Plays of the Year: JuJu Smith-Schuster makes clutch TD catch on fourth down
Steel City Underground presents “Plays of the Year” featuring the top runs, catches, hits and everything else in-between from the Pittsburgh Steelers 2020 season.
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 of the game.
Down 16-35 in the fourth quarter and seeking a comeback bid, 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 were not enough to compensate for early mistakes and miscues that Cleveland took advantage of when jumping out to an early first quarter lead.
Roethlisberger would finish the game 47-of-68 passing with 501 passing yards, and having not been sacked by Cleveland.
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.