View Full Version : Steelers maintain dominance over Browns

09-15-2008, 03:16 AM
Steelers maintain dominance over Browns
By Scott Brown
Monday, September 15, 2008

CLEVELAND -- Winds that were as strong as 40 mph Sunday night had the goal posts dancing to the pregame music that blared at Cleveland Browns Stadium.

They whipped so ferociously before kickoff that the people who tried to unfurl a large, rectangular Browns banner were instead hurried off the field when it came apparent they had no chance of completing their task.

The Browns fared better amid the gusting winds and, at times, swirling rains, but their performance wasn't enough for them to interrupt the Steelers' recent dominance of the bitter rivalry.

Stout defense, a steady Ben Roethlisberger and a couple of fortuitous bounces were enough for the Steelers to hold off the Browns, 10-6, in front of an announced crowd of 73,048 and a national TV audience.

The Steelers (2-0) beat the Browns (0-2) for the 10th consecutive time.

The last time the Browns beat the Steelers was October 2003 -- when Roethlisberger was a junior at Miami (Ohio).

"It's best to win this way," said safety Troy Polamalu, whose second quarter interception was one of the key plays of the game. "It's Steelers football to run the rock, to burn the clock that way and for the defense to play really good."

Roethlisberger, playing with a slightly separated right shoulder, completed 12 of 19 passes for 186 yards and a touchdown.

His 11-yard touchdown pass to Hines Ward in the second quarter broke a scoreless tie and gave the Steelers a lead they would never relinquish.

No completion may have been more significant than Roethlisberger's 31-yard hook-up with Ward near the end of the third quarter.

It came after the Steelers nearly lost a fumble on a kickoff return following a Phil Dawson field goal that cut their lead to 10-3. Cleveland's Jerome Harrison had several chances to recover the fumble deep in Steelers' territory but the ball went out of bounds at the 2-yard line. Roethlisberger got the Steelers out of the shadow of their own end zone with his strike to Ward.

The defense bent a little in the fourth quarter but did not allow the Browns' offense to find the end zone. After driving deep into Steelers territory late in the fourth quarter, Cleveland coach Romeo Crennel opted for a 38-yard Dawson field goal with 3:21 left in the game.

That cut the Steelers' lead to four points, but the Browns could get no closer.

Willie Parker, who rushed for 105 yards on 28 carries, picked up a key first down on the Steelers' final possession. That allowed the Steelers to run the clock down to 30 seconds before relinquishing possession.

"I think (Parker) ran hard," said Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, whose team visits Philadelphia next Sunday. "I liked the resiliency of the men."

The Steelers contained return specialist Josh Cribbs and twice picked off Browns quarterback Derek Anderson on a blustery night.

One of the interceptions led to a touchdown, and another thwarted a rare Cleveland scoring opportunity.

Points in what turned into a defensive struggle and battle for field position weren't produced until more than halfway through the second quarter.

Taking advantage of a Bryant McFadden interception, Roethlisberger engineered a 12-play, 70-yard drive that culminated in his 11-yard touchdown pass to Ward.

The Browns responded with their only drive of the first half and looked like they were at least going to come away from it with three points after moving inside the Steelers' 15-yard line.

Suspect clock management, however, led to a forced Anderson throw on the 15th play of the drive. Polamalu intercepted the pass near the goal line on the final play of the second quarter, allowing the Steelers to take a seven-point lead into intermission.

"I think the most critical play (defensively) was by Troy right before the half," Tomlin said. "To get out of that position, giving up no points -- that is what makes Troy who he is."

The Steelers extended their lead to 10-0 early in the third quarter when a 48-yard reception by Santonio Holmes set up Jeff Reed's 48-yard field goal.

The Browns made it close with the Dawson field goals, but they could not break through in what has become a recurring theme over the past five years.

"It's Cleveland, and you know how much we love to beat them," Parker said. "We're going to build off this game going into Philly."


09-15-2008, 07:56 AM
A win is a win, is a WIN!

10 in a row! :tt03:

For all the clowns offseason aquisitions, the Steelers still have their number!
Thanks romeo. Those perogies really payed off.

09-15-2008, 08:05 AM
Here ya go Brownies - a nice cup of java courtesy of the Pittsburgh Steelers.