Steelers defense does something not seen since 1989 in Monday night win over Browns

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ comeback win over the Browns on Monday night was one for the history books. Along with extending their streak of 21 straight home wins, Pittsburgh’s defense put together a performance not seen in the NFL since Week 1 of the 1989 season. 

In Pittsburgh’s 26-22 victory, the defense became the first in 34 years to record six sacks, four forced fumbles, recover three opponent’s fumbles, and have fumble and interception returns for scores in one game since the Browns accomplished that feat in a 51-0 whipping of the Steelers on Sept. 10, 1989, according to OptaSTATS. Cleveland’s defense had three touchdowns that day: a fumble return by linebacker Clay Matthews and two pick-sixes by defensive back David Grayson. 

Pittsburgh’s defense started and ended Monday night’s game with touchdowns. Alex Highsmith kicked things off with a 30-yard pick-six of Deshaun Watson on the game’s first play. Trailing 22-19 with just under seven minutes left, fellow outside linebacker recorded the game-winning score when he scooped up Highsmith’s strip-sack of Watson and ran 16 yards to pay dirt. 

Watt and Highsmith were the headliners, but Pittsburgh’s defense received several other notable performances. Defensive lineman Larry Ogunjobi, a former Brown, had a sack and fumble recovery against his former team. Inside linebacker Cole Holecomb’s forced fumble of Watson with 10:35 flipped the field position while helping set up Watt’s game-winning score. Rookie cornerback Joey Porter Jr., after playing only sparingly in Week 1, sewed up Pittsburgh’s win by deflecting Watson’s pass intended for Donovan Peoples-Jones on the Browns’ last offensive play. 

The night also included Watt breaking James Harrison’s franchise sack record after he took down Watson with a minute remaining in the first half. 

“I’d be lying to you if I didn’t say it was special,” Watt said of the record, via…

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Author : Bryan DeArdo

Publish date : 2023-09-20 00:00:43

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