Jacoby Brissett threw two touchdown passes, Nick Chubb ran for a score and the Cleveland Browns bounced back from their epic meltdown four days earlier, beating the rival Pittsburgh Steelers 29-17 on Thursday night in Cleveland.
The Browns (2-1) built a nine-run lead on Chubb’s one-yard run early in the fourth inning, then held it on.
Cleveland fans could finally breathe out when cornerback Denzel Ward fell to a Steelers fumble in the end zone during the final game for a pointless touchdown.
Brissett tied with Amari Cooper and David Njoku for TDs, finishing 21 of 31 for 220 yards. The 29-year-old had his second solid game in a row when he came on while Deshaun Watson was handed an 11-game suspension.
Chubb had 113 yards and pushed and turned over the goal line on fourth and goal with 9:29 to go to give the Browns a 23-14 lead.
The stagnant offense by Mitch Trubisky and the Steelers showed signs of life in the first half, but bogged down after halftime, kicking their first three possessions while gaining just 54 yards.
Criticized for not throwing deep in the first two weeks, Trubisky launched some long balls but didn’t gain nearly enough.
The win ironed out over a rough few days for Cleveland.
Sunday’s debacle was followed by Myles Garrett criticizing fans for booing the Browns as they left the field, and a fan was arrested on charges of throwing a plastic bottle at owner Jimmy Haslam on the sidelines.
Rookie Cade York’s 34-yard field goal gave the Browns a 16-14 lead in the third quarter as Cleveland lost four players, including starting linebackers Anthony Walker Jr. and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, through injuries.
Brissett’s seven-meter TD pass to Njoku put the Browns 13-7 with 8:58 left before halftime. But for the second week in a row, York missed an extra point.
Trubisky led the Steelers on a 75-yard scoring run – 51 yards on the ground – before the QB rolled to the right and scored from the 1. Boswell’s PAT gave Pittsburgh a 14-13 lead.
Steeler’s rookie receiver George Pickens expressed frustration at not getting the ball during a loss to New England last week, saying he was “open 90 percent of the time.” He wasn’t kidding either.
Trubisky eventually hit him with a long ball, but it took a spectacular one-handed catch from Pickens for a 36-yard win.