A deeper dive into some key numbers from the Week 17 matchup against the Cleveland Browns.
Happy New Year!
Landry Jones had quite the opportunity against the Browns, starting in place of Ben Roethlisberger in a game whose outcome had no bearing on the Steelers' playoff status. Jones completed 24 of his 37 pass attempts for 277 yards, 3 TDs, and 1 interception. Those three touchdowns went to Demarcus Ayers, Landry Jones and Le'Veon Bell. Jones' final QB rating landed at 103.1.
Jones' lone interception was a strange one. Starting on his own 46-yard line, Jones tossed a pass intended for Ayers. Cleveland's Briean Boddy-Calhoun intercepted the ball at the Cleveland 32-yard line and returned the ball 68 yards before being tackled by Darrius Heyward-Bey. The ball popped out as Boddy-Calhoun crossed the goal line and Jones dove onto the loose ball in the endzone. The play was initially ruled a touchdown, but on further review, the officials determined that Heyward-Bey forced the fumble at the 1-yard line. Jones' heads-up decision to pounce on the loose ball allowed the Steelers to retain possession with 1st and 10 on their own 20, thanks to a touchback. That one play covered 111 total yards (22-yard pass attempt 68-yard INT return 1-yard fumble 20 yards gained on the touchback).
Jones spread the ball around to 8 different receivers - Ayers, Hamilton, Heyward-Bey, Jesse James, Roosevelt Nix, Eli Rogers, Fitzgerald Toussaint and Williams.
On fourth-and-18 from his own 3-yard line, Jordan Berry had little room for error. He didn't need it. He launched a booming punt which forced Cleveland punt returner Mario Alford to retreat. That punt traveled 64 yards.
It was his long catch of the day, and it sealed the win for the Steelers. Hamilton hauled in a 26-yard ball in the endzone from Jones. Hamilton had 3 catches for 54 yards in the Steelers regular season finale.
The defense forced two turnovers. Ryan Shazier created the first, with a touchdown-saving interception in the red zone. Sean Davis logged the other, a fumble recovery on a botched Cleveland snap.
That's the final regular season W-L record for your 2016 Pittsburgh Steelers. See you in the AFC Wild Card game!
Game action from Week 17 against the Cleveland Browns.