Heinz Field Jinx Continues: Cleveland Browns Fall to Pittsburgh Steelers 33-18

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Browns Helmet with Stripes
Source: Scott Piker

Heinz Field continues to be a house of horrors for the Cleveland Browns. The Pittsburgh Steelers use a dominating second half and hand the Browns a 33-18 loss. It’s 15 consecutive losses for the Browns at Heinz Field.

Cleveland has not left Heinz Field victorious since October 5, 2003. In addition it’s the only time the Browns won at the home of the Steelers.

The jinx was on its way to being broken in the first quarter. A pair of Greg Joseph field goals gave the Browns a 6-0 lead. The Browns defense did not allow a first down to the Steelers in the opening 15 minutes of play.

Once both teams switched ends of the field, the game changed in favor of the black and gold. The open end of Heinz Field has given kickers fits. Joseph is now the most recent kicker to experience its wrath. Joseph’s 41-yard field goal attempt in the second quarter missed wide right.

The Steelers took that momentum and capitalized. Ben Roethlisberger drove Pittsburgh down the field and into the endzone. Roethlisberger connected with Antonio Brown on a 43-yard touchdown to take the lead. The duo also connected in the final seconds of the half on one yard reception to take a 14-6 halftime lead.

The second half started off as bad as the first half ended for the Browns. Left tackle Desmond Harrison would get flagged for a holding penalty inside his own endzone for a safety and a 16-6 deficit.

However Cleveland catches a huge break on the ensuing free kick. Pittsburgh fullback Roosevelt Nix signals for a fair catch causing kick returner Ryan Switzer to let the football hit the ground and roll toward the Steelers endzone. As a result, the Browns special teams fall on the football and gain possession. A free kick is a live ball that the kicking team can recover.

The Browns cash in on the takeaway. Baker Mayfield finds Antonio Callaway for a 1-yard touchdown reception. However Joseph would miss the extra point. Browns trail by just four at 16-12.

The Browns defense had trouble stopping Steelers running back James Conner in week one. The same thing happened Sunday. Conner found the endzone twice in the second half on runs of 12 and 22 yards. Conner finished with 146 yards on 24 carries.

Mayfield had a so-so day in his first start against the Steelers. Baker throws for 180 yards and a pair of touchdowns in addition to an interception. Mayfield completed 22 of 36 passes.

Baker’s final touchdown pass came with :06 left in the game on a 24-yard completion to tight end Seth DeValve. Jarvis Landry led the Browns receivers with eight catches for only 39-yards.

Nick Chubb got off to a great start running the football. However the carries disappeared in the second half. Chubb had 65-yards on 18-attempts.

Cleveland continues to rack up takeaways on defense. The Browns secondary recorded both takeaways. Rookie Denzel Ward recovered a fumble. Derrick Kindred recorded an interception in the first quarter.

So the Browns lose their third consecutive game. In addition, the Browns have now lost 25 straight games on the road. That is one away from the NFL record held by the Detroit Lions. Cleveland falls to 2-5-1 overall and 1-1-1 in the AFC North.

The Browns return to FirstEnergy Stadium for its next two games. Cleveland welcomes the Kansas City Chiefs in week nine followed by the Atlanta Falcons in week ten.

Scott Piker is the Cleveland Browns Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage.com. So follow him on twitter @ScottPikerSport

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