Baker Mayfield Throws 2 TDs as Browns Beat Steelers 21-7 for 2nd Straight Win

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistNovember 15, 2019

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield celebrates after a 1-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jarvis Landry during the first half of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)
David Richard/Associated Press

The Cleveland Browns appear to be back on track after a 21-7 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, but their win was overshadowed by Myles Garrett earning an ejection at the end of the game.

The pass-rusher ripped Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph's helmet off and hit him with it during the game's final seconds during a scuffle, sparking a brawl that saw Browns defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi and Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey ejected.

The ugly scenes and likelihood of at least a suspension for Garrett ruined what was a huge win for the Browns.

Baker Mayfield helped the offense flow with three total touchdowns against a tough Steelers defense while the Browns forced four turnovers in the impressive home win at FirstEnergy Stadium. After a 2-6 start to the season, Cleveland now has back-to-back wins to improve to 4-6.

Pittsburgh suffered its first loss in over a month as Mason Rudolph struggled to move the ball consistently, but the team remains in playoff contention at 5-5. 


Notable Fantasy Stats

  • Baker Mayfield, QB, Browns: 17-of-32, 193 passing yards, 2 TDs, 1 rushing TD
  • Nick Chubb, RB, Browns: 27 carries, 92 rushing yards
  • Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Browns: 4 catches, 60 receiving yards
  • Jarvis Landry, WR, Browns: 4 catches, 43 receiving yards, 1 TD
  • Mason Rudolph, QB, Steelers: 23-of-44, 221 passing yards, 1 TD, 4 INTs
  • James Conner, RB, Steelers: 5 carries, 10 rushing yards
  • Jaylen Samuels, RB, Steelers: 5 carries, 26 rushing yards, 5 catches, 19 receiving yards, 1 TD
  • JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Steelers: 2 catches, 21 receiving yards


Baker Mayfield Shows Flashes in Low-Scoring Win

It's been an inconsistent season for Baker Mayfield, but he showed his upside in the first half Thursday night.

The quarterback was stepping into throws and finding the open man all over the field.


BAKER TO ODELL. @OBJ up the middle for the 42-yard gain! #Browns 📺: #PITvsCLE on @NFLNetwork | @NFLonFOX | @PrimeVideo How to watch: https://t.co/I6INVckndX https://t.co/5NdxtRxKxk


.@BakerMayfield fakes 'em out and throws it DEEP to @KhaDarel_4! DIME. #Browns 📺: #PITvsCLE on @NFLNetwork | @NFLonFOX | @PrimeVideo How to watch: https://t.co/I6INVckndX https://t.co/Jut5T2NxLl


.@BakerMayfield finds a wide-open Jarvis Landry for the score! @Browns lead 14-0. #Browns @God_Son80 📺: #PITvsCLE on @NFLNetwork | @NFLonFOX | @PrimeVideo How to watch: https://t.co/I6INVckndX https://t.co/2XgOrFo6CA

Mayfield was at his best when he was mobile within the pocket to buy time against a tough pass rush:

Adam Crowley @_adamcrowley

Baker Mayfield's elusiveness is the difference in this game so far.

Chris Mack @THEChrisMack

Credit to Mayfield, he’s looked more adept at avoiding Steelers’ pressure than anyone else since Russell Wilson.

The quarterback struggled to keep it going for much of the second half but finally put the game away when he found rookie tight end Stephen Carlson, who made an amazing catch in the end zone:


.@BakerMayfield extends the play and finds Stephen Carlson in the end zone! #Browns lead 21-7. 📺: #PITvsCLE on @NFLNetwork | @NFLonFOX | @PrimeVideo How to watch: https://t.co/I6INVckndX https://t.co/DTbxuLElpN

Mayfield showed all the reasons he was so highly touted as a prospect, also helping his team win by avoiding turnovers for the second straight game. The consistency still wasn't there, but he did enough to earn a key divisional win. 

If this continues, the Browns could finally reach expectations for the second half of the season.


Mason Rudolph Struggles with Short-Handed Offense

The Steelers have been dealing with injuries all season long, but the situation was especially bad offensively Thursday after JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Conner were ruled out in the first half. Diontae Johnson was then ruled out in the second half after suffering a concussion on an illegal hit from Damarious Randall, who was ejected.

With the offense short-handed, Mason Rudolph struggled to carry the rest of the team on his back.

The second-year quarterback threw four interceptions trying to force it down the field:


The flea flicker pass is deflected by @DenzelWard and PICKED! Morgan Burnett returns the INT 42 yards! @MoBetta_42 #Browns 📺: #PITvsCLE on @NFLNetwork | @NFLonFOX | @PrimeVideo How to watch: https://t.co/I6INVckndX https://t.co/3oHKppbnQf

B/R Gridiron @brgridiron

A night to forget for Mason Rudolph. 12/23 102 yards 2 INT 27.8 rating (via @NFL) https://t.co/zv0Pqwmy4l


Joe Schobert's second interception of the night! @TheSchoGoesOn53 #Browns 📺: #PITvsCLE on @NFLNetwork | @NFLonFOX | @PrimeVideo How to watch: https://t.co/I6INVckndX https://t.co/vgRvI43x4U

His play created question marks, both for the remainder of this season and for his future with the team:

Ryan Clark @Realrclark25

The Steelers have to hope that 7 is healthy next year. This season gave them the opportunity to evaluate Mason Rudolph & he seems to be a capable back up. He is not a starter. At least not with these weapons.

Jason Lloyd @ByJasonLloyd

If Mason Rudolph is really the heir apparent to Roethlisberger, well, I like the Browns’ odds in this series long term. He’s awful.

Dan Schneier @DanSchneierNFL

Mason Rudolph has underwhelmed me throughout the entire season with his ball placement. This is in addition to other traits that are clearly lacking. I'm not sure what the ceiling is improvement wise. If I'm the #Steelers I'm in the market for a QB in 2020 if it comes to me.

Chris Simms @CSimmsQB

Put Hodges in. He is better than Rudolph. But Rudolph was drafted and teams can’t admit they’re wrong #PITvsCLE #SteelersNation #steelers

Sean Weatherspoon @SeanWSpoon56

Pittsburgh should’ve added a veteran QB to go with Rudolph. Are they going to see Kaep?

Not only did he finish with a 36.3 quarterback rating, but he also failed to move the offense with the team finishing 2-of-11 on third downs and 0-of-3 on fourth downs.

The only positive drive for Pittsburgh came with the help of four Browns penalties worth 58 yards, leading to a touchdown.

Though the defense has made big plays over the past month, Rudolph will have to do more going forward if the Steelers are going to contend for a playoff spot.


What's Next?

The Steelers will stay in the division for a Week 12 road matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Browns will host the Miami Dolphins next Sunday as they try to work their way back toward .500.


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