Plays of the Year: Watt scoops & scores, sets Steelers sack record vs Browns

Steel City Underground presents “Plays of the Year” featuring the top runs, catches, hits and everything else in-between from the Pittsburgh Steelers 2023 season.

If there was one consistent thing about the Pittsburgh Steelers in the opening two weeks of the 2023 NFL regular season, it was the outstanding play of veteran outside linebacker T.J. Watt.

Against the Cleveland Browns in Week 2, Watt was once again a force of nature and, with the aid of teammate Alex Highsmith, able to score the game-winning touchdown after he’d already set the new Steelers franchise career sack record.

With 1:03 left in the first half, on 3rd-and-7 at the Steelers’ 30, Deshaun Watson took the snap from the shotgun position only to have Watt snare him for a loss of seven yards, making Watt the new sack king in Pittsburgh.

While Watt’s new record was exciting, what really got Steelers fans on their feet happened in the final quarter of the game.

Pittsburgh was down 19-22 when Cleveland lined up offensively with 9:01 left in the game. From his own 6-yard line, Watson handed the ball off and watched Cole Holcomb and Highsmith drop Jerome Ford for a three-yard loss. Watson then threw an incomplete pass. The Steelers defense didn’t prevent a long pass that gave the Browns a new set of downs and home fans were not pleased as they could be heard audibly trying to encourage the Pittsburgh defense.

On 2nd & 9 from the Cleveland 20, Watson took the snap but was met by a determined Highsmith, who came around the edge to wrap his arms around Watson from behind. The football was stripped loose and Watt was able to scoop it and rumble into the end zone for the score.

The touchdown ended up being the last points either team scored in the game. Steelers Nation went crazy as Pittsburgh gutted it out, despite the game being a physical, injury-filled battle, to hand their AFC North rivals a loss, 26-22.

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