Browns Run Over Steelers, 29-17, On Thursday Night; Trubisky Plays Too Safe To Win

First thing’s first … what’s with the elf?

Who will be the King of the AFC North?

Week 3’s Thursday Night Football broadcast gave us a fight to the top of the division between the Cleveland Brown and Pittsburgh Steelers.

All Cleveland had to do was play error-free football, and they did so for the 29-17 win.

Showing support for their fellow Cleveland club were members of the Cavaliers, including the newly acquired Donovan Mitchell and All-Star guard Darius Garland.

Hats Off to Jacoby Brissett

Browns interim quarterback Jacoby Brissett played a highly efficient game: completing 21 passes (31 attempts) for 220 yards and two touchdowns. Brissett found Amari Cooper for the game’s first score on an 11-yard passing TD.

Cooper amassed seven catches for 101 yards and a touchdown but dropped a dime in the fourth to bring back some ghosts from his days in Dallas. He also became the first Browns wide receiver to record back-to-back 100-yard receiving games for Cleveland: a feat that hasn’t been accomplished since Josh Gordon in 2013.

Brissett later found tight end David Njoku on a 7-yard TD pass to put the Browns up a score, but kicker Cade York missed the extra point and left Cleveland vulnerable to defeat. Njoku had a career game with nine catches for 89 yards and a TD.

Pittsburgh’s Offense Doesn’t Show Up

On the other hand, Pittsburgh was hurt by a conservative passing attack (if you can call it that) by starting quarterback Mitch Trubisky, who must be feeling the Kenny Pickett pressure.

Trusbisky completed 19 of 31 passing for 209 yards and no touchdowns. But on the bright side, Pittsburgh rookie wideout George Pickens put up the night’s highlight with a sweet one-handed catch in the second quarter โ€” giving audiences flashbacks of the famous Odell Beckham, Jr. catch against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night in 2015.

(Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images)

A one-yard run by Trubisky put the Steelers up 14-13 heading into halftime.

(Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images)

Steelers offensive lineman Chukwuma Okorafor let out steam in the third quarter with a dirty play on Browns’ Anthony Walker, Jr.: falling on top of the linebacker, which caused an apparent leg injury.

The Browns’ backfield tandem of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt helped pick up chunk yards for the offense to complement Brissett’s short throws. Chubb tallied 22 carries for 113 and a touchdown, and Kareem Hunt ran the ball 12 times for 47 yards.

(Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images)

Steelers RB Najee Harris provided a second-quarter score and carried the ball 16 times for 56 yards. His own highlight of the night came on a pass-protection block against Browns linebacker Jacob Phillips, whom Harris sent over the top with remarkable strength.

Aside from a 34-yard field goal by Chris Boswell with less than two minutes left in the contest, the Steelers’ offense was kept at bay for the entirety of the second half.

The Browns put the cherry atop their win with a recovered fumbled in the end zone by cornerback Denzel Ward as time ran out.

In the postgame interview, Chubb spoke about the impact he and Kareem offered against a Pittsburgh defense lacking TJ Watt.

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

โ€œIt’s hard to stop both of us in any game. We keep each other fresh,โ€ Chubb said. โ€œWe motivate each other with the competition. At the end of the day, it’s gonna be me, Kareem and the O-line. We’re all gonna get the job done.โ€

Chubb was also asked about the teamโ€™s faith in Jacoby Brissett after his solid performance.

“Jacoby’s a dog. He’s a great leader for us. He’s vocal. He’s a playmaker,” Chubb added. “If we need a play, he’s gonna make it for us. We love Jacoby here.”

When asked by the media if he was considering a change at QB, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin responded, “Definitively no.”

Bold strategy, let’s see if it pays off …

The Browns improved to 2-1 to remain atop the North, while the Steelers slipped to 1-2.

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Follow Alejandro Avila on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela

Written by Alejandro Avila

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