Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers Rout Browns; Baker Mayfield Benched in Loss

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistOctober 18, 2020

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) passes against the Cleveland Browns in the first half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

The Pittsburgh Steelers improved to 5-0 for the first time since 1978 after a 38-7 victory over the Cleveland Browns.

The Steelers defense thrived in Sunday's win, tallying four sacks against Baker Mayfield while scoring an early defensive touchdown. Ben Roethlisberger added one touchdown as he improved to 24-2-1 in his career against the Browns.

Pittsburgh built a 24-0 lead early and never relented as Mayfield was benched for the entire fourth quarter in the blowout.

It resulted in the Browns' 17th straight loss in Heinz Field dating back to 2003. Cleveland (4-2) was coming off four straight wins and its best start since 1994 but couldn't keep it going in Week 6.

Myles Garrett finished with one sack and four tackles in his first game against the Steelers since being suspended for his Week 11 brawl last season. 


Notable Performances

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Ben Roethlisberger, QB, PIT: 14-of-22, 162 passing yards, 1 TD

James Conner, RB, PIT: 20 carries, 101 rushing yards, 1 TD

Chase Claypool, WR, PIT: 4 catches, 74 receiving yards, 1 rushing TD

Baker Mayfield, QB, CLE: 10-of-18, 119 passing yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs

Kareem Hunt, RB, CLE: 13 carries, 40 rushing yards

Odell Beckham Jr., WR, CLE: 2 catches, 25 receiving yards


Steelers Offense Efficient in Blowout Win

While the defense was impressive throughout this matchup, the offense also more than did its job with a balanced attack to repeatedly get into the end zone.

Chase Claypool continued to make an impact in a variety of ways:

The rushing attack also produced, led by James Conner:

Conner has topped 100 rushing yards three times in the last four games.

Roethlisberger didn't have to do much but made the throws when he needed:

It became a relatively easy day for the Steelers offense as the squad secured its fifth straight win to begin the year.


Baker Mayfield, Browns Offense Shut Down by Pittsburgh

The Browns entered the day scoring at least 30 points in each of the last four games, but the Steelers represented much stiffer competition.

Pittsburgh got pressure throughout the game, finishing with four sacks and seven quarterback hits.

It led to some bad early mistakes from Baker Mayfield, including two interceptions.

Even when the Browns held on to the ball, they struggled to maintain drives while finishing 1-of-12 on third downs and 0-of-3 on fourth downs.

Mayfield, who entered the day questionable with a rib injury, was eventually benched for Case Keenum in the fourth quarter.

There were a few bright spots for the Cleveland offense, including a second-quarter touchdown pass to Rashard Higgins:

Austin Hooper also continues to see a bigger role in the offense after a quiet start to the season.

It still wasn't enough to help the Browns stay competitive in this one.


What's Next?

The Browns will have another divisional road game in Week 7 when they face the Cincinnati Bengals. The Steelers will take on the Tennessee Titans in a game that could have significant postseason implications in the AFC.