Browns' Jarvis Landry haunted by Halloween letdowns vs. Steelers: 'It sucks that I didn’t make those plays'
CLEVELAND — Jarvis Landry should have caught two passes on the Browns' final possession, and he shouldn't have fumbled away their penultimate drive.
Five-time Pro Bowl wide receivers like Landry are supposed to catch the ball and hang onto it.
Landry is among the players the Browns trust most to come through for them in crunch time, but it didn't happen in Sunday's 15-10 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers at FirstEnergy Stadium.
Landry will be haunted by his Halloween gaffes.
“I really just go back to two or three plays in this game where [I had] an opportunity to make plays and just didn’t,” Landry said in his postgame news conference. “So I owe it to my teammates, to all the guys that fought to get back [from injuries] to play — [quarterback] Baker [Mayfield], [wide receiver] Odell [Beckham Jr.], [right tackle] Jack [Conklin] — that’s part of it. That's part of holding up my end of the bargain and making those plays to make sure that we can win this game.”
With the Browns (4-4) driving, Landry caught a pass from Mayfield for an 11-yard gain on second-and-8 from the Pittsburgh 32-yard line. However, linebacker Joe Schobert forced Landry to fumble, and edge rusher T.J. Watt recovered at the Pittsburgh 20 with 6:04 left in the fourth quarter.
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The Browns know Schobert well. He played for them from 2016-19 before General Manager Andrew Berry let him walk in free agency. In August, the Steelers (4-3) acquired Schobert in a trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
“It’s something that he’s known for doing,” Landry said of Schobert forcing the fumble. “I wasn’t really trying to fight for extra yards. I was really trying to get down, and he made a great play.”
Landry's lost fumble was the only turnover in the game.
“Nine times out of 10, he's going to make that catch, he's going to complete the catch, get down and we're going to keep on driving the field,” All-Pro defensive end Myles Garrett said. “This time, it was a good play on the ball, and they got the ball away from him. That was the name of the game. It was takeaways, and they got one more than us.”
Still, the Browns got the ball back at their 39 with 4:22 left to play after their defense registered a three-and-out.
A play after Landry caught a pass for a 9-yard gain, he dropped a would-be 13-yard completion on first-and-10 from the Pittsburgh 39. Then on fourth-and-12 from the Pittsburgh 26, Landry jumped for a pass Mayfield threw a bit high and failed to secure the ball. The pass fell incomplete with 1:53 remaining, and the Browns never had possession again.
Landry said he should have caught both passes.
“It sucks that I didn’t make those plays when we needed them because [Mayfield's] effort was definitely one that should be commended for sure,” Landry said.
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Playing through an injured left, non-throwing shoulder, Mayfield went 20-of-31 passing (64.5%) for 22 yards without a touchdown or an interception for a rating of 86.1.
But Mayfield's targets dropped about six of his passes.
The Browns were outgained 370 yards to 306. They converted just 3-of-10 third downs and went 0-for-2 on fourth down.
They just looked out of sync.
“I couldn’t say that, but I think we had opportunities to make plays and extend drives and myself included being part of two times, two reasons, why we didn’t,” Landry said.
In Landry's second game back from a torn medial collateral ligament, which cost him four games, he caught five passes on 10 targets for 65 yards. He led the Browns in receptions and receiving yards.
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Mayfield said Landry blaming himself for the offense's late letdowns shows his character.
“That's the type of guy he is,” Mayfield said. “It's on all of us. Everybody's going to point fingers at a few plays, but the fact is we just didn't get into a rhythm today. We stubbed our toe a few times — penalties and just didn't make the plays we needed to to win. It's pretty simple.
“Obviously, Jarvis is a veteran guy. He's one of our best leaders. It's unfortunate that it happened, but he's going to take ownership, he's going to get it corrected and we know how he's going to handle it. We all have to take ownership. This doesn't just fall on him at all by any means. There were a lot of throws that could have been made today, and there were plays we should have had. Plain and simple.”
Nate Ulrich can be reached email@example.com.