The Pittsburgh Steelers swept the season series against the division rival Cleveland Browns last year. Cleveland got revenge at FirstEnergy Stadium on Thursday night.
After trailing 14-13 at halftime, Browns quarterback Jacoby Brissett managed Cleveland’s offense led by running back Nick Chubb and wide receiver Amari Cooper to 16 second-half points to lift the Browns to a 29-17 win.
Myles Garrett and the Browns defense held Pittsburgh to just three points in the second half to give the Steelers their second straight loss.
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Here are the winners and losers from Thursday night’s AFC North contest:
Chubb went into Thursday’s game ranked No. 2 in the NFL in rushing with 228 yards on the ground. He churned out another solid performance in the backfield. The Browns running back was tough in between the tackles all night. He tallied 23 carries, 113 yards and a touchdown in the win.
Amari Cooper and David Njoku
Brissett is building good chemistry with the wide receiver and tight end. Cooper and Njoku combined for 16 catches, 190 yards and two touchdowns. The Steelers had a difficult time covering Cooper and Njoku for most of the night. Brissett targeted the pair 21 times.
Rookie George Pickens
The Steelers rookie wide receiver had a miraculous one-handed catch in the first quarter that put Pittsburgh in position to score their first touchdown of the game.
Pickens’ 36-yard spectacular grab on Browns cornerback Martin Emerson Jr. was reminiscent of Odell Beckham Jr.’s famous catch against the Dallas Cowboys in 2014.
The 2022 second-round pick out of Georgia already produced the catch of Week 3 and it’s an early catch of the year candidate.
“Thursday Night Football” on Amazon Prime is already “exceeding expectations.” Last week’s Los Angeles Chargers vs. Kansas City Chiefs primetime tilt averaged 15.3 million viewers across all platforms, according to Nielsen and Amazon’s first party measurement. Week 3’s Thursday night game didn’t have the star power of the Chargers-Chiefs game, but the AFC North battle was competitive and entertaining.
Pittsburgh run blocking
The Steelers’ run blocking was subpar for the third week in a row.
Najee Harris rushed for 56 yards on 15 carries. He averaged just 3.7 yards an attempt.
The second-year running back’s 56 rushing yards is surprisingly his season high, which speaks to how bad Pittsburgh’s rushing offense has been to start the year.
Last season, Harris broke Franco Harris’ Steelers franchise record for most rushing yards by a rookie in a single season. He’s been unable to get things going this year behind a leaky offensive line.
Steelers third-down efficiency
The Steelers were terrible on third downs on Thursday night. The team was 1 for 9 on third downs in the loss.
Honorable mention: Dallas Cowboys
Wide receiver Noah Brown leads the Cowboys with 10 catches and 159 receiving yards entering Week 3. Cooper, the Cowboys’ former No. 1 wideout, had 7 catches, 101 yards and a touchdown in Thursday’s game alone. The Cowboys could use Cooper’s route running and playmaking ability. It was on full display in Week 3.
Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Tyler Dragon on Twitter @TheTylerDragon.