Joking with Myles Garrett after the game on the floor of FirstEnergy Stadium, Ben Roethlisberger said his message to the Browns defensive end was: "He can keep the tombstone in his yard; I'll take the win."
Garrett had decided that as a way to celebrate Halloween, he would line his front yard with mock tombstones of all the NFL quarterbacks he has sacked in his young career. That made for some interesting pregame conversation, but the Steelers had their focus elsewhere. The Steelers desperately needed a win on Sunday in Cleveland, not so much for the mathematical ramifications, because there were going to be 10 more regular season games to be played regardless of the outcome of the one vs. the Browns, but more for the psychological boost associated with winning a road game against a division opponent.
Regardless of the circumstances, or the time of the year, or the opponent, or the venue, when the Steelers need a victory, they need Ben Roethlisberger to play well, they need him to lead, they need him to step forward in the significant moments and be what the team needs him to be. In the Steelers' 15-10 victory, Roethlisberger checked all of those boxes, and because he did, the outcome ended up being what it was.
Roethlisberger completed 22-of-34 (65 percent) for 266 yards, with one touchdown, no interceptions, and a rating of 98.4. And when the Steelers absolutely, positively needed their quarterback to make a play with 1:48 remaining so that his team could get the first down that would all but ice the outcome, he delivered there as well. He delivered big time, with a perfect strike to Diontae Johnson that not only converted the second-and-8 from the 28-yard line but also allowed Johnson to catch the ball in stride and race 50 yards into Browns territory to stick a dagger into the home team's hopes.
Roethlisberger is the Steelers Digest Player of the Week.
Also considered were Najee Harris, who carried 26 times for 91 yards, including an 8-yard touchdown, and added 29 more yards on three catches to finish with 130 yards from scrimmage; Pat Freiermuth, who caught four passes for 45 yards, including a great grab in the back of the end zone to convert a fourth-and-2 and provide the deciding points; Joe Schobert, who had nine tackles and forced a fumble in the fourth quarter that T.J. Watt recovered; Watt, who had six tackles, including one for loss, plus 1.5 sacks, and that fumble recovery; Cam Heyward, who was an immovable object on the defensive line and finished with four tackles, one-half sack, and four hits on Baker Mayfield.