NFL News & Analysis

NFL Week 3 Game Recap: Cleveland Browns 29, Pittsburgh Steelers 17

Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Jacoby Brissett (7) throws a pass during the second quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Dermer-USA TODAY Sports

In a battle between AFC North rivals, the Cleveland Browns bested the Pittsburgh Steelers 29-17 at FirstEnergy Stadium on Thursday night.

Ultimately, the Steelers didn't have any answers for the Browns' quartet of quarterback Jacoby Brissett, tight end David Njoku, wide receiver Amari Cooper and running back Nick Chubb, as the latter two accumulated over 100 total yards while Brissett threw 220 passing yards and two touchdowns and Njoku finished with a team-high nine receptions. Additionally, the Browns offense totaled 376 total yards while dominating the time of possession (33:25 total).

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Offensive spotlight: If Brissett's 90.0-plus passing grade on first review holds, it will represent the Browns quarterback's highest single-game passing grade of Brissett's career. Not only did Brissett finish with two big-time throws, but he dealt with three dropped passes, avoided turnover-worthy plays and finished with an 82.8% adjusted completion rate. Ultimately, Brissett finished 21-of-31 for 220 yards and two touchdowns.

Defensive spotlight: Even in a losing effort, Steelers edge defender Alex Highsmith had an impressive performance, particularly against the run. The former third-round pick totaled six run stops with an impressive 0.83-yard average depth of tackle against Cleveland on first review. Coming into this game, the Las Vegas RaidersMaxx Crosby led the league in run stops with nine, but Highsmith is now tied with Crosby after his productive evening against the run on Thursday.

Rookie spotlight: Steelers rookie receiver George Pickens only hauled in three receptions from seven targets for 39 receiving yards, but one was arguably the catch of the year, as he contorted his body to reel in a 36-yard pass with one hand. Even though Pickens has yet to produce at a high level in his first three NFL games, that reception illustrates the talent that made Pickens the 28th overall player on PFF's big board ahead of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Offensive line spotlight: Both offensive lines performed admirably in pass protection, as both allowed less than 10 pressures across 33 pass-blocking snaps. Having said that, the Browns offensive line played just a bit better, finishing with an 80.0-plus grade pass-blocking grade on first review. Browns left guard Joel Bitonio was the best of the bunch, finishing with an 85.0-plus overall grade on first review while allowing just one pass-rush win on the evening.

Box Score

Passing
Player Fantasy Comp/Att Yds YPA TD Int
Mitch Trubisky 14.98 20 / 32 207 6.5 0 0
Cleveland Browns
Player Fantasy Comp/Att Yds YPA TD Int
Jacoby Brissett 17.9 21 / 31 220 7.1 2 0
Rushing
Player Fantasy Car Yds YPC TD Long
Mitch Trubisky 14.98 2 7 3.5 1 6
Najee Harris 14.1 15 56 3.7 1 10
Chase Claypool 7.6 1 11 11 0 11
Jaylen Warren 4.3 4 30 7.5 0 10
Cleveland Browns
Player Fantasy Car Yds YPC TD Long
Nick Chubb 20.3 23 113 4.9 1 36
Jacoby Brissett 17.9 3 11 3.7 0 6
Kareem Hunt 9.1 12 47 3.9 0 11
Receiving
Player Fantasy Tgt Rec Yds YPT TD
Diontae Johnson 16.4 11 8 84 7.6 0
Najee Harris 14.1 3 3 5 1.7 0
Chase Claypool 7.6 6 3 35 5.8 0
George Pickens 6.9 7 3 39 5.6 0
Pat Freiermuth 6.1 4 2 41 10.2 0
Jaylen Warren 4.3 1 1 3 3 0
Cleveland Browns
Player Fantasy Tgt Rec Yds YPT TD
Amari Cooper 26.1 11 7 101 9.2 1
David Njoku 23.9 10 9 89 8.9 1
Nick Chubb 20.3 1 0 0 0 0
Kareem Hunt 9.1 4 3 14 3.5 0
Donovan Peoples-Jones 2 3 1 10 3.3 0
David Bell 1.6 1 1 6 6 0
Miller Forristall 0 1 0 0 0 0
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