Steelers highlights, lowlights
The following are the highlights and lowlights from the Steelers’ 21-7 loss to the Cleveland Browns on Thursday night from FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland:
Worst play of the game: With 8 seconds left in the game, Browns defensive end Myles Garrett, after a late hit after the whistle, ripped off Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph’s helmet and clubbed him over the head with it. The scene turned ugly with Pittsburgh center Maurkice Pouncey trying to kick Garrett after he was taken down by David DeCastro. Garrett, Pouncey and Larry Ogunjobi were ejected.
Key play of the game: Trailing 14-7 with 6:32 left in the game, Rudolph was off target to receiver James Washington over the middle, and Cleveland linebacker Joe Schobert intercepted the pass at the Pittsburgh 24-yard line and returned it to the 4. Three plays later, the Browns sealed the victory with a touchdown.
Offensive player of the game: Cleveland quarterback Baker Mayfield was 17-of-32 for 193 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. He also had a rushing touchdown.
Defensive player of the game: Schobert had two interceptions in the game, plus seven tackles and a sack.
Most telling statistic: Three Steelers turned the ball over four times to the Browns’ zero.
Hidden statistic: Pittsburgh receiver Johnny Holton was targeted seven times with one catch. That makes 13 targets with one reception this season.
Best run: Cleveland’s Nick Chubb sifted through a few defenders for a 10-yard gain up the middle in the first quarter.
Best pass: Mayfield hit Odell Beckham deep for a 42-yard gainer early in the first quarter to set up the Browns’ first touchdown.
Worst pass: Rudolph had several among his four interceptions. The worst might have been when he threw behind newly activated Tevin Jones in the third quarter, and Schobert easily had his first pick.
Best catch: Cleveland tight end Stephen Carlson went up over Pittsburgh’s Mark Barron in the end zone for an 8-yard score with 5:33 left in the game to clinch the victory.
Dropped pass: Holton couldn’t come down with a deep throw on third down in the second quarter with Morgan Burnett defending.
Best block: Browns tackle Chris Hubbard cleared out the right side for Kareem Hunt to get 7 yards on third-and-3 in the fourth quarter.
Missed block: Pittsburgh tight end Nick Vannett whiffed on Burnett, who stopped Trey Edmunds for a 1-yard loss on third-and-1 in the second quarter.
Best tackle: Steelers defensive back Steven Nelson shed a blocker and dropped Beckham for no gain on a short pass in the first quarter.
Best hit: Pittsburgh linebacker Bud Dupree tripped up Hunt for a 2-yard loss on third-and-3 at the Cleveland 40 early in the fourth quarter.
Worst hit: Cleveland’s Damarious Randall was ejected from the game in the third quarter for a helmet-to-helmet hit on a defenseless Diontae Johnson, who was knocked out of the game.
Missed tackle: Barron let Hunt escape for 11 yards on a third-and-11 pass in the first quarter.
Best kick(s): Both punters — Pittsburgh’s Jordan Barry and Cleveland’s Jamie Gillan — were solid all night.
Worst kick(s): Cleveland’s Austin Seibert missed two field-goal attempts wide right. Pittsburgh’s Chris Boswell also missed one, but holder Barry didn’t catch the snap cleanly.
Best coverage: Browns cornerback Denzel Ward knocked away a pass to Jones in the second quarter, and Burnett intercepted the ball.
Worst coverage: No one followed Cleveland receiver Jarvis Landry on a 1-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter.
Costliest penalty: Pittsburgh cornerback Joe Haden was called for pass interference on KhaDarel Hodge in the end zone on third down in the second quarter. It led to Landry’s touchdown.
Best call: Steelers coach Mike Tomlin successfully challenged a pass to Hodge that went for 59 yards in the second quarter. Hodge was ruled down by contact after the catch and saved the Steelers 18 yards.
Worst call: The Steelers’ fourth-and-2 call in the second quarter was too slow developing, and Rudolph was forced to unload a hopeless pass amid pressure.
Best answer: Mayfield was critical of Garrett moments after the game in an on-the-field interview with Erin Andrews.
Unsung hero: Chubb ran for 92 yards.