The Cleveland Browns are a run-first team and have one of the best at it with Nick Chubb. The Steelers had the luxury of facing the Browns sans Chubb in their first matchup in Week 6. He’s averaging 5.6 yards per attempt this season, the best of his three-year career. Take away the 47-yard touchdown, in which the Steelers had several missed tackles; Pittsburgh kept Chubbs relatively in check with 61 yards on the ground.
But after Sunday’s game, the Steelers have a new wrinkle to game plan for — quarterback Baker Mayfield escaping the pocket and taking off. In his previous four games versus Pittsburgh, Mayfield had a total of 4 rushes for 17 yards. This week, he had six rushes for 44 yards — three to his left and one right.
Mayfield, who had more yards on the ground than Kareem Hunt, had a big run for 28 yards in Steelers territory, ultimately setting them up for a score. And, of course, the critical third-down conversion with a minute left in the game. His three-yard run allowed the Browns to run the clock down for the win.
Baker on the move… Gain of 28! @Bakermayfield
— NFL (@NFL) January 3, 2021
“I thought we have to do a better job of containing [Baker] Mayfield,” said Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin in his weekly press conference. “He hurt us with his legs some. Not only the big run, like the big run in the latter part of the third quarter that produced a touchdown drive, but also conversion runs, third-down runs when he was scrambling around and converting. We know he is capable of that. So, our rush has to be better, not only in terms of applying pressure but containing him, minimizing that component of play.”