Backup leads Steel­ers to win

Hodges, Pittsburgh pre­vail in tame re­match to fight night

Baltimore Sun - - NFL - By Will Graves

PITTSBURGH – No fight­ing. No hel­met swing­ing. Barely any trash talk­ing. Just foot­ball.

And one very loud state­ment from the banged-up Pittsburgh Steel­ers writ­ten not on a T-shirt but all over the Heinz Field turf: The faces may change when Cleve­land vis­its Pittsburgh. The re­sult does not.

Un­drafted rookie free agent Devlin “Duck” Hodges threw for 212 yards with a touch­down and an in­ter­cep­tion, fel­low rookie

Benny Snell ran for 63 yards and a score and the largely anony­mous Steel­ers (7-5) surged past the Browns, 20-13, on Sun­day. The hosts ex­acted a mea­sure of re­venge for its ugly, brawl-marred de­feat in Cleve­land two weeks ago by keep­ing the Browns (5-7) win­less in Pittsburgh for 16 years and count­ing.

“It’s been a weird year,” Steel­ers guard David DeCas­tro said.

Yet the Steel­ers re­main in the mid­dle of the play­off chase af­ter ral­ly­ing from 10 points down thanks in large part to Hodges, a cham­pion duck caller in his down time now 2-0 as starter. Bumped to the top of the depth chart last week in place of strug­gling Ma­son Ru­dolph, Hodges com­pleted 14 of 21 passes and hardly played like a guy cut at the end of train­ing camp.

“I’ve al­ways be­lieved in my­self,” Hodges said. “I know I have peo­ple in my cor­ner who be­lieved in me. Even the guys on the team, when I was let go, I had a bunch of them text me and say,H`ey, this isn’t over for you.“’

It might be for the Browns (5-7), who saw their three-game win­ning streak come to a crash­ing halt. They were out­played over the fi­nal three quar­ters by a Steel­ers team rid­dled with in­jury and in­ex­pe­ri­ence at the of­fen­sive skill po­si­tions. Cleve­land likely now needs to win out and get some help to reach the play­offs.

“No one is com­ing to save us,” Cleve­land de­fen­sive tackle Shel­don Richard­son said. “It’s too late in the season for that. We’re all we got.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.