Pittsburgh Steelers, Chase Claypool improve to 5-0 in win over Cleveland Browns

Photo courtesy: Karl Roser/Pittsburgh Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers remained undefeated on Sunday, defeating the Cleveland Browns by a score of 38-7.

Pittsburgh reached an early 10-0 lead when Minkah Fitzpatrick intercepted Baker Mayfield for a pick-six. Mayfield fought through a rib injury to make the start but was pulled in the third quarter after taking a number of big hits from Pittsburgh’s front-seven.

The early deficit made it difficult for Cleveland to remain committed to the run game, which played right into Pittsburgh’s hands.

James Connor had his third 100-yard game of the season, rushing 20 times for 101 yards and one touchdown. Like many stars on the Steelers, he was rested for most of the fourth quarter due to the lopsided nature of the score.

Canadian Chase Claypool was productive again on Sunday, catching four passes for a team-leading 74 yards. He also scored a touchdown on a three-yard carry in the third quarter, tying Randy Moss, Calvin Ridley, Willie Gault, and Martavis Bryant for the most touchdowns scored by a rookie receiver through five games since 1970.



Moss finished his rookie season with 17 scores, all of which came through the air. Claypool now has six through five games — four receiving and two rushing.

The Abbotsford, B.C. native made the biggest play of the first half, catching a 36-yard pass along the left sideline to setup a Conner three-yard touchdown run.

Claypool also fell just one yard shy of scoring a second touchdown in the fourth quarter after he was forced out of bounds on a 23-yard reception.

CBS commentator Tony Romo spoke highly of Claypool throughout the game, suggesting the receiver “may be the steal of the (2020 NFL) draft.” There was also a graphic comparing the height, weight, and speed of Claypool (a.k.a. “Mapletron”) to future Hall of Fame receiver Calvin Johnson (a.k.a. “Megatron”).

Ben Roethlisberger finished the game 14-of-22 passing for 162 yards and one touchdown before giving way to backup Mason Rudolph.

The Steelers (5-0) will face their stiffest competition of the season next week when they visit the Tennessee Titans (4-0). This season marks just the second time that Pittsburgh has ever started a season 5-0.

John Hodge is a CFL insider and draft analyst who has been covering the league since 2014.