It was all Cleveland right out the gate. The first play of the game was a bad snap by Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey into the end zone that was recovered by Browns safety Karl Joseph. The following drive, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw an interception to M.J. Stewart which led to a Jarvis Landry touchdown. After forcing a three and out the Browns kept their foot on the gas and added on with a Kareem Hunt rushing touchdown. The Steelers, unable to get anything going, ended up turning the ball over again as Ben is picked off by Sheldrick Redwine. Right before the end of the first quarter, Kareem Hunt scampered in for yet another touchdown to put the Browns up 28-0. The Browns’ 28 points in the first quarter is the most by any team in *NFL* playoff history.
The Steelers first drive of the second quarter faired a little better, this time ending in a punt instead of a turnover. The Browns didn’t fare much better on their next drive, electing to punt. However, Browns defensive lineman Porter Gustin picked off Big Ben on the Steelers next drive. Browns tackle Jack Conklin ended up leaving with a hamstring injury which ended up being crucial for the Steelers. The Steelers were able to march down the field and capitalize on their next drive after a quick rushing touchdown by James Conner. Baker Mayfield and the Browns orchestrated a masterful drive and marched down the field that was capped off with an Austin Hooper touchdown right before halftime. The Steelers had time for one last drive and they were able to walk away with a field goal. Browns led at halftime 35-10.
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The Browns didn’t get off to a great start coming out of the half, punting away at the end of the drive. The Steelers, still showing life, marched down the field against the Browns defense and capped off their drive with an Eric Ebron touchdown. The Steelers failed to convert their two point conversion attempt. After another failed Browns drive, the Steelers marched down the field and scored yet again, this time a touchdown to JuJu Smith-Schuster. The Browns were up 35-23 at the end of the third.
Fourth quarter started strong with a huge touchdown run from Nick Chubb, putting the Browns up 19 yet again. Chase Claypool had a huge touchdown reception to bring the Steelers within 13 after a failed two point conversion. With yet another offensive lineman going down, the Browns looked to be in trouble. They continued their slow, methodical march down the field that ended in a Cody Parkey field goal. Sione Takitaki had a pivotal late game interception on Ben Roethlisberger that ended up leading to a Browns field goal to put them up 19 again. Chase Claypool puts up a garbage time touchdown with just over a minute left in regulation followed by the two point conversion to James Conner.
The Browns defeated the Steelers 48-37 to advance to the Divisional round. Next week the Browns travel to Kansas City to take on Patrick Mahomes and the defending Super Bowl Champion Chiefs.