In consecutive weeks, the Browns beat division rivals, defeating the Steelers 13-10 at Cleveland Browns Stadium. The Browns are now 7-3 on the season and in second place in the division behind the Ravens, who have played one more game than them.
"It was a great team win," HC Kevin Stefanski said. "To come away with that one was pretty special. Special for the week we've had. I thought the guys stuck together. They fought for each other. It wasn't pretty, doesn't have to be. But it was physical, which we knew it would be. And then to come out of here with a W in front of our fans who are outstanding for 60 minutes, it was a really positive one for us."
As a result, it's time to recognize three players who contributed with clutch performances.
K Dustin Hopkins
Game-winning kicks are starting to become contagious for K Dustin Hopkins. In consecutive weeks, the 14-year veteran made a late-game field goal to seal the game for the Browns.
The Browns won their previous game against the Ravens with a 40-yard game-winning field goal by Hopkins as time expired. This week, Hopkins clinched the game with a 34-yard field goal down the middle.
Thompson-Robinson started the drive on their own 35-yard line with 1:18 left in the game. He completed passes to WR Elijah Moore and TE David Njoku for gains of 15 and 11 yards respectively, moving the ball to the Pittsburgh 26-yard line. With the Browns already in field-goal range, they simply ran out the clock, allowing Hopkins to kick the winning 34-yard field goal.
"I knew Dustin was going to make the kick," DT Dalvin Tomlinson said. "I saw him make big field goals for us on the season in the fourth quarter. I wasn't worried at all when he went to kick it."
DE Myles Garrett
DE Myles Garrett had another multi-sack game Sunday as he continues to show why he is the best defensive player in the league. He recorded two sacks, two tackles for loss and three quarterback hurries in Sunday's matchup.
Garrett, who has been with the Browns through some losing seasons, is now playing with the best defense he has had in his NFL career. The Browns lead the league in first downs allowed this season with 123. Garrett now has 13 sacks this season. He is on pace to break his personal best of sacks in a season, which is 16.
Garrett's first sack was monstrous as he set the tone for the game. On the Steelers first offensive snap, Garrett tackled QB Kenny Pickett who appeared to be in the endzone. The referees gave Pickett forward progress and put the Steelers down at the one-yard line. Two plays later, the Steelers were forced to punt the ball.
However, that sack foreshadowed the rest of the day for the Steelers offense, who punted nine times in Sunday's game. Then, in the fourth quarter, Garrett sacked Pickett once again for a loss of 10 yards on the play.
Garrett is the leader on the defense, and he knows his teammates will follow when his play is at a high level. He appreciates how the defense has responded all season to adversity and how locked in they have been since training camp.
"Nobody's taking the easy way out, whether that's in the facility at practice, everybody's in there to win it and we know what we have in the building," Garrett said. "It felt like before not everyone was going all in, and everyone is really invested in being a winner this year."
Check out photos of the Browns against the Steelers in Week 11
QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson
During the game, QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson demonstrated his rookie status. He had two drives in the second half that resulted in negative yardage for the Browns, and there were five drives where the Browns only ran three plays before punting. Additionally, he threw an interception while the Browns were in field goal range.
However, Thompson-Robinson was clutch when his team needed him the most. Thompson-Robinson's best drives came at the end of both halves. With 5:39 left in the first half he controlled the game's pace.
The Browns went 17 plays for 77 net yards, resulting in a field goal with only five seconds left in the half. During the drive, Thompson-Robinson completed 6 out of 9 passes for a total of 45 yards. That drive pushed the Browns lead to 10-0.
Then, with 1:18 left in the game, Thompson-Robinson had his best drive of the season. Thompson-Robinson completed several passes to gain significant yardage, connecting with Moore for 15 yards, RB Kareem Hunt for five yards, WR Amari Cooper for eight yards and Njoku for 11 yards on each completion. During the drive, Thompson-Robinson completed all four of his passes for a total of 39 yards.
"You know, they believed in me, they trusted me, I trusted my teammates," Thompson-Robinson said. "The biggest thing I was telling myself the whole game is just stay disciplined, take it one play at a time. There's times in that game where if it was week four, I would have forced it and we had a tip pick, another tip pick or whatever it was. Like I said, it's going to be night and day when I get out there. I've been working my tail off and I'm just glad my teammates were there with me."