Cleveland – There were smiles throughout the Browns’ locker room after their 29-17 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. None were larger than those worn by their attacking men.
If it weren’t for these airline workers, there might not have been a victory for Brown’s smile. This is because of the way the offensive line was simply able to impose its will on the Steelers, especially as the game got deeper.
It’s amazing,” said Jedrick Wells, Jr. “Especially at the end of a game like that, you have to force your will and finish the game on the first touchdown or something. It’s amazing, it’s fun.”
No motive better summed up the way the Browns’ transfers could simply rely on a Pittsburgh defense than one that ended with Nick Chubb’s 1-yard run with 9:29 left to give them a 23-17 lead. Driving started at Cleveland 20 with 1:04 left in the third quarter.
By the time Chubb jumped and made his way into the end zone, Brown had held the ball for more than five and a half minutes and 11 games. Of those 11 plays, 10 were underway, scoring 48 from 80 yards.
Cameron Heyward said: “We lost the damn game. I don’t know what’s more frustrating than that. They ran the ball, we kicked our ass. Easy like that.”
Chubb captured 26 of those four-cart yards on his way to 113 yards, 23 nights. Kareem Hunt got 16 in five gigs, and finished with 47 yards in 12 gigs.
The other six yards? That came on huge quarterback guard Jacobi Brissett in the third and one that gave the Browns a first and a Pittsburgh 8 goal.
“It’s all you want,” said All-Pro left guard Joel Bittonio. “That’s what we want to be as a team. Sometimes it just doesn’t work out. But when we start the game, I think that’s just our platform, we start playing from that, and we can do big games. I think the last two games were kind of slow, but After that just keep moving forward and keep relying on the players and I hope you get some break. I think that tires them out, and gives our defense a chance to rest. I think it’s a recipe for success for us.”
Which is exactly what was always supposed to come in season. Combining two of the league’s best players, when in good health, one of the best offensive lines and results are what’s been seen from the Cleveland attack during all three games.
Brown finished with 171 yards in 38 carry-overs as a team against the Steelers, averaging 4.5 yards per carry. They are now 3 for 3 in games where they have rushed for at least 171 yards, having earned 184 yards against the Carolinas in Week 1 and 217 last Sunday against the Jets.
Jack Conklin said, “That’s what we strive for in every game, and we break the teams with the runs. We’re going to keep hitting and pounding. Those 3 and 4 yards at the end of the game will turn into big runs later. We believed in ourselves and we made it happen.”
Conklin may be one of the last pieces in the puzzle. The two-time All-Pro has been training with the team since the beginning of August, but has been suspended from any game activity through Thursday night.
While James Hudson III did a great job filling in the first two weeks of the season, Conklin’s return cements the streak even more. Combined with goalkeeper Wyatt Teller, he makes the right side of the offensive line as good as in the NFL.
Meanwhile, Wills — who left for a few plays in the third quarter with a knee injury, but returned on cheb’s relegation run — and Betonio played the better part of two years together and continued to grow. Ethan Bosic is the real newcomer to the group at the center, taking charge after Nick Harris was injured in the second play of season one.
That doesn’t even include Michael Dunn, who made a niche as a heavily used narrow end. Hjalte added Frodholdt to the group when he came on as an extra stopper as a linebacker on Chubb’s touchdown.
Hello, Jumbo Pack, Wells said. “Why don’t you know what I’m saying?”
There were questions earlier in the week whether that streak would be able to run fully together due to Conklin’s continued recovery and the biceps injury that kept Betonio out of training on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Brown announced that these two guys, along with defensive end Miles Jarrett, are expected to play.
The five navigators went out together on Thursday. And together, they left tread marks on the backs of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Coach Kevin Stefanski said: “This whole offensive line, really starts up front for us, so it’s the whole attack line. Joel in particular, we’re talking about these Thursday night games, so he can get to the game in the first place. I think it’s a big deal. A warrior. I don’t know how many starts in a row, but they are many. I thought he played physically. On the front side, these guys really played physically.”
Which is why Brown was really happy in the locker room after the match.
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