Juju Smith-Schuster Shines in Win Over Cleveland

The Steelers entered today’s game with many of their key players inactive due to playoff preparations but this did not stop them from getting off to a great start offensively. A heavy run attack by Fitzgerald Toussaint and Stevan Ridley helped move Pittsburgh move downfield easily against Cleveland. Darrius Heyward-Bey would put an end to the drive as he took a reverse play for a 29-yard run and the Steelers get off to an early lead, 7 to 0.

Pittsburgh’s defense did their best to hold up the offense as Tyson Alualu and Sean Davis both sacked quarterback Deshone Kizer on Cleveland’s first drive. Unfortunately, when Pittsburgh took over on offense, Landry Jones gave Browns’ safety Jabrill Peppers his first career interception and Cleveland would get a chance to put get on the scoreboard.

It wasn’t until early in the second quarter that Pittsburgh would add to their 7 point lead. After Tyler Matakevich got a hand on a Cleveland punt, the Steelers were in excellent scoring position. Landry Jones found Juju Smith-Schuster for a wide-open touchdown to give Pittsburgh a 14 to 0 lead over Cleveland.

Running back Duke Johnson Jr. dominated on Cleveland’s next drive, as he was effective in both the pass and run game. Wide receiver Josh Gordon reeled in a huge 54-yard reception, and the Browns’ turned to Johnson once more as he pounded the ball into the end-zone to cut into Pittsburgh’s lead. We now have a score of 14 to 7.

Pittsburgh answered back immediately as Landry Jones looked sharp on the drive and the run game once again proved to be effective for the Steelers. Stevan Ridley helped add to Pittsburgh’s lead with a 4-yard touchdown, the score is now 21 to 7.

The two score lead would not last too long for Pittsburgh as Deshone Kizer continued Cleveland’s effective offensive play with a 56-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Rashard Higgins to make the score 21 to 14.

Pittsurgh looked to be putting a nice drive together as Juju Smith-Schuster came up with a huge 46-yard reception. Unfortunately, the Browns’ 1st overall pick Myles Garrett strip-sacked Landry Jones to put the ball back in Cleveland’s possession. On Cleveland’s last offensive drive of the half, Vinny Williams added to Pittsburgh’s sack total and put an end to the Browns’ hopes at evening the score.

As the second half began, Deshone Kizer came out hot as he completed passes to Josh Gordon and rookie tight end David Njoku and eventually connected with Rashard Higgins for his second touchdown on the day.

The score was tied at 21, and this happened…

I think it’s safe to say, Juju is good at this whole football thing. He can simply do it all. Steelers lead once again, this time 28 to 21.

T.J. Watt continued his relentless play, as he tackled running back Isaiah Crowell for a loss, and L.J. Fort came up with Pittsburgh’s fifth sack on the day as he delivered a huge hit on Kizer. The Browns were forced to settle for a field goal, making the score 28 to 24.

Pittsburgh continued their great defensive play as Tyson Alualu gave the Steelers their sixth of the game. Immediately after the sack, Duke Johnson caught a pass for 30 yards, but William Gay chased Johnson and punched the ball out of his hands, Mike Mitchell was there to recover the ball for Pittsburgh.

Big plays on defense would be the difference maker for Pittsburgh late in the game as Mike Hilton provided constant pressure on Kizer and Joe Haden proved how much better the Steelers secondary is with him on the field. The secondary dominated this drive as Artie Burns provided big time pressure on Deshone Kizer, and Sean Davis came up with a great interception.

Pittsburgh would come away with the vicory in this one, and it was a good to see them get the win with their starters sitting out this week. Landry Jones made some great plays, and the defense looked solid as they pressured Kizer often and made great plays in the secondary for the duration of the game.

Pittsburgh’s passing leader for the game was Landry Jones as he completed 23 of 27 passes for 239 yards with one touchdown and an intereption. Stevan Ridley was the leading rusher as he ran for 80 yards on 17 carries and added a rushing touchdown to his stat line. No secret who the leading receiver was, Juju Smith-Schuster caught 9 passes for 143 yards and a touchdown (also had a kick return touchdown). Tyson Alualu and T.J. Watt led the Steelers in tackles with 6, Alualu had 2 sacks and Watt had one as well. Sean Davis had an interception and a sack.

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