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Steelers Take Care of Business, Beat Browns 28-14



Steelers Browns Kenny Pickett Pickens
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver George Pickens (14) celebrates a touchdown with quarterback Kenny Pickett during the first half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Matt Freed)

PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers did their part, taking care of business against the Cleveland Browns, 28-14 in their Week 18 home matchup to keep their playoff hopes alive.

The Steelers got off to a slow start on offense, but scored on four consecutive possessions surrounding the halftime break to give the home team an insurmountable lead.

Kenny Pickett connected with George Pickens on a 31-yard strike to tie the game at 7-7 with 1:52 in the second quarter. After a Levi Wallace interception, the Steelers got the ball back an added a Chris Boswell field goal just before the half to take their first lead.

Boswell scored again on the first drive of the second half. Then it was Damontae Kazee that stepped in front of a Deshaun Watson pass. Najee Harris capped off the ensuing drive with a 4-yard rush up the middle to make it 20-7 Pittsburgh.

The Browns got going with a long drive that ended in a Watson to David Njoku touchdown early in the game, but struggled maintain any offensive presence. The Steelers pressure Watson all game, finishing with seven sacks. 

Pickett did not have a dominant statistical game, finishing 13 of 29 for 195 yards and one touchdowns. But he avoided the turnovers that plagued Watson and gave the Steelers 10 points.

Najee Harris was the bulwark of the Steelers offense, running 23 times for a hard 84 yards. Jaylen Warren added 36 yards on six carries. Harris went over 1,000 yards on the season.

Pickens was the Steelers most productive receiver with three catches for 72 yards.

The Steelers needed wins from both the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets to stay alive, after entering the final week of the season as significant underdogs to make the playoffs.

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