CLEVELAND -- The Pittsburgh Steelers fall to 1-2 behind their first AFC North loss of the season, losing to the Cleveland Browns 29-17 in Week 3.
The Browns won the coin toss and elected to receive. Cleveland's opening drive had early success with a 13-yard burst up the middle by Nick Chubb. However, the first drive stalled on a three-and-out following the run, giving Pittsburgh their first offensive look.
The Steelers' opening drive went much of the same. Mitch Trubisky found Diontae Johnson for 13-yard completion but the offense followed with three unsuccessful plays, leading to a punt.
Pittsburgh forced a three-and-out on Cleveland's next drive, and Miles Killebrew set the Steelers up with great field position by tipping the punt. Starting on Cleveland's 48-yard line, the Steelers were able to drive just 16 yards in four plays. Chris Boswell missed his first field goal of the game, a 49-yarder with six minutes remaining in the first quarter.
The Browns capitalized on their good field position. It took them seven plays to drive 60 yards to the endzone for the game's first score. A fourth down conversion near midfield and a 36-yard rush from Chubb put them on the doorstep and Jacoby Brissett found
On the ensuing possession, two rookies led the Steelers down into the redzone. George Pickens' second catch was. a beauty - a one-handed grab made over his shoulder for 36 yards. Jaylen Warren then bullied the Browns for defense for 23 yards before Najee Harris threw off multiple tackles on a five-yard scoring rush.
Cleveland was methodical with the ball on their next possession. Brissett threw for 58 of the drive's 79 yards and capped it with a six-yard touchdown pass to Davi Njoku. Cade York missed the extra point but the Browns still led 13-7.
The next Steelers drive was similarly impressive. Trubisky continued to find success outside of the pocket, completing a couple of passes to get the unit moving before the running game took over. Harris and Warren combined to cover the next 40 yards on the ground and Trubisky dove in for a one-yard touchdown right after to make it 14-13.
Special teams wizard Myles Boykin pinned the Browns back on their own 12 with a strong tackle at the end of the kickoff, but Brissett led an efficient march into the Steelers' half of the field, but it was halted when Amari Cooper juggled and dropped Brissett's fourth-down pass beyond the sticks.
The Steelers offense got over midfield with their last possession but time ran out before they could move into close enough range to score points and halftime hit with the visitors leading 14-13.
The Steelers made it to plus territory with the first possession of the second half but penalties stalled the drive and forced a punt.
Pressley Harvin pinned the Browns inside of their own 10. And hard running from Chubb mixed in with timely passing from Brissett got them into the red zone. The Steelers bowed up in their own endzone and forced a field goal attempt, but York split the uprights on his second attempt to make it 16-14, Browns.
The Steelers couldn't respond, going three-and-out.
Cleveland regained the ball and their offensive success didn't end. Brissett found Cooper for a 32-yard pass over the middle of the field, and the running backs, and Brissett, added 39 more yards to the drive.
The Browns found themselves facing a fourth-and-one at the goal line, and as they have plenty of times before, they handed the ball to Chubb up the middle. After an initial stop by the defense, Chub backed his way into the endzone, moving the score to 23-14 with 9:29 remaining in the ball game.
A false start and a stuffed run for Cleveland led to another punt for the Steelers with 8:34 left in the fourth quarter.
The Steelers defense clawed their way to a stop, forcing the Browns to punt with 5:40 on the clock, giving Pittsburgh's offense another opportunity to mount a second-half comeback.
The offense stalled once again, ending the three-and-out with a Trubisky sack at their own six-yard line.
The defense held strong again, forcing another quick punt. And with 3:13 remaining, the Steelers drove 63 yards to set up a 35-yard Boswell field goal. Pittsburgh trailed 23-17 with 1:48 left on the clock.
George Pickens jumped early on the onside kick attempt, giving the Browns the ball at the Steelers 46-yard line. Three runs later, the Steelers stuffed Cleveland with 4th and 1.
The Steelers attempted several pitches with their final play after a punt before Denzel Ward recovered a bad pitch in the endzone, ending the game, 29-17.
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