CLEVELAND — The Pittsburgh Steelers’ fourth-quarter magic finally ran out.
Faced with yet another tight game, Kenny Pickett and the Steelers offense had two chances to manufacture a go-ahead drive, and were unable to. After keeping the Cleveland Browns off the scoreboard for the entire second half, the Steelers defense finally relented, with Dustin Hopkins kicking a 34-yard field goal in the final seconds to lead the Browns to a 13-10 victory over the Steelers at Cleveland Browns Stadium.
After two straight weeks of getting off to a fast start, the Steelers spent the most of the afternoon digging themselves out of an early hole.
Cleveland punted after taking the opening kickoff, but left the Steelers inside their own five-yard line. Pickett was nearly sacked for a safety on the first play of the game by Myles Garrett. Najee Harris barely got out of the end zone on the next play, and the Steelers were fortunate to punt.
But given the short field, Dorian Thompson-Robinson led a scoring drive, with Jerome Ford capping it off with a 1-yard score.
The Browns didn’t do much else for the rest of the first half until the final drive, when they dinked and dunked for a 17-play drive for a Dustin Hopkins field goal to close the second quarter and make it 10-0 Cleveland.
It took the Steelers one play to get most of the way back in the third quarter, when Jaylen Warren took a counter toss 74 yards to paydirt, the longest Steelers run in nearly a decade.
But the offense could must little other than that. Pickett finished 15 of 28 for an abysmal 106 yards and a 62.5 passer rating. His connection with top receiver Diontae Johnson was especially off. Johnson was targeted by Pickett eight times, but caught just two for 17 yards.
George Pickens finished as the top receiver, hauling in four of six targets for 38 yards, but was not targeted on the final drive, when Pickett threw incomplete toward Johnson three straight times.
The Steelers wasted a career-best running day from Jaylen Warren. He broke out for 129 yards on just nine carries, an absurd 14.3 yard-per-carry average. Najee Harris added 35 yards on 12 carries.
With the loss, the Steelers fall to 6-4 and third place in the AFC North. They will visit the Cincinnati Bengals next week.