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.
Mayfield was at his best when he was mobile within the pocket to buy time against a tough pass rush:
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:
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:
His play created question marks, both for the remainder of this season and for his future with the team:
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.
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.
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.