It's one of the best rivalries in the entire NFL, and steeped in history, to boot. Whenever the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cleveland Browns play, you can bet things will get hot and heavy. Their clash on "Thursday Night Football" didn't lack firepower whatsoever, although not all of it was the good kind, with the Browns outlasting Steelers to take the 21-7 victory.
Things have admittedly become more predictable in recent seasons with the success of Pittsburgh and the continued struggles in Cleveland, but things didn't begin that way in Week 11. The Browns hadn't logged a win against their AFC North rivals in black in yellow since October 12, 2014, having lost seven of the previous eight contests and tying in another. With Ben Roethlisberger sidelined for the season with an elbow injury, backup Mason Rudolph was terrorized by a Browns defensive front that found their groove in a victory over the Buffalo Bills in Week 10 -- also refusing to let up for the majority of Thursday night.
It was an evening that saw bothand Diontae Johnson knocked out of the fight with concussions -- of a -- adding to to make for a difficult climb for the Steelers.
Of course, the game will most likely be remembered for a wild brawl that ensued on the field with under a minute remaining in the fourth quarter. Browns defensive end Garrett ripped Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph's helmet off his head and swung the quarterback's helmet at him in a mallee between both teams. The fight broke out after Garrett delivered a hard hit on a Rudolph pass to Jaylen Samuels. CBS Sports' Jeff Kerr provided full details on the fight, the potential lengthy suspension Garrett could face, and video of the actual incident. You can find that .
Myles Garrett completely lost it during the Browns' win over the Steelers on Thursday Night Football, and Will Brinson, John Breech, Ryan Wilson and Sean Wagner-McGough are here to break it all down on the Pick Six Podcast. Listen below and be sure to subscribe for daily NFL goodness.
Why the Browns won
Despite their late-game mistakes, the Browns did just enough in the first half to put Mason Rudolph in a bad spot. Pressured early and often, Rudolph threw a career-high four interceptions in the losing effort, while Baker Mayfield fared much better in a game that wasn't stellar overall, but included two big throws early and one late that put Pittsburgh in a hole they wound up being buried in.
Why the Steelers lost
Rudolph was struggling to get the ball out even before he lost top weapons in Conner and Smith-Schuster, and things didn't exactly get better once he did. It was a downright poor outing for Rudolph, and the Steelers offense rode his torpedo right into the side of their own ship. The Steelers defense clamped down in the second half, but it was too little, too late.
Odell Beckham, Jr. is still Odell Beckham, Jr., as evidenced by this catch that led to a Mayfield rushing touchdown -- giving the Browns a lead they never lost in the game.
Play of the Game
The Steelers fought back to make it a 14-7 score in the fourth quarter, but linebacker Joe Schobert had seen enough, and his interception with 6:32 left in the game set Mayfield up to throw a coffin-sealing touchdown toss to Stephen Carlson.
Top Quotable from TNF
"Very Browns-y scenario unfolding. In complete and total control of this game, could cruise to a victory and the defense is melting down on the field to bring the Steelers back in this game." - CBS Sports' Will Brinson
From an impressive first half to a near-second half implosion, the Browns were lucky the Steelers didn't have the firepower to make them pay for their mistakes.
The Browns will host the two-win Miami Dolphins in Week 12, while the Steelers visit the winless Bengals.