Deshaun Who? Cleveland Browns Defeat Pittsburgh Steelers, Lead AFC North

AP Photo/Ron Schwane

The Cleveland Browns defeated their divisional rival Pittsburgh Steelers to kick off Week 3, and the Browns lead the pack in the AFC North for now. The Browns have two wins and one loss. Steelers have one win and two losses. It’s very early into the season; however, what the Browns have done is impressive without quarterback Deshaun Watson.

As I previously reported, Watson is serving an 11-game suspension, and he doesn’t seem to have learned anything from his suspension; however, the Browns don’t seem to miss him, as quarterback Jacoby Brissett performed at a high level in prime time on Thursday Night Football.

The Steelers led at halftime 14-13, as the Browns were outplayed in the second quarter. The Browns led 16-14 after the third quarter, and they turned up the jets in the fourth quarter, defeating the Steelers 29-17.

This catch by Steelers rookie wide receiver George Pickens could go down as the catch of the year.

Stat Leaders:

Browns quarterback Jacoby Brissett – 21 completions on 31 pass attempts, 220 yards thrown, two touchdowns, zero interceptions

Steelers quarterback Mitchell Trubisky – 20 completions on 32 pass attempts, 207 yards thrown, zero touchdowns, zero interceptions

Browns running back Nick Chubb – 23 carries, 113 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown

Steelers running back Najee Harris – 15 carries, 56 rushing yards, one touchdown

Browns wide receiver Amari Cooper – Seven receptions, 101 receiving yards, one touchdown

Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson – Eight receptions, 84 receiving yards

Browns tight end David Njoku – Nine receptions, 89 receiving yards, one touchdown

Earlier this week, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin indicated that he was not going to make a change at starting quarterback. Trubisky will continue to start, rookie Kenny Pickett will serve in a backup role.

“I’m not even in the neighborhood of having discussions like that, man. I’m more concerned about our collective growth and development and what we’re putting together in terms of what we desire to do to engineer victory. [Trubisky is] just a component of it.”

The Steelers will host the New York Jets in Week 4, as quarterback Zach Wilson (bone bruise, meniscus tear) could return from injury against Pittsburgh; however, it might be beneficial for the Jets if Flacco continues to start until his production slows down. Currently, Flacco is third in passing yards with 616 yards thrown.

The Browns will travel to Atlanta to face off against the Falcons in Week 4. The Falcons are 0-2 heading into Week 3, but both of their losses were one-possession games, so it will be a hard-fought battle.