Browns fall to Steelers in season finale
The Browns dropped their final game of the 2022 season, 28-14, Sunday against the Steelers at Acrisure Stadium, solidifying their 7-10 record for the year.
No team cracked the scoreboard until the 6:27 mark of the second quarter. That's when DB Deshaun Watson hit TE David Njoku for a 10-yard touchdown pass to put the Browns up 7-0. The Steelers responded with a touchdown of their own, though, on the next drive with a 31-yard strike from Kenny Pickett to George Pickens. Pittsburgh proceeded to score another 13 unanswered points to pad their lead to 20-7. The Browns fought back with another touchdown from Watson on a 2-yard pass to RB Nick Chubb to bring the score to 20-14 with 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter, but they were unable to draw any closer to the Steelers in the final minutes. The Steelers took back a two-possession lead in the final minutes with a 1-yard touchdown run from FB Derek Watt, pushing the score to 28-14. Watson made some timely throws and looked elusive at times in the pocket — he rushed six times for 44 yards — but he also threw two interceptions in the game, which the Steelers turned into 10 points. It was the first time in his six starts this season that he threw multiple interceptions in the same game. He completed 19-of-29 pass attempts for 230 yards. With 77 rushing yards, RB Nick Chubb became the second player in Browns history to reach 1,500 rushing yards in a single season. He joined Jim Brown, who achieved the feat three times in his career. CB Denzel Ward and LB Reggie Ragland each left the game early with shoulder injuries.
Moment that mattered most: With 4:37 left, the Steelers found the end zone for the third time in the game with a 1-yard run from Watt. The play followed what initially appeared to be a third-and-2 stop by the Browns after CB M.J. Emerson Jr. knocked down a pass to Pickens in the end zone, but Emerson was called for defensive passing interference on the play. Player of the game: Myles Garrett. Garrett tied his single-season sack record he set last season with his 16th sack of the season. He is the only defender in the league to tally 16 or more sacks in the last two seasons. Stat of the game: 7. Watson was sacked seven times for 57 yards, which made it hard for the Browns to reach short third-down situations and advance the ball past the first-down marker. Watson was sacked 12 times in the last two games of the season after he was sacked five times last week against the Commanders. The game was decided when: Watt scored his touchdown. With just over 4 minutes to go, the Browns weren't able to advance the ball down the field fast enough to score a touchdown and give them a chance to attain possession again, sealing the loss.