The highs and lows of the Steelers regular season Week 1 matchup at the Cleveland Browns.
The highs and lows of the Steelers matchup at the Cleveland Browns.
1:04 p.m. ET - Kickoff
1:07 p.m. ET - What went wrong: Not a good start. The Browns won the toss and elected to defer, which meant the Steelers got the ball first. After James Conner rushed for 3 yards and then caught a screen pass for 5 more, Ben Roethlisberger threw incomplete for Antonio Brown, and the Steelers had to punt. Jordan Berry’s punt traveled only 31 yards, and the Browns started on their own 36-yard line.
1:12 p.m. ET - What went right: The Steelers defense allowed the Browns one first down on their opening possession when Tyrod Taylor escaped contain and ran for 15 yards on a third-and-13. But then good plays against the pass – first by Job Bostic and Sean Davis on a down-the-seam throw to tight end David Njoku and then Mike Hilton on Jarvis Landry forced the Browns to punt. Pittsburgh’s second possession started at the 20-yard line following a touchback.
1:24 p.m. ET - What went right: The Browns also punted to end their second offensive possession, and after Britton Colquitt’s punt traveled 47 yards, Ryan Switcher returned it 22 yards to give the Steelers possession at midfield for the start of their third offensive possession.
1:30 p.m. ET - What went wrong: The first turnover of the game was an interception thrown into traffic by Ben Roethlisberger in an effort to get the ball to Antonio Brown. One play after completing a 27-yard pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster that converted a third-and-5, Roethlisberger was flushed out of the pocket and his pass for Brown was intercepted by Denzel Ward at the Cleveland 10-yard line.
1:37 p.m. ET - What went wrong: Holding penalties on both Rosie Nix and Darrius Heyward-Bey nullified a 23-yard punt return by Ryan Switzer, and instead of starting at their own 44-yard line with less than two minutes in the first quarter, the Steelers started the possession on their own 10-yard line.
1:41 p.m. ET - What went right: On the final play of the first quarter – a third-and-2 from the Pittsburgh 20-yard line – Ben Roethlisberger was flushed out of the pocket and found Jesse James down the right sideline for a 37-yard gain.
1:42 p.m. ET - End of 1st Quarter: Steelers 0, Browns 0
1:52 p.m. ET - What went right: The same possession that included that 37-yard pass play to Jesse James ended with a 4-yard touchdown run by James Conner that gave the Steelers a 7-0 lead with 11:16 left in the first half. Also on the 10-play, 88-yard drive was a 15-yard scramble by Ben Roethlisberger that converted a third-and-6, a 13-yard completion to James, and then a roughing penalty on Myles Garrett the converted another third down and gave the Steelers a first-and-goal at the 4-yard line.
2:03 p.m. ET - What went right: The Browns flipped the field on their first possession of the second period but ended up punting anyway. A 33-yard completion to Jarvis Landry happened because Joe Haden appeared to lose sight of the ball, and a holding penalty on Terrell Edmunds nullified an interception by Sean Davis. But the defense stiffened, and then the Browns lost an opportunity even to attempt a field goal when Josh Gordon was flagged for a dead-ball personal foul penalty on a third down.
2:09 p.m. ET - What went wrong: The Browns defense recorded its second takeaway of the game when Damarious Randall intercepted Ben Roethlisberger on a deep attempt to Antonio Brown. Brown saved the Steelers defense a bunch of field position by making a clean open field tackle of Randall after the interception at the Cleveland 28-yard line.
2:19 p.m. ET - What went wrong: Pittsburgh’s third turnover came late in the first half as the offense appeared to be getting into position to add to its 7-0 lead. Ben Roethlisberger’s pass went through Jesse James’ hands and was intercepted by Denzel Ward at the Cleveland 29-yard line, and his 26-yard return gave the Browns the ball at the Steelers 45-yard line.
2:22 p.m. ET - What went right: The Steelers defense preserved the first-half shutout with two negative plays following Denzel Ward’s second interception of the game. On the first Stephon Tuitt blew up a draw play to Duke Johnson and Bud Dupree cleaned things up for a 6-yard loss, and then on the next play Dupree executed a sack/strip of Tyrod Taylor. The Browns recovered the fumble but then elected to run out the final seconds of a half in which the Steelers held a 7-0 lead.
2:23 p.m. ET - Halftime: Steelers 7, Browns 0
2:45 p.m. ET - What went wrong: The Browns took advantage of a couple of penalties on the Steelers defense and 76 yards rushing to march 86 yards for the tying touchdown, which came on a 20-yard scramble by Tyrod Taylor. The penalties were for holding on Javon Hargrave during a running play and then for unsportsmanlike conduct on Artie Burns when he got in a scuffle with Jarvis Landry. There was 10:05 left in the third quarter when the Browns tied the game.
2:54 p.m. ET - What went right: The Steelers scored three straight touchdowns but only one counted as they took a 14-7 lead with 8:24 left in the third period. The drive began with a 67-yard catch-and-run by JuJu Smith Schuster that put the ball at the Browns 7-yard line. Two plays later, James Conner’s 2-yard touchdown run was nullified by a holding penalty on Maurkice Pouncey, and then Ben Roethlisberger’s 12-yard touchdown pass to Justin Hunter on the next play was nullified by an illegal-hands-to-the-face call on Marcus Gilbert. No worries, because on the next play Roethlisberger hooked up with Antonio Brown for 22-yard touchdown that the zebras allowed to count.
3:07 p.m. ET - What went right: After T.J. Watt’s third sack of the game forced the Browns to punt, the Steelers extended their lead to 21-7 on James Conner’s second touchdown run, this one coming from 22 yards and aided by a nice block by David DeCastro. Ryan Switzer’s 20-yard punt return got the offense started at the Cleveland 39-yard line and then Conner took over from there. He ran for 17 yards and then for 22 and the touchdown.
3:21 p.m. ET - End of 3rd Quarter: Steelers 21, Browns 7
4:20 p.m. ET - End of Regulation: Steelers 21, Browns 21
4:57 p.m. ET - Final Score: Steelers 21, Browns 21 (OT)