Cleveland leads 35-10 heading to the third quarter of play. They will get the ball to begin the second half. Here’s a recap of the second quarter:
Roethlisberger moved the chains again on third down with a short pass to Ebron. Pittsburgh got a few more completions to get past midfield for the first time in the game, but then on second and third down from the 38 yard line, Roethlisberger’s passes were well off target. On 4th-and-9, Mike Tomlin sent in the punt unit, giving the Browns the ball back at the 10 yard line with 12:19 to go in the second quarter.
For the first time all game, the Browns found a lack of success on offense. Chubb was stopped for no gain on first down, and then Mayfield’s next two passes for Higgins fell incomplete. P Jamie Gillan punted the ball 44 yards and just past midfield, where Pittsburgh would begin their next possession.
On 3rd-and-2 of the Steelers’ next drive, the Browns showed pressure but then backed out of it. Roethlisberger went to throw, but DT Vincent Taylor batted the ball into the air and DE Porter Gustin made a diving interception! Cleveland took over at their own 47 yard line.
The Browns’ next offensive drive started well with a 12-yard run by Chubb. Then, it went a bit south: an injury that forced RT Jack Conklin to the locker room, a holding call by his replacement (OT Kendall Lamm), and a dropped pass by TE Austin Hooper. On 4th-and-8 from the 39 yard line, Gillan came out again to punt the ball, pinning Pittsburgh back at the 11 yard line.
Roethlisberger finally got the Steelers’ offense moving with passes of 17, 10, and 27 yards to WR James Washington. An incomplete pass on 3rd-and-1 from the 2 yard line led to the two-minute warning, with Pittsburgh obviously set to go for it on 4th-and-1 from the 2 yard line. Out of the two-minute warning, the snap was low, but Roethlisberger picked it up off he ground and got the handoff to RB James Conner. Cleveland had Conner hit shy of the marker, but he kept his legs grinding to just barely move the chains. One play later, he punched it in for a touchdown with 1:44 to go in the half.
RB D’Ernest Johnson took the kickoff out to the 33 yard line. The drive started with a 4-yard run by Chubb, and Pittsburgh took their first timeout. Mayfield’s second down pass went off the hands of Higgins for an incompletion. On 3rd-and-6, Mayfield scrambled and dove to the sideline for 6 yards and a first down.
Mayfield found Chubb wide open in the flat for a 21-yard catch-and-run. An 8 yard pass to Hunt was followed by a 12-yard run by Hunt, setting Cleveland up with a 1st-and-10 from the 12 yard line. Mayfield hit Hooper for 5 yards, and then the Browns took their final timeout with 0:37 to go. On 2nd-and-5 from the 7, Mayfield found Hooper uncovered for a touchdown! The extra point gave the Browns a 35-7 lead with 0:34 to go in the half.
Pittsburgh moved the ball to the Browns’ 46 yard line with 0:10 left after burning their final timeout. A completion to WR Chase Claypool allowed K Chris Boswell to come on for a 49-yard field goal at the end of the half, making it a 35-10 game.
Game: Cleveland Browns vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Date/Time: Sunday, January 10, 2021 at 8:15 PM ET
Television: NBC - Al Michaels (play-by-play) & Cris Collinsworth (analyst)
Local Radio: ESPN 850 WKNR, 92.3 The Fan, 98.5 FM WNCX