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Steelers Gameday

Pittsburgh Finishes It: Steelers Bounce Browns, 20-13

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PITTSBURGH — In perhaps the most pivotal regular season since the renewal of the rivalry between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns in 1999, the Steelers once again took care of business.

The Steelers flipped an early deficit on its head for a 20-13 victory, their 16th consecutive win over the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field.

The 136th playing of the rivalry game came just two weeks after the Browns’ Nov. 14 victory in Cleveland that was marred by Browns defensive end Myles Garrett ripping off the helmet of Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph and hitting him with it.

This time around, the beating happened where it hurt the most, as the Steelers scored on four straight possessions in the middle of the game to not only win, but deal a near-fatal blow to Cleveland’s postseason chances.

Now 5-7, the Browns are two games behind the 7-5 Steelers in the AFC Wild Card hunt with four games to play.

The resurgent Steelers were led by undrafted rookie quarterback Devlin Hodges, who threw a second-quarter touchdown pass to James Washington. Hodges, making his first start at Heinz Field after entering in relief of Rudolph on Nov. 24 at Cincinnati, finished 14 of 21 for 212 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

After the Steelers got a fourth-down stop on the ensuing drive, Hodges led a seven-play, 78-yard drive that finished with a 1-yard Benny Snell touchdown, the first of his career.

With starter James Conner inactive with a shoulder injury, Snell became the Steelers’ primary rushing threat. He finished with 63 yards on 16 carries and was vital to the Steelers’ being able to chew clock late in the victory.

The Pittsburgh defense largely held Baker Mayfield and company in check, with the pass rush, sacking Mayfield five times and harrying him throughout the game. Outside linebacker Bud Dupree had 1 1/2 sacks, one of which caused a Mayfield fumble. Former Browns cornerback Joe Haden sealed the victory with an interception with 1:06 left in the game.

The Steelers will visit the Arizona Cardinals on Dec. 8. That game has a 4:25 p.m. kickoff.

Steelers

From the Locker Room: Ben Roethlisberger Reflects on Breaking Mike Webster’s Record

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PITTSBURGH — What does it mean to Ben Roethlisberger to play in 221 career NFL games, the most of any player in Pittsburgh Steelers team history?

“I’m old?” Roethlisberger quipped after he the record that had stood since 1988 on Sunday. The man who had held that record was late, great Steelers center Mike Webster.

“I’ve played a lot of games and it’s such an honor to be up there with that name with Mike Webster.,” Roethlisberger said. “Obviously, what he meant for this franchise, the Hall of Famer, the person, and we all know the story. But what he did, you know, he was Iron Mike for a reason. They’re never going to call me Iron Ben because there’s only one Iron Mike. And I’m just humbled and honored to be in the same category as him. It’s not like I passed him. I just feel like I joined him today because it’s so awesome.”

Roethlisberger already held the team record for seasons played, which he set in 2019, but his elbow surgery a year ago meant it took some extra time for Roethlisberger to become the Steelers’ ironman.

Fittingly for breaking the record held by a Hall of Fame linemen, Roethlisberger credited all the players that blocked up front for him throughout his career for his longevity.

“It’s all the guys that I played with, especially the linemen, because they’re the ones blocking for me,” Roethlisberger said. “And I’ve played with so many really good linemen and tight ends and backs and guys that just really kept he upright and have allowed me to play this long. I’m thankful to all of them and this kind of record really is a joint thing for all of them and me.”

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Steelers Gameday

From the Locker Room: JuJu Smith-Schuster on Momentum, Offensive Success

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PITTSBURGH — Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster speaks with the media, including Alan Saunders of Steelers Now, after he scored a touchdown and a two-point conversion in the Steelers’ 28-21 won over the Houston Texans at Heinz Field on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020.

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Steelers Postgame Show: Steelers Comeback, Run Over Texans

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Despite trailing early, the Steelers were able to comeback and move to 3-0 on the season with a win over the Houston Texans.

Host Mike Asti held a postgame show chat session with fans to cover a variety of topics: the win, a rockier day for Ben Roethlisberger at times, the emergence of Eric Ebron, Anthony McFarland and more Steelers weapons, Mike Tomlin now incorporating a running back by committee situation and even the struggles of the defense, especially the secondary.

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