On a night when the Browns knocked out Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger for what looked to be the game, the Browns offense couldn’t do much right, falling to the Steelers 14-3 at Heinz Field.
Roethlsiberger was sacked on a play midway through the second quarter, but recovered enough to play the second half, hitting Antonio Brown on a 79-yard touchdown to put the dagger in the hearts of Browns fans to send Cleveland to 4-9.
The Steelers defense held the Browns to 304 yards, but some of that came late after the Steelers took an 11-point lead. The Steelers offense put up 416 yards on the Browns, a week after the Ravens and Ray Rice ran all over them.
Cleveland nearly scored on their opening drive, as they got to the half yard line, but an apparent TD by QB Colt McCoy was called back as his elbow was ruled down.
On 3rd and goal from the half yard line, Peyton Hillis was hit behind the line, and the Browns settled for a 20-yard field goal from Phil Dawson to take a 3-0 lead about six minutes into the game.
The Steelers came right back on their first drive, as they passed the way down the field, and Roethlsiberger hit Jerricho Cotchery for an 11-yard TD just three and a half minutes later to make it 7-3.
The rest of the first half was a turnover fest, as the Steelers put the ball on the ground twice in the red zone, stopping scoring chances, and McCoy threw a pick to Troy Polamalu.
It was three turnovers in seven plays, as neither team wanted to take control of the game. The Browns had some chances in Steelers territory in the second quarter, but went nowhere against the NFL’s number one ranked defense.
Charlie Batch relieved Roethlisberger, and did nothing, as the half ended with the Steelers up by four.
The Browns appeared to have a shot after they stopped the Steelers on the one-yard line early in the fourth quarter. After a Greg Little drop forced a punt, Mike Adams picked off Roethlisberger and took it to about midfield.
The Browns got to the 19, but McCoy threw a bad pick in the end zone to Willie Gay on third down from the 15, and two plays later the Steelers finished them off with the big pass play from Roethlisberger to Brown that went 79 yards.
The win pushed Pittsburgh to 10-3, while it also continued their dominance in the rivalry – they have won 15 of 16 and 21 of the last 23.
The Browns will be in Arizona next Sunday.
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