CLEVELAND (AP) — Dustin Hopkins kicked a 34-yard field goal with 2 seconds left after Cleveland rookie quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson completed four straight clutch passes, giving the Browns a 13-10 win Sunday over the rival Pittsburgh Steelers.
Making just his second NFL start, Thompson-Robinson rallied the Browns (7-3) just days after Deshaun Watson was lost for the season with a shoulder injury.
With the crowd chanting “D-T-R!” and Watson watching from Cleveland’s sideline in sweats, Thompson-Robinson, a fifth-round pick from UCLA, calmly completed his four passes for 29 yards to set up Hopkins.
Last week, Hopkins kicked a 40-yard field goal as timed expired to beat Baltimore 33-31.
The Browns have now beaten the Ravens and Steelers (6-4) in consecutive weeks for the first time in 15 tries. And Thompson-Robinson’s performance, though at times raggedy, has given Cleveland hope this season can still be special without Watson.
The Steelers were outgained for the 10th straight week and couldn’t do much going against Cleveland’s top-ranked defense.
Steelers running back Jaylen Warren had a 74-yard TD run and finished with a career-high 129 yards.
Pittsburgh turned to its always reliable defense in the second half and did a nice job shutting down Thompson-Robinson until the final moments.
Cleveland took over at its own 35 with 1:18 left and the rookie QB completed passes of 15, 5, 8 and 11 yards to move the Browns to Pittsburgh’s 34. The Steelers were called for a neutral zone infraction, moving the ball closer for Hopkins’ winner.
This was a rare loss in a close game for the Steelers, who had each of their past nine games decided by eight points or fewer, including six this season.
The second half turned into a battle of the defenses and field possession.
The Steelers inexplicably took Warren off the field for one series before he had two nice runs to set up Chris Boswell’s 28-yard field goal that tied it at 1 with 7:40 left.
After gaining just 64 yards in the first half, the Steelers picked up 74 on their second snap of the third quarter.
Warren took a quick pitch, made a cut on the right side, stepped through cornerback Greg Newsome II’s tackle attempt and outran all of Cleveland’s defenders for Pittsburgh’s longest play this season.
It was also the Steelers’ longest run since 2014.
Myles Garrett set the tone for Cleveland’s defense, sacking Kenny Pickett on Pittsburgh’s first play and dropping him in the end zone for an apparent safety. However, the officials ruled the Steelers QB’s forward progress was at the 1, and Browns coach Kevin Stefanski was too late in challenging the call.
Stefanski was quicker with his flag a few minutes later, getting Jerome Ford’s short run from the 1 changed from a goal-line stop to a touchdown.
Steelers: Pittsburgh’s safety situation got more precarious after Elijah Riley (ankle) went out in the third quarter. The Steelers were already without safeties Minkah Fitzpatrick (hamstring) and Keanu Neal (rib).
Browns: LB Anthony Walker Jr. (hamstring) left early in the second quarter after getting hurt in punt coverage. Walker threw his helmet in frustration before walking to the locker room. … S Rodney McLeod (biceps) got hurt in the second half and didn’t return.
Steelers: At Cincinnati on Nov. 26.
Browns: At Denver on Nov. 26 in the first of two straight road games.