Browns defeat Steelers with game-winning field goal
By Jake Trotter
Nov 19, 2023, 05:49 PM ET
CLEVELAND — Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson vowed his second career start would be a significant improvement from his first one.
On Sunday, Thompson-Robinson delivered on his promise. He completed all four passes on the final drive, setting up the Browns’ game-winning field goal from 34 yards out with 2 seconds remaining. This clutch play lifted the Browns to a thrilling 13-10 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“Those are the moments where you’re looking for your guy to come through. He came through,” praised Browns coach Kevin Stefanski. “He came through when it mattered the most.”
Thompson-Robinson was given the start against the Steelers after Deshaun Watson suffered a season-ending fracture to his throwing shoulder.
In his first start for Watson in Week 4, Thompson-Robinson struggled, throwing three interceptions as the Baltimore Ravens dominated with a 28-3 win. The following week, PJ Walker replaced him as the backup quarterback to Watson.
However, after Watson’s injury, Stefanski decided to give Thompson-Robinson another opportunity.
“They believed in me,” said Thompson-Robinson, a fifth-round pick out of UCLA. “They trusted me.”
Thompson-Robinson had a strong start on Sunday, completing 13 of his first 16 passes as the Browns took a commanding 10-0 lead at halftime. However, in the second half, the Steelers’ defense tightened up, limiting Thompson-Robinson and the Browns’ passing attack. Until the final drive, the Browns only managed 28 passing yards in the second half, allowing the Steelers to rally and tie the game. Thompson-Robinson also threw an interception in the third quarter, squandering a potential scoring opportunity for the Browns.
“I was hurting. I was frustrated,” Thompson-Robinson admitted, reflecting on his only turnover. “I didn’t know how the game was going to end.”
Fortunately, Cleveland’s defense continued to provide opportunities for their offense. With 1:18 left on the clock, Thompson-Robinson got the ball one final time.
“I was just taking it one play at a time,” he explained. “Following my keys, following my rules. If the play wasn’t there, I took the checkdown and avoided making any play worse than it was.”
Thompson-Robinson executed flawlessly.
Amidst the chants of “D-T-R, D-T-R” from the Browns crowd, he connected on a 15-yard strike to Elijah Moore. Following completions to Kareem Hunt and Amari Cooper, he propelled the Browns deep into field goal range with an 11-yard first-down pass to tight end David Njoku.
That set the stage for Dustin Hopkins’ winning kick.
This victory marked Cleveland’s fourth win this season with a game-winning score in the final 2 minutes of regulation. According to ESPN Stats & Information research, this is the most such wins in a single season in franchise history.
“I’ve been working tirelessly,” Thompson-Robinson shared, reflecting on the time between his two starts. “I believe that whole drive just demonstrates the closeness of this team and how much they believe in me.”