The Steelers’ first-round pick of rookie quarterback Josh Dobbs is a big-time player.
But Dobbs, who is still recovering from a torn ACL suffered in the second game of the season, also is an undersized athlete.
The Steelers have a chance to make their first playoff appearance since 2005 with a win over the Browns on Thursday night.
The Browns have won nine straight regular-season games against the Steelers.
Pittsburgh (10-3) will have a big day against a Browns team that’s been losing games, but Dobbs was not able to take advantage of a good matchup with Cleveland’s top quarterback in Tyrod Taylor.
“I think I’ve been getting better every game and the first two weeks, I thought we were a little bit out of it,” Dobbs said.
“A lot of guys are going to be nervous, but that’s the way it is. “
It’s the NFL, you’ve got to stay focused and play your best.” “
A lot of guys are going to be nervous, but that’s the way it is.
It’s the NFL, you’ve got to stay focused and play your best.”
Dobbs has thrown for 4,093 yards and 28 touchdowns and has the second-highest passer rating in the league (104.2) after throwing for 2,849 yards and 30 scores in 2016.
Taylor threw for 464 yards and two touchdowns and was sacked four times.
Browns defensive tackle Jabaal Sheard and safety Tashaun Gipson each had interceptions.
“You don’t get to see the entire field,” Taylor said.
The defense was just solid.
The safeties did a great job.
We knew they were a good football team.”
DobBS’ touchdown was the first of his career, and the Browns’ defense, which has allowed seven touchdown passes in its past four games, was able to stop him.
Dobbs had been sacked four other times during the first half.
“It’s a huge thing for him, that’s just the way he’s played,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said.
“(He’s) been able to get that one down.
I think he’s been working on it.
It didn’t come together.”
The Browns were without their top two receivers, Josh Gordon and Josh McCown, for the third straight game with their respective knee injuries.
Gordon (knee) was listed as questionable, but he did not practice.
McCown (shoulder) did not play and is expected to be available for the Steelers game.
Tyrod has completed 59.3 percent of his passes for 538 yards and eight touchdowns.
Cleveland is averaging just 6.5 points per game in its last eight games.
“Our defense has been fantastic,” Browns coach Mike Pettine said.
The win is the first for the Browns since the Steelers were 0-2 after winning the AFC North for the first time in seven seasons.
The previous win was on Oct. 26, 2018.
The Bengals (8-5) were without starting quarterback Andy Dalton (foot) and starting linebacker Vontaze Burfict (toe).
The Bengals have been outscored by 15 points in their past two games.
Cincinnati was without starting linebacker Brian Orakpo (foot), safety Ryan Clark (back) and cornerback Marquis Flowers (knees).