Watch: JuJu Smith-Schuster makes clutch TD catch on fourth down
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While the end result of the Wild Card weekend game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns wasn’t what Steelers Nation was hoping for, there were a few bright moments in the second half. Down 16-35 in the fourth quarter, looking for a comeback, Ben Roethlisberger orchestrated a 12-play drive that culminated when embattled receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster – harangued by media and fans for his TikTok and personal ways to reach fans and have fun – caught a touchdown pass that put the Steelers within twelve points of their AFC North and playoff rivals.
Starting at their own 32-yard line, Roethlisberger opened the series with three quick passes before handing the ball off to James Conner for a five-yard run. Smith-Schuster then moved the chains when two passing attempts to Chase Claypool were incomplete.
At the Cleveland five-yard line, it looked like the Steelers might not find a way into the end zone. Tight end Vance McDonald missed a short pass in the center of the end zone, the ball hitting his hands and falling to the turf, before two passes – one to Diontae Johnson and another to Eric Ebron – fell incomplete.
On fourth-and-goal, however, Roethlisberger hooked up with Smith-Schuster in one of the best drives between the duo for a five-yard touchdown.
With just 12 points between the two teams, Steelers fans waited on bated breath to see if ‘Big Ben’ could once again pull a rabbit out of the hat for a magical ending. Unfortunately, after the Browns grabbed another interception that put Cleveland ahead, 48-29, a 33-yard pass to Smith-Schuster, a seven-yard touchdown catch by Claypool, and a successful two-point conversion just were not enough to compensate for early mistakes and miscues that Cleveland took advantage of.
Roethlisberger would finish the game with 501 passing yards on 47-of-68 completions and no sacks while Smith-Schuster logged 13 catches on 19 targets for 157 yards (12.1 yards-per-catch average), a touchdown, and the longest pass play in the game for Pittsburgh.