Steelers and Browns Do Damage to Each Other in Nasty Battle

Winning in Pittsburgh on Monday night isn’t a challenge any team can take lightly. The Cleveland Browns found out with a late collapse that prevented them from starting 2-0 for the first time since 1993. The Pittsburgh Steelers felt like a team in desperation even in Week 2 of the season.

Pittsburgh scored two defensive touchdowns in a game for the first time since 2010 and escaped with a four-point win. The Steelers have now won 21 straight home games on Monday Night Football, a winning streak that dates back to 1991.

After taking a pretty savage beating from San Francisco in Week 1, getting a victory over long-time rival Cleveland will have everyone in the Steel City sleeping a little easier. No one in Cincinnati is likely feeling much relief after Week 2. It was bad enough for the Bengals to lose to Cleveland in Week 1, but dropping another game to Baltimore the following week has Cincinnati in a bad spot.

The Ravens will feel good with the only undefeated record in the division, but plenty can happen between now and the end of the regular season. As for the now, here’s a look at what the second week of the season offered these four teams.

 

Place Team W L T Week 2 Result
1. Baltimore Ravens 2 0 0 W, 27-24 at Cincinnati Bengals
2. Pittsburgh Steelers 1 1 0 W, 26-22 vs. Cleveland Browns
3. Cleveland Browns 1 1 0 L, 26-22 at Pittsburgh Steelers
4. Cincinnati Bengals 0 2 0 L, 27-24 vs. Baltimore Ravens

 

Was the Pounding Worth the Result?

 

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns played a nasty, physical game with each other, as they have been known to do throughout their respective histories. One of the more lasting plays from this game will be the head-on-knee hit from Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick to Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb in the second quarter.

Chubb is likely out for the season, which is a devastating loss for Cleveland. He has 64 yards on ten carries for the Browns before going out with the injury. Chubb is likely done for the season with a knee injury. During the previous four seasons, Chubb had rushed for 1,000 yards or more each season. Cleveland will have to turn to Jerome Tuner at running back.

Pittsburgh wouldn’t escape clean from the game either. While Fitzpatrick could return after the hit, misfortune would get him later. Fitzpatrick would suffer a chest injury later in the game while making a tackle. He was evaluated at a local hospital and missed most of the second half.

 

Watt Rewrites Pittsburgh’s History Books

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Pittsburgh Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers has produced many legendary pass rushers as a franchise in the NFL. By sacking Cleveland quarterback Deshaun Watson Monday night, current linebacker T.J. Watt stands alone in history. Watt’s sack gave him 82.5 sacks for his career, breaking the record set by James Harrison.

Becoming the record holder made it a memorable night as Watt scored his first-ever regular-season touchdown late in the game. He picked up a Watson fumble caused by Alex Highsmith and ran in for the game-winning touchdown with less than six minutes remaining.

 

Lamar Settles Into Offense

Damage to Each Other in Nasty Battle
Lamar Jackson

Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson got a new offensive coordinator this offseason. After a slow Week 1, Jackson picked up his level against the Bengals. Jackson was able to pass for 237 yards and two touchdowns to put Baltimore ahead of rival Cincinnati for a three-point win.

The most significant improvement that has come with Jackson has been with his quick decision-making. He now averages 2.6 seconds to throw the ball per play. That number is down from 2.96 seconds during his first four seasons in the league. If he can continue to get the ball out quickly, that will open things up for the offense.

 

Burrow’s Status Up in the Air

 

Much was made of Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow’s calf in the offseason and if he could play to start the season. The Bengals forged ahead with Burrow under center, and it’s a wonder if they should have waited. Cincinnati coach Zach Taylor said it is hard to say if he will be available for its game against the Los Angeles Rams on Monday night.

Burrow was seen limping off the field late into the game against Baltimore on Sunday. However, both Burrow and Taylor said he could have gone back in and played if Cincinnati got the ball back. Burrow has had a tough few weeks, throwing for a combined 304 yards and two touchdowns in his first two starts of the season.

 

Watson Still Has Some Rust

 

Watson was supposed to be the quarterback who righted the ship for the Cleveland Browns. But Watson has looked the part of a guy who had an extended absence from football. So far this season, Watson has only completed 55.1 percent of his passes.

Against the Steelers, Watson was also routinely harassed by Pittsburgh’s pass rush. Watson ended up getting sacked six times by the Steelers. Watson would also lose two fumbles, including the game-winner scooped up by Watt. He also lost a critical fumble on fourth and inches in the first half that set Pittsburgh up with good field position. With Chubb out of the lineup, Watson must shoulder more of the burden.

 

Short-handed Ravens Secondary Comes Through

 

Even without Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Williams, Baltimore could put up an intense fight against Burrow and the Bengals. Baltimore limited Burrow to 222 passing yards. Bengals’ top receiver, Ja’Marr Chase, was also held under 40 receiving yards.

Baltimore defensive back Geno Stone also killed a Cincinnati drive by intercepting a pass on the goal line early in the third quarter. Stone also had nine tackles and broke up a pass in the win for Baltimore.