode with a 21-14 lead. Landry Jones hooked up with JuJu Smith-Schuster for a 46-yard gain on first down, and then he hit Martavis Bryant with a 14-yard pass. On third down, Myles Garrett sacked Jones and forced a fumble that Caleb Brantley recovered at the Cleveland 40-yard line.

2:35 p.m. ET - Halftime: Steelers 21, Browns 14

2:58 p.m. ET - What went wrong: With 10:54 remaining in the third quarter, the game was tied, 21-21, following a seven-play, 68-yard drive that ended with a 5-yard pass to Rashard Higgins. On the drive, DeShone Kizer completed 3-for-3 for 50 yards and the touchdown.

3:00 p.m. ET - What went right: Twelve seconds after the Browns forged a 21-21 tie, the Steelers took the lead right back on a 96-yard kickoff return by JuJu Smith-Schuster. It was 28-21 with 10:42 remaining in the third quarter. It was the Steelers’ first kickoff return for a touchdown since Antonio Brown returned one for a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans in September 2010.

3:12p.m. ET - What went wrong: The Browns narrowed the Steelers’ lead to 28-24 following a 51-yard field goal by Zane Gonzalez that capped a 16-play 55-yard drive that showcased DeShone Kizer’s scrambling ability. Kizer ran twice for 36 yards on the possession, including a 16-yard run that converted a third-and-15.

3:23 p.m. ET - End of 3rd Quarter: Steelers 28, Browns 21

3:31 p.m. ET - What went right: On the play following Tyson Alualu’s second sack of the game – a sack that broke the team’s single-season franchise record of 55 – DeShone Kizer completed a short pass to Duke Johnson. After breaking a couple of tackles and getting enough yards to convert the third-and-15, Johnson had the ball stripped out by Will Gay, and the ball was recovered by Mike Mitchell at the Pittsburgh 31-yard line.

3:43 p.m. ET - What went right: It’s the Golden Rule when it comes to playing defensive back in the NFL: when the opposing quarterback throws you the ball, you better catch it. With 6:47 remaining in a game in which the Steelers held a 28-24 lead, the Browns had a first down at their own 31-yard line following a holding penalty on Will Gay and DeShone Kizer tried to get the ball to tight end David Njoku. Sean Davis made a diving interception to give the ball to the Steelers at the Cleveland 47-yard line.

4:08 p.m. ET - Final Score: Steelers 28, Browns 24

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