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Old 01-02-2011, 08:28 PM   #1
A Son of Martha

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Default Pittsburgh Steelers pleased by razor-sharp offense in rout of Cleveland Browns

(Some nice quotes in this one. - mesa)
Pittsburgh Steelers pleased by razor-sharp offense in rout of Cleveland Browns
Published: Sunday, January 02, 2011, 7:52 PM Updated: Sunday, January 02, 2011, 7:53 PM
The Plain Dealer By Dennis Manoloff,

The large throng of Steelers fans who made the trip to Cleveland had something to cheer about before many fans had taken their seats on Mike Wallace's 56-yard TD reception in the opening minute Sunday.

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- In a meeting with reporters Friday, Browns defensive coordinator Rob Ryan assured his unit would be ready for the Pittsburgh Steelers two days later.

"We're the Cleveland Browns and we're going to go in here and beat the [heck] out of these guys," Ryan said. "We know we're from Cleveland, we know how big of a game it is, and we're going to get in there and get after their [behinds]." (Sounds like desperation to me. - mesa)

What sounded good in the press room did not quite translate on the field. The Steelers scored touchdowns on their first four possessions and rolled to a 41-9 victory Sunday afternoon at Cleveland Browns Stadium.

"What he said doesn't even matter, really," Pittsburgh receiver Mike Wallace said. "I guess that noise wasn't too loud. You saw what happened."

Two Browns got after Wallace's rear end on Pittsburgh's first play from scrimmage, cornerback Joe Haden and safety T.J. Ward chasing it into the end zone. Wallace caught a 56-yard touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger with 14:17 left in the first quarter.

Wallace, who lined up on the right, ran a post pattern to daylight after Roethlisberger faked a handoff.

"With any type of field, that was going to be our first play of the game," Wallace said. "It was scripted. We know their guys are really frisky on the play action and like to bite down, and we got them."

The Browns' coverage was loose enough that it had Wallace scratching his helmet. "I couldn't tell you what they were in, to be honest," he said. "All I know is, I had room and I went and got it."

Roethlisberger said Wallace's skill set made the play possible.

"You see the single half safety, and he is back in perfect position," Roethlisberger said. "Mike is so fast that I can just throw it out there and he can do the rest for me."

The eight-second TD enabled the Steelers to fully capitalize on a Troy Polamalu interception of Colt McCoy on the game's second play from scrimmage.

"It was very important to score right away, to come in and knock the air out of them," said Wallace, who finished with three catches for a game-high 105 yards. "We wanted to make the stadium go kind of flat -- except for the Terrible Towels."

Steelers fans could not get their yellow towels in the air fast enough. Roethlisberger's 4-yard TD pass to Heath Miller made it 28-3 with 4:53 left in the first half. A Shaun Suisham field goal on the fifth possession pushed the advantage to 31-3 with 1:30 remaining.

By halftime, Pittsburgh held a 273-134 advantage in net yards. Roethlisberger, who owns the Browns alongside Randy Lerner, was 11-of-16 for 218 yards and two touchdowns.

"We showed how good we can be when we start fast, when we get in the red zone and score touchdowns," Wallace said.

The Steelers led, 38-3, through three quarters.

"We probably made it look easy, but it wasn't," Wallace said. "The reason it might have looked easy is because of all the work we put in to prepare. We had a good week of practice. We knew what was at stake."

The Steelers (12-4) needed a victory to win the AFC North and secure the second seed in the AFC playoffs behind New England. Wallace said the Steelers were not seeking to make a statement.

"Statements are for outsiders; we were just trying to play some ball, handle our business and win the AFC North," he said. "That's what we did."
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