Amari Cooper had seven receptions for 101 yards and one touchdown as the Cleveland Browns defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 29-17 in an AFC North game on Thursday night.
The 27th 100-yard game of the former Alabama All-American’s NFL career included his 48th TD catch – an 11-yarder that opened the scoring with 2:54 left in the first quarter.
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After a field goal on the previous possession had given Cleveland a 16-14 lead, Cooper caught a 32-yard pass from quarterback Jacoby Brissett on third-and-1 on the first play of the fourth quarter. The big gainer put the Browns on the Pittsburgh 39-yard line, and Cleveland ran eight times in a row to reach the end zone from there.
Nick Chubb scored from 1 yard out on a fourth-down snap as the Browns took a 23-14 lead with 9:29 to play. Chubb gained 113 yards on 23 carries as Cleveland piled up 171 rushing yards in the game.
The Browns recovered an onside kick with 1:48 to play, but they couldn’t quite run out the clock. Pittsburgh got the football on its 4-yard line with nine seconds to play, and the Browns set the final score by recovering a fumble in the end zone on the last play.
On Sunday in the Browns’ 31-30 loss to the New York Jets, Cooper had 101 yards and one touchdown on nine receptions. Thursday night’s output made Cooper the fifth player in Cleveland history with at least 100 receiving yards and one TD reception in consecutive games.
Before Cooper, the most recent had been Josh Gordon, who did it in four consecutive games in 2013. The other streaks were confined to two games by Dub Jones in 1950/1951, Webster Slaughter in 1987 and again in 1989 and Antonio Bryant in 2004 .
In addition to Cooper, 13 players from Alabama high schools and colleges got on the field during the Pittsburgh-Cleveland game on Thursday night:
· Steelers defensive tackle Montravius Adams (Auburn) broke up a pass.
· Steelers outside linebacker Ryan Anderson (Daphne, Alabama) is on the practice squad and not eligible to play.
· Browns running back Jerome Ford (Alabama) returned a kickoff 15 yards.
· Minkah Fitzpatrick (Alabama) started at free safety for the Steelers. Fitzpatrick made four tackles.
· Browns tight end Miller Forristall (Alabama) was targeted once but did not have a reception. Forristall was elevated from the practice squad for the game and made his 2022 debut on Thursday night.
· Najee Harris (Alabama) started at running back for the Steelers. Harris ran for 56 yards and one touchdown on 15 carries and caught three passes for 5 yards. Harris scored his first rushing touchdown of the 2022 season on a 5-yard run on the first snap of the second quarter as Pittsburgh knotted the score at 7-7.
· Browns safety Ronnie Harrison (Alabama) did not play. He sustained a hamstring injury during pregame warmups.
· Steelers center JC Hassenauer (Alabama) played but did not record any stats.
· Browns offensive lineman Chris Hubbard (UAB) was designated as a game-day inactive.
· Steelers wide receiver George Pickens (Hoover) caught three passes for 39 yards. The rookie made a circus catch on his second reception for a 36-yard gain.
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· Malik Reed (Dothan) started at left outside linebacker for the Steelers. Reed made two tackles.
· Browns wide receiver Chester Rogers (Lee-Huntsville) returned two punts for 11 yards. Rogers was elevated from the practice squad for the game and made his 2022 debut on Thursday night.
· Browns wide receiver Anthony Schwartz (Auburn) played but did not record any stats.
· Steelers offensive tackle Trent Scott (Lee-Huntsville) dressed for the game but did not play.
· Steelers cornerback Levi Wallace (Alabama) made three tackles and broke up a pass.
· Jedrick Wills Jr. (Alabama) started at left offensive tackle for the Browns. Wills left the game briefly because of an injury.
· Alex Wright (Elba, UAB) started at defensive end for the Browns. In his first NFL start, Wright made two tackles.
Cleveland takes its 2-1 record to Atlanta to play the Falcons on Oct. 2. Off back-to-back losses, Pittsburgh will host the New York Jets on Oct. 2
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Mark Inabinet is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter at @AMarkG1.