Week 2 of the 2023 NFL season comes to a close Monday with two highly anticipated games.
First, the New Orleans Saints spoiled Bryce Young’s home debut with the Carolina Panthers in an NFC South dust-up.
Then, two AFC North foes met when the Pittsburgh Steelers bested the Cleveland Browns. T.J. Watt set the Steelers’ franchise record for sacks, while punching in the game-winning TD in the fourth quarter.
Here are the top moments!
Pittsburgh Steelers 26, Cleveland Browns 22
First play theatrics
Pittsburgh’s defense made a huge statement on its first play of the night, snatching a pick six and taking it 30 yards to the end zone.
Cleveland’s Grant Delpit retaliated with an interception of his own early in the first quarter, giving his squad adequate field position with the takeaway.
Let’s play a game: Count the fumbles. Both squads had butterfingers galore as they tried to get a handle on the pigskin during this wild play. But Cleveland finally ended up with possession near Pittsburgh’s 30-yard line.
Drivin’ with Ford
Jerome Ford helped Cleveland capitalize on the turnover, as it took a 10-7 lead on a short three-yard reception in the flat.
Chubb carted off
Cleveland’s Nick Chubb was carted off the field after suffering a gruesome injury to his knee.
Pickett. Pickens. 71-yard house call. How bout those Ps, Pittsburgh fans?
Best in black and yellow
Just another day at the office for T.J. Watt. The dominant sack merchant set the Steelers’ all-time record for sacks with 81.5 at the close of the second quarter.
Ford was revving his motor into the second half, and he took off 69 yards down the field for a mammoth run to help set up Cleveland’s go-ahead TD.
The Steelers’ D has been hitting hard all night, and this one in particular jarred the ball loose in plus territory, giving Pittburgh a chance to seize the lead.
Pittsburgh’s offense couldn’t put points on the board after the turnover, so its defense took matters into its own hands. On Cleveland’s next possession, Alex Highsmith got to the quarterback to force a fumble, which T.J. Watt scooped up and took into the end zone.
In the genes!
Joey Porter Jr. made papa proud with a game-saving stop on fourth-and-10. Porter and his defensive teammates were the catalysts for the Steelers, forcing four turnovers en route to a statement victory at home.
New Orleans Saints 20, Carolina Panthers 17
Welcome to Carolina!
The Carolina faithful welcomed its No. 1 overall draft pick, quarterback Bryce Young, into Bank of America Stadium with a thunderous roar ahead of kickoff.
The Saints had a would-be interception late in the first quarter, but Panthers receiver Adam Thielen pulled off a marvelous save by reaching back to thwart the grab.
Can’t guard Mike!
That looks like pre-injury Michael Thomas. The former All-Pro receiver raised up for a massive catch in the second to put the Saints in field goal position, and take a 6-3 lead.
Saints fans are very familiar with Mr. Vonn Bell, and he reminded them who he was with this pick near the end of the second quarter.
The Saints earned themselves the ball back courtesy of this frantic fumble recovery. Despite regaining possession just before the half, Carolina’s defense held strong, and prevented New Orleans from extending its league.
Yes he did
Did Chris Olave just do that? The second-year man from Ohio State mustered this improbable catch to set up the Saints’ first TD of the night, courtesy of a short run up the gut.
Juked out of his shoes
Young pulled out a clever deke move to fool a Saints defender en route to another FG for Carolina. It brought the Panthers within four, 13-9.
TD for TJ
Welcome to the party, Tony Jones Jr. A 45-yard hookup from Derek Carr to Rashid Shaheed helped set up this insurance run for Jones Jr., which put N.O. up 20-9.
Young was unfazed by the deficit, taking his team 75 yards in under two minutes to bring it within three, but Carolina was unable to recover the onside kick attempt, and N.O. survived with a 20-17 win.
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