NFL Game Recap - Cleveland at Pittsburgh
Sun Dec 1, 2019 1:00 PM EST

CHI
24
DET
20
F
BUF
26
DAL
15
F
NO
26
ATL
18
F
CLE
13
PIT
20
F
GB
31
NYG
13
F
PHI
31
MIA
37
F
TB
28
JAX
11
F
SF
17
BAL
20
F
TEN
31
IND
17
F
NYJ
6
CIN
22
F
WAS
29
CAR
21
F
LAR
34
ARI
7
F
LAC
20
DEN
23
F
OAK
9
KC
40
F
NE
22
HOU
28
F
MIN
30
SEA
37
F

Dec 1, 2019, 1:00 PM EST

Final

1

2

3

4

T

Cleveland (5-7)

3

7

0

3

13

Pittsburgh (7-5)

0

10

7

3

20

Duck’s Dynasty? Backup Hodges leads Steelers by Browns 20-13
Sun Dec 1, 2019 6:45 PM

PITTSBURGH (AP) No fighting. No helmet swinging. Barely any trash talking. Just football.

And one very loud statement from the banged-up Pittsburgh Steelers written not on a T-shirt but all over the Heinz Field turf: The faces may change when Cleveland visits Pittsburgh. The result does not.

Undrafted rookie free agent Devlin "Duck" Hodges threw for 212 yards with a touchdown and an interception, fellow rookie Benny Snell ran for 63 yards and a score and the largely anonymous Steelers (7-5) surged past the Browns 20-13 on Sunday. The hosts exacted a measure of revenge for its ugly, brawl-marred defeat in Cleveland two weeks ago by keeping the Browns (5-7) winless in Pittsburgh for 16 years and counting.

"It's been a weird year," Steelers guard David DeCastro said.

Yet the Steelers remain in the middle of the playoff chase after rallying from 10 points down thanks in large part to Hodges, a champion duck caller in his down time now 2-0 as starter. Bumped to the top of the depth chart last week in place of struggling Mason Rudolph, Hodges completed 14 of 21 passes and hardly played like a guy cut at the end of training camp.

"I've always believed in myself," Hodges said. "I know I have people in my corner who believed in me. Even the guys on the team, when I was let go, I had a bunch of them text me and say, `Hey, this isn't over for you."'

It might be for the Browns (5-7), who saw their three-game winning streak come to a crashing halt. They were outplayed over the final three quarters by a Steelers team riddled with injury and inexperience at the offensive skill positions. Cleveland likely now needs to win out and get some help to reach the playoffs.

"No one is coming to save us," Cleveland defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson said. "It's too late in the season for that. We're all we got."

The Browns had their chances. Cleveland took an early 10-0 lead but sputtered the rest of the way. Baker Mayfield completed 18 of 32 passes for 196 yards with a touchdown and an interception, and played the second half with his right (throwing) hand in a protective glove after smacking it against the face mask of Pittsburgh linebacker Bud Dupree.

Mayfield declined to blame the injury, which the Browns described as a bruise, as a reason behind his so-so second half. Mayfield went 8 of 15 for 98 yards after getting hurt, his final throw a wayward toss in the direction of Jarvis Landry that Steelers cornerback and former Brown Joe Haden picked off with 1:06 remaining. Nick Chubb ran for 58 yards and Kareem Hunt added 65 total yards and a touchdown reception. But Cleveland failed to pull even with the Steelers in the AFC North and sweep the season series from its rival for the first time in 31 years.

"PITTSBURGH STARTED IT" ... AND FINISHED IT

The teams' first meeting on Nov. 14 ended with an ugly altercation between Cleveland defensive end Myles Garrett and Rudolph that ended with Garrett hitting Rudolph in the head with Rudolph's helmet. The ensuing fallout - which included Garrett being suspended indefinitely; Rudolph fending off Garrett's allegation that he used a racial slur shortly before things got out of hand; suspensions for Browns defensive end Larry Ogunjobi and Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey - reignited a rivalry that's been dominated by the Steelers since Cleveland returned to the NFL a generation ago.

Just in case it needed a little more stoking, Browns coach Freddie Kitchens was spotted wearing a "Pittsburgh started it" T-shirt on Friday night. Several Steelers responded with some inauspicious wardrobe choices while walking into work on Sunday.

"I think it was pretty stupid," DeCastro said. "It's a lot of bulletin board material. I don't know why you do that as a coach. I just don't get that. Of course it's going to motivate us. What are you thinking? It's just not smart."

Kitchens, who said he wore the shirt at the request of his daughters, downplayed the notion his fashion sense had any effect on the outcome.

"The T-shirt didn't cause us to give up 40-yard passes," Kitchens said. "We were ready to play. That's the only thing people need to be concerned about."

Mayfield shrugged when asked about Kitchens' shirt, saying simply "I've done much worse."

KEEPING THEIR COOL

Both teams stressed the need to move on and focus on the playoff mix rather than search for retribution for what transpired in the final minute in Cleveland. For the most part, they kept their promise. There were no post-play jawing sessions and the only 15-yard penalty came on a roughing-the-passer call against Dupree on Cleveland's last drive.

"I think it was very straightforward," Pittsburgh defensive end Cam Heyward said. "Both teams wanted to win the game. It's an AFC North game. We just kept fighting for it."

INJURIES

Browns: CB Greedy Williams left in the second half with a shoulder injury. CB Robert Jackson exited in the first quarter with an ankle injury and did not return.

UP NEXT

Browns: host in-state rival Cincinnati next Sunday. Cleveland swept the Bengals last season for the first time since 2002.

Steelers: travel to Arizona next Sunday.

---

More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Passing

CLE Att Cmp % TD-Pa Yds-Pa LgPa Int Rat Sk
B. Mayfield 32 18 56.3 1 196 23 1 71.9 5
G. Gilbert 2 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 39.6 0
PIT Att Cmp % TD-Pa Yds-Pa LgPa Int Rat Sk
D. Hodges 21 14 66.7 1 212 44 1 95.7 1

Rushing

CLE Att Yds-Ru Avg LgRu TD-Ru
N. Chubb 16 58 3.6 12 0
K. Hunt 7 46 6.6 16 0
PIT Att Yds-Ru Avg LgRu TD-Ru
B. Snell Jr. 16 63 3.9 14 1
J. Samuels 7 32 4.6 8 0

Receiving

CLE Rec Yds-Rc Avg LgRc TD-Rc
J. Landry 6 76 12.7 19 0
O. Beckham Jr. 3 29 9.7 19 0
PIT Rec Yds-Rc Avg LgRc TD-Rc
J. Washington 4 111 27.8 44 1
T. Jones 1 28 28.0 28 0

Team Stats Comparison

CLE PIT
Points For 13 20
Total Yards 279 323
Rushing Yards 106 124
Passing Yards 173 199
Passing Completions / Attempts 18/34 14/21
Turnovers 2 1
Interceptions Thrown 1 1
Fumbles - Lost 1/1 1/0
First Downs 19 18
Rushing Touchdowns 0 1
Passing Touchdowns 1 1
Penalties - Yards 5/34 10/65
Time Of Possession 32:06 27:54
Third Down Conversions/Attempts 4/12 4/10
Fourth Down Conversions/Attempts 1/2 0/0
Red Zone Conversions/Attempts 1/3 1/3
Sacks Against 5 1
Punts - Average Yards 4/45 4/43
Punt Returns - Average Yards/Punt Return 1/5 2/7
Kickoff Returns - Average Yards/Kickoff Return 3/12 3/24

Scoring Summary

1st Quarter CLE PIT
CLE 7:29 FG Austin Seibert 31 yd FG 3 0
2nd Quarter CLE PIT
CLE 7:20 TD Kareem Hunt 15 yd pass from Baker Mayfield (Austin Seibert kick) 10 0
PIT 12:04 FG Chris Boswell 39 yd FG 10 3
PIT 14:00 TD James Washington 30 yd pass from Devlin Hodges (Chris Boswell kick) 10 10
3rd Quarter CLE PIT
PIT 4:24 TD Benny Snell Jr. 1 yd run (Chris Boswell kick) 10 17
4th Quarter CLE PIT
PIT 1:12 FG Chris Boswell 29 yd FG 10 20
CLE 7:30 FG Austin Seibert 34 yd FG 13 20

Game Information

Stadium: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 62,157
Game Time: 3:10
Weather: