Monday Night Football: T.J. Watt’s four sacks carry Steelers to 26-14 win over Browns

Cleveland Browns v Pittsburgh Steelers
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If it’s the last game at Heinz Field for Ben Roethlisberger, he’s going out with a victory.

Dionate Johnson caught a 5-yard touchdown pass from Roethlisberger, Chris Boswell kicked four field goals, and the Pittsburgh defense sacked Baker Mayfield nine times — four of which came from T.J. Watt — in a 26-14 victory over the Cleveland Browns on Monday night.

Watt’s four sacks give him 21.5 sacks for the season, which puts him just one sack behind the NFL record of 22.5 by Michael Strahan in the 2001 season with the New York Giants.

Watt is the first Steelers player with four sacks in a game since Joey Porter had four against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2001. He is the third player this season to have at least four sacks in a game, joining Myles Garrett of the Browns (4.5 vs. Chicago) and Chandler Jones of the Arizona Cardinals (5.0 against Tennessee).

The victory for Pittsburgh secures their 18th straight season without a losing record. They will finish no worse than 8-8-1 this season. That covers the entirety of Roethlisberger’s tenure in Pittsburgh.

While it was Roethlisberger’s stage, it was Watt, the Steelers defense, and Najee Harris that led the way to victory.

Harris rushed for 188 yards on 28 carries and surpassed Franco Harris’ record for the most rushing yards by a rookie in Steelers team history. Harris had 1,055 rushing yards in 14 games as a rookie in 1972. Harris finished the night at 1,172 for the season. The 188 yards are the eighth-most by a Steelers player in history.

Watt carried the stellar pass rushing effort for Pittsburgh as well. Watt, Alex Highsmith (2.0), Cam Heyward, Henry Mondeaux and Derrek Tuszka combined for the nine-sack night for the Steelers defense.

Roethlisberger finished the night with 123 yards passing with a touchdown and an interception on 46 attempts.

After Johnson’s touchdown give the Steelers on the board, Chris Boswell kicked field goals of 22 and 30 yards to take a 13-0 lead into halftime.

A sack from Jadeveon Clowney of Roethlisberger backed the Steelers up to their own 4-yard line. After a punt, Donovan Peoples-Jones picked up 39 yards on a catch-and-run through the Steelers secondary to get into scoring position. After two runs from Nick Chubb inched the Browns closer, David Njoku‘s 3-yard touchdown got the Browns on the board.

Boswell stretched the lead back out again with field goals from 50 and 48 yards to make it a 19-7 game with just 5:48 left.

Harrison Bryant caught a 1-yard touchdown from Mayfield to trim the lead to 19-14 with 1:10 left. Then Harris broke free for a 37-yard touchdown run after the Steelers recovered an onside kick to put the game away.

Roethlisberger kneeled out the victory after Tre Norwood intercepted Mayfield with 10 seconds left to play.

Mayfield completed 16-of-38 passes for 185 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.

39 responses to “Monday Night Football: T.J. Watt’s four sacks carry Steelers to 26-14 win over Browns

  1. We know the Steelers will have a new starting quarterback in 2022, what about the Browns?

  2. OBJ joined Rams who where on losing streak and he has helped revive them with his clutch plays.

    Browns still Browns without him. Rather poetic OBJ is in the playoffs and Baker and stacked Browns not. OBJ was never the problem, Baker mediocre play was.

  3. Not sure what was the worst part about that game for the Browns. Horrible game plan, Baker looked more like Manziel, and Newsome decided to let Harris just walk in for the TD…

  4. i was a hardcore baker fan, put a fork in him, he is done. he is not the man to lead this team. and honestly, i have my doubts about stefanski. He was a flash in the pan last year, and now….

  5. “The victory for Pittsburgh secures their 18th straight season without a losing record.”

    The Tomlin hater’s heads are now exploding. As well as all those who said the Steelers would only win 6 games this year.

  6. Myles Garrett needs to keep his mouth shut and perform better on the field he didn’t even show up for the game tonight

  7. As a fan, Big Ben has brought a lot of joy to my home and family over 18 years with his play on the field. Two championships, three super bowl appearances, 15-1 rookie season, the Christmas Day win over the Ravens. The last play win over Green Bay. So many comebacks and last minute drives. So many more. Hate him if you want. I thank him for all the fun!

  8. For the love of God would the Browns please end the Baker Mayfield era in Cleveland. It’s too painful to watch!

  9. Good game Ben. Congrats Najee and TJ. And I’m sick of watching Claypool having to jump for no reason when he’s thrown the ball. Always trying to make it a highlight reel catch, always dropping it.

  10. Remember when analysts were telling us the Browns had the NFLs best defense because they had the DPOY in Garrett? SMH

  11. 2 superbowls
    3 AFC championships
    0 losing seasons.

    Thank you Ben. But it’s clearly time.

  12. The Browns and Steelers are two teams in the same boat. Neither is going to the playoffs and both have serious QB issues.

  13. Here’s another stat for you – Big Ben will retire having NEVER beaten Tom Brady and the Patriots in the playoffs.

  14. I don’t understand all I know! What I know is that the Cowboys took Taco Charlton and left T. J. Watt on the 2017 Draft Board! Jerry if you see this please tell us who you fired for making this decision!

  15. Really was unaware that the Browns coach is Adam Gase. How in the world do you have Baker drop back 49 times to pass!?!?

  16. Baker decided to show-up for garbage time? Talk about seriously disappointing. After taking 9 sacks, Mayfield knows more about the Heinz Field turf than he does about his “home” field lawn.

  17. Time for scorched earth firings in CLE again. Like NOW. Get to it Haslam, you have done it multiple times, this time though it is actually necessary. Players on the Browns 0-16 season played with more heart than what we witnessed tonight, minus Chubb of course. Stefanki’s offense NEVER changes, how on earth is this guy a head coach in the NFL? He’s the RG3 of coaching. The one announcer (don’t know his name) was literally trying to ‘nicely’ point out basically on national tv that Stefanski and Baker are flat out pathetic. This is a new low unbelievably.

  18. Baker appears to have lost all confidence in throwing. 3rd and 2 early in the game and 2 people open and he gets happy feet, holds the ball, and Watt sacked him. That set the tone for the whole night, Baker just seems mentally broken.

    I 100% don’t understand the Stefanski game plan. The Steeler defense is poor against the run yet you have Baker throw it almost 40 times and Chubb got 12 carries for 48 yards and the game was close until the last minute.

    Come on man. Just give Chubb and Johnson the ball 50+ times and take the ball out of Bakers hands. Doubling down on throwing the ball with Baker makes no sense unless Stefanski is trying to get Baker out of Cleveland (which might have worked if that was he plan).

  19. Even while facing the Raven’s elusive QBs next week, T.J. Watt shouldn’t want or need help to break Strahan’s season sack record.

  20. I don’t think we’ll be seeing Baker vs Tua in the AFC championship game anytime soon

  21. The rest of the NFL’s worst nightmare: The Steelers beat the Ravens and the Jags beat the Colts. GO STEELERS1

  22. Why in the world would you let Mayfield throw the game away every week instead of giving Chubb the ball and letting the run game eat? It makes no sense. All Mayfield is doing is showing the Clowns were smart–for once–by not giving him a long-term contract.

  23. With what happened these last 2 weeks Stephanski should no longer be a coach. In the Greenbay game, his running game was blowing up the Packers, and he kept having Baker throw, knowing the man has lost his confidence, possibly due to the fact that he is playing hurt and not playing well. The Steeler’s D is the worst in the NFL against the run and this game was close till the end, and you allow your QB to get sacked 9 times, when you could have been running the ball. If this Browns don’t fire this man, then in the words of Juju, “the Browns is the Browns.”

  24. I feel like a healthy Keenum is better than a broken arm Baker, but what do I know?

  25. I love the Steelers but does anyone really believe they have a chance to get in the playoffs? Sure they might beat the Ravens but Jacksonville beating Indianapolis? Come on! The only thing the Jags would accomplish by winning that game would be to give up their number one draft pick to Detroit. They do not want to win that game and they won’t.

  26. GoodellMustGo says:
    January 4, 2022 at 8:32 am
    Browns should have let Ben score a TD on his last snap. Lol


    I agree with you there. Lol

  27. My goodness – Ben threw 46 passes and completed 50% of them for a paltry 123 yards. Clearly, clearly it is time to hang it up.

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