September 9, 2018 / 9:39 PM / 2 months ago

Steelers, Browns fit to be tied

EditorsNote: Corrects Roethlieberger’s interception total in graf 6 — 3, not 4 ... Fixes Taylor’s passing/rushing stats (graf 7)

The Cleveland Browns erased a two-touchdown deficit Sunday and neither they nor the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers scored in overtime, leaving the bitter rivals in a 21-21 tie in a soggy season opener.

Chris Boswell missed a 42-yard field goal attempt with 1:44 left in overtime for Pittsburgh, the defending AFC North champion, and the Browns’ Zane Gonzalez missed a 43-yard attempt with nine seconds left.

The Browns, 0-16 last season, have not won since Dec. 24, 2016 against the then-San Diego Chargers.

Josh Gordon’s 17-yard touchdown catch from Cleveland’s Tyrod Taylor with 1:58 left in regulation created the 21-21 tie after Pittsburgh had built a 21-7 lead.

James Conner rushed for 135 yards and his first two career touchdowns for the Steelers. Conner, a second-year running back, filled in for Le’Veon Bell, the disgruntled veteran who has neither reported nor signed the Steelers’ franchise tag tender.

Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger passed for 335 yards and a touchdown, with three interceptions.

Taylor threw for 197 yards and one touchdown pass while also rushing for 77 yards and a score. Running back Carlos Hyde rushed for 62 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries.

The Steelers took a 7-0 lead at 11:16 of the second quarter when Conner glided into the end zone 4 yards untouched over right tackle for his first career touchdown, and the only score of the first half.

Taylor and the Cleveland running game produced an 86-yard drive that ended with Taylor moving to his left and running 20 yards for a tying touchdown, flipping over cornerback Artie Burns at the pylon at 10:05 of the third.

The Steelers responded as Roethlisberger and Juju Smith-Schuster hooked up for a 67-yard pass to open the next possession. After two penalties backed them up to second-and-goal from the 22, Roethlisberger threw into double coverage at the right side of the goal line but found Antonio Brown for a touchdown and a 14-7 lead at 8:24 of the third.

Pittsburgh took a 21-7 lead when Conner moved left, cut back and broke through for a 22-yard scoring run while 5:23 left in the third.

Hyde leaned in from 1 yard to make it 21-14 with 7:32 remaining in the fourth after a Steelers fumble.

—Field Level Media

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