After being down early, the Steelers fought back and defeated the Cleveland Browns, 20-13, at Heinz Field to improve their record to 7-5 on the season, while the Browns drop to 5-7. The win keeps the Steelers in the playoff hunt with four regular season games remaining.
Devlin Hodges made his second NFL start, guiding the offense with a 30-yard touchdown pass to James Washington, while Benny Snell added a one-yard touchdown run.
The Browns had one final shot with 1:45 to play. Minkah Fitzpatrick broke up Baker Mayfield’s first down pass. Bud Dupree was called for roughing the passer giving the Browns a first down. Joe Haden came up with the play of the game when he intercepted Mayfield to secure the win.
After the Browns’ closed the gap with the field goal, Devlin Hodges’ pass was intercepted by Terrance Mitchell and returned 28 yards to the Steelers 30-yard line. The defense stepped up, though. On third down Javon Hargrave sacked Baker Mayfield for an eight-yard loss. Austin Seibert punted, and the Browns down the ball at the one-yard line. The Steelers were able to get out of the hole with a run by Benny Snell and a 14-yard completion to Diontae Johnson. A third down completion to Vance McDonald also proved to be huge. But with two minutes to play the Steelers weren’t able to convert and had to punt.
The Browns closed to within 20-13 on a 34-yard field goal by kicker Austin Seibert with 7:30 left in the fourth quarter. The Steelers’ defense held for three consecutive snaps after Cleveland had achieved a first-and-10 from the Steelers’ 14-yard line. The drive covered 61 yards in seven plays in 2:48.
The first turnover generated by the Steelers’ defense helped establish a 10-point lead early in the fourth quarter.
Outside linebacker Bud Dupree’s sack of quarterback Baker Mayfield and forced fumble and defensive tackle Cam Heyward’s recovery set the Steelers up at the Browns’ 46-yard line with 4:49 left in the third. The Steelers drove as far as the Cleveland 3, but the drive stalled and kicker Chris Boswell finished it with a 29-yard field goal that gave the Steelers a 20-10 advantage.
Running back Benny Snell Jr.’s 1-yard touchdown run gave the Steelers their first lead with 10:36 left in the third.
Snell’s rumble capped a seven-play, 69-yard drive in 4:24 that opened the second half. Quarterback Devlin Hodges beat a blitz when he found wide receiver James Washington in single coverage by cornerback Denzel Ward for 44 yards to the Cleveland 15. A third-and-7 fade from the Browns’ 12 into the end zone for wide receiver Deon Cain drew a pass interference flag and set the Steelers up at the Browns’ 1.
Boswell’s extra point put the Steelers ahead, 17-10.
The Steelers scored the final 10 points of the first half and the teams went to their locker rooms with the game tied at 10-10.
Hodges finished off a two-minute drive late in the second with a 30-yard touchdown pass to Washington, who made an acrobatic catch in the end zone despite a pass interference flag on Cleveland nickel cornerback T.J Carrie. Boswell’s extra point tied the game at 10-10.
The Steelers had taken possession following a punt and 13-yard return by wide receiver Diontae Johnson to the Steelers’ 31-yard line with 1:48 remaining in the second quarter. Hodges hit Washington for 6 yards, Cain for 5, threw incomplete and found wide receiver Tevin Jones for 28 prior to the scoring strike to Washington. The touchdown drive covered 69 yards in five plays.
Boswell had gotten the Steelers on the board with a 39-yard field goal with 2:56 left in the second.
The big play on their 10-play, 62-yard march in 4:44 was a 31-yard completion to Washington on third-and-9 from the Steelers’ 18. The Browns had jumped offside on the play and Hodges used the “free play” to target Washington deep down the left sideline.
Game action photos from the Steelers' Week 13 game against the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field
Running back Jaylen Samuels quarterbacked consecutive “Wildcat” snaps on the drive and ran twice for a combined 12 yards. The “Wildcat” plays followed a 17-yard gain by Johnson on a reverse.
The Browns had taken a 10-0 lead on a 15-yard catch-and-run touchdown pass from Mayfield to running back Kareem Hunt on third-and-5 from the Steelers’ 15. Hunt broke attempted tackles by cornerback Joe Haden and safety Cam Sutton on the way to the end zone and Seibert converted for the 10-0 advantage with 7:40 left in the second.
Seibert had opened the scoring with a 31-yard field goal that concluded the Browns’ 13-play, 62-yard, game-opening drive in 7:29.