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As the Game Turns: Week 8 vs Cleveland

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By: G.Stryker

Each and every game has a pivotal moment where victory is decided.  Not always the game winning play, but a play that determines the outcome, and if it went differently, a different result could be likely. So each week we will explore the exact moment of drama where the game pivots on: As the Game Turns.

Another slow start by the Steelers, with zero first downs in the opening quarter, somehow found a way to get the offense moving in the second quarter.  After a quick 2 minute drive on a long touchdown pass to Antonio Brown, the Steelers defense got the ball back 8 plays later on a deep interception by Joe Haden, that was for all intents and purposes, a nice 3rd and long punt, where the Steelers started at the their own 13 yard line.

Even with poor field position, the Steelers put together a clock killing drive, lasting over 7 minutes.  The play that capped off the half with 10 seconds remaining, the Steelers were lined up at the 2 yard line, trips left, with the slot receivers bunched, and Antonio Brown split wide toward the sideline.  Presnap, Brown goes into motion, Damarious Randall, the only safety, sees Brown go into motion, flies up to the line of scrimmage, and splits the gap between the tackle and the bunched receivers.  He arrives to the path of the football first, but his hands weren’t in ready position. The ball was just over Randall’s head, and he failed to get his arms up in time to make a play.  The ball went right past him, straight to Antonio, who dove between two perfect blocks by Justin Hunter and JuJu Smith-Schuster for the touchdown.  

If the play looked familiar, it was very similar to the 2 point conversion JuJu scored the previous game.  Excellent read by the safety, because this would have been a touchdown the other way, giving the Browns the lead heading into the half.  Instead, the Steelers gained an 8 point advantage and never looked back.

This play, that could-have-been for the Browns, was the turning point for the Steelers’ decisive victory!

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