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Steelers Vs. Browns score: Pittsburgh crosses past Cleveland, improving to 5-0 for the first time since 1978

A tireless pass-rush and a versatile offense drove the Steelers to a 38-7 victory over the Browns Sunday. With the win, Pittsburgh is 5-0 for the first time since 1978, when the Steelers won their third of four Super Bowls in six years. The Browns, who brought a four-game winning streak to Pittsburgh, fell to 4-2 and 1-2 against AFC North division enemies.

Two interceptions by Brown quarterback Baker Mayfield helped Pittsburgh jump out to 24-0. Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick’s 33-yard pick-six by Mayfield made the score 10-0, while cornerback Cameron Sutton’s interception of Mayfield on the Browns ̵

6;subsequent run set up James Conners’ three-yard touchdown run. The Steelers further stretched their lead when Ben Roethlisberger hit James Washington for a 28-yard score.

While he was able to get the Browns on the board before the break on a 13-yard touchdown pass to Rashard Higgins, Mayfield was unable to avoid Pittsburgh’s formidable pass-rush that fired him four times (two by linebacker Bud Dupree ) while hitting him on several other occasions. Mayfield, who was initially hesitant to play with a chest injury, was pulled in favor of Case Keenum with one minute left in the third quarter.

The Steelers’ offense continued to roll in the second half as rookie Chase Claypool and returning Benny Snell scored on short touchdown runs. Pittsburgh’s rushing attack was led by Conner, who recorded his third 100-yard rushing performance against the Browns since 2018. Roethlisberger, who now has 11 touchdowns and just one interception through five games, improved to 24-2-1 against the Browns, who passed him in the 2004 NFL Draft.

Why the Steelers won

Pittsburgh front seven was dominant in the win. Stephon Tuitt and Cam Heyward reset the line for scrimmage all day as TJ Watt, Bud Dupree delivered pressure from the edge. The result was seven quarterback hits and four sacks on opposing quarterbacks. It was truly detrimental to Baker Mayfield’s health – he had suffered a rib injury to Indianapolis – to keep him in the game. Kevin Stefanski eventually pulled him in favor of a healthy Case Keenum. Steelers secondary also looked much improved. As Tony Romo noted on the CBS broadcast, Pittsburgh had changed their third defensive strategy to show a Cover 2 over the top with some man coverage concepts underneath.

On 11 possessions, Cleveland had six points, three turnovers on downs and two interceptions, including one back for a touchdown. They were a combined 1-of-15 on third and fourth down games.

Why the Browns lost

Baker Mayfield and the offense played terribly. Brown’s rushing attack has been praised all season, but it ran into a wall in Week 6 against Pittsburgh. Every single starter along the offensive line had their worst game to date. The team wants to establish the race, allow their defense to generate revenue and grind out victories. When a driving-based offense falls behind early on, it becomes very difficult for them to keep up. The same tale played out in Week 1 against Baltimore.

Cleveland managed just 75 yards on 22 carries, and part of that was done in the fourth quarter with the game already in hand. Play-calling, which had been fantastic all season, was disappointing in the effort.

Play the game

On Cleveland’s first offensive possession, Mayfield fell back to pass and ran a ball into cover. It was clear that he had a preconceived notion of where he would go on the play. The question is, Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick read it all the way, went ahead of the throw and returned it for a touchdown.

By stretching the lead to 10-0, it began forcing Cleveland to throw the ball more and abandon their game plan. Given that the Browns were only able to score seven points, it literally put the game out of reach in the first quarter.

What’s next

Cleveland travels to Cincinnati next week. After losing in Week 1 to Baltimore, the Browns rattled four wins in a row. Outside of rematch with Baltimore and Pittsburgh later this season, Cleveland has a pretty favorable schedule. If they do not allow today’s efforts to transfer in the coming weeks, they should still have a strong chance of pushing for the playoffs.

Pittsburgh plays the rest of the regular season each week as a result of their game against Tennessee being postponed. They play the Titans and Ravens for the next two weeks. These two teams together had eight victories that came into week 6.

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