Browns
Steelers
28 - 31 Final
  for this game

Roethlisberger rallies Steelers to remain perfect vs. Browns

Nov 11, 2007 - 11:18 PM PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- The Cleveland Browns still have no answer for Ben Roethlisberger, who once again found a way to beat his hometown team.

Roethlisberger threw two touchdowns and ran for another score - all in the second half - as the Pittsburgh Steelers rallied from a 15-point deficit Sunday for a 31-28 victory over the Browns.

A native of Findlay, Ohio and a graduate of Miami, Ohio, Roethlisberger improved to 7-0 all-time against the Browns. He has thrown six TDs in the two victories this season against Cleveland and 11 in his career.

Sunday's win did not come easily for the Steelers (7-2), who faced a 21-6 deficit late in the second quarter and squandered a three-point lead in the fourth quarter when Cleveland's Joshua Cribbs returned a kickoff 100 yards for a score.

But Roethlisberger engineered a 14-play scoring drive capped by his 2-yard TD to tight end Heath Miller with 3:13 remaining to give Pittsburgh a 31-28 lead.

Cleveland (5-4) had a chance to force overtime, but Phil Dawson's 53-yard field goal fell short of the crossbar as time expired.

"We had an opportunity to show today something we hadn't," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. "That is, we showed our mettle and came from behind and pull it out. It was far from perfect, but we stuck to the plan."

Roethlisberger completed 23-of-34 passes for 278 yards and one interception while running for a career-high 49 yards.

"It's what the defense gives you," he said. "They zoned on the running backs, and lanes open up. You've got to be able to take that. Early, we saw that if I stepped up in the pocket, there were a lot of openings."

"(Roethlisberger) told me he was more explosive than me," Steelers running back Willie Parker said. "I'll give him an A-minus for that. I'll never give him an A-plus, because he won't give me an A-plus."

Hines Ward hauled in seven catches for 80 yards, Miller chipped in five receptions for 71 yards and Parker ran for 105 yards for the Steelers, who have won their last nine games vs. Cleveland.

"We put a lot into this game," Ward said. "This is just how the NFL is. You play close games, and somebody has to win and somebody lose. We were the team that found a way to win."

It was a disappointing end to a hard-fought performance by the Browns, who had their three-game winning streak snapped and lost for the 15th time in their last 16 meetings with the Steelers.

Derek Anderson tossed TD passes of 4, 2 and 16 yards in the first half as Cleveland entered the break with a 21-9 advantage.

But the Steelers' defense buckled down in the second half, limiting the Browns to just 48 yards of total offense over the final 30 minutes. Cleveland did not even record a second-half first down until its final drive of the contest.

"Obviously in the second half, they were playing good defense," Anderson said. "I was just missing some throws. We just didn't get into the rhythm we had in the first half."

"Even though we played a good game, it wasn't good enough," Browns coach Romeo Crennel added. "It was a tale of two halves. In the first half, we were able to move the ball and put points on the board. ... Second half, we had a struggle moving the football."

The stout defense set the stage for Roethlisberger, who helped Pittsburgh maintain its lead in the AFC North Division. The Steelers own a 2 1/2-game advantage over the Baltimore Ravens and a three-game cushion over the Browns thanks to their sweep of the season series.

Pittsburgh finally found the end zone with 6:14 remaining in the third quarter when Roethlisberger threw a 12-yard scoring strike to Ward, who was wide open along the left sideline.

The Steelers' 38-yard scoring drive was set up when linebacker James Harrison forced a fumble which was recovered by cornerback Ike Taylor.

Pittsburgh took its first lead of the game with 11:32 remaining when the 6-5, 241-pound Roethlisberger rumbled for a 30-yard score on 3rd-and-10. Roethlisberger then hooked up with Ward for the two-point conversion, giving the Steelers a 24-21 lead.

"I thank (Parker) for all the help he has been giving me to make me fast," Roethlisberger said. "Hines was downfield, and I said when I get close I'm going to try to get into the end zone. The will to win got me in."

"What's better than seeing Ben running around huffing and puffing and diving in the end zone to get a touchdown," Ward added. "That's just classic right there. I'm never going to forget the facial expression he had diving into that end zone."

Cleveland reclaimed the lead on the very next play, however, as Cribbs took the ensuing kickoff back for a score after a wild sequence.

After letting the squibbed kick skip past him, Cribbs picked up the ball at Cleveland's goal line and avoided several would-be tacklers before racing up the right sideline to give the Browns a 28-24 advantage.

"One thing is for certain, we stunk as a kickoff coverage unit," Tomlin said. "Not to take anything away from Josh Cribbs. His reputation is well-deserved, but we have got to grow in that area."

But Roethlisberger and the Steelers answered in stoic fashion, marching 78 yards on a drive which ate up over eight minutes.

Roethlisberger helped Pittsburgh convert a trio of third downs on the drive - two with long passes and one with a 10-yard run down to the Cleveland 2. Two plays later, Roethlisberger rifled a tight throw to Miller, giving the Steelers a 31-28 lead with 3:13 remaining.

After the teams exchanged possessions, Cleveland took over at its own 33 with 1:04 remaining. Anderson completed three straight passes to move the ball to the Pittsburgh 35, but Dawson's kick fell short.

"I thought Phil Dawson hit that last field goal attempt really good into the wind," Crennel said. "It just came up a little short.

Anderson finished 16-for-35 for just 123 yards while tight end Kellen Winslow had five catches for 46 yards and a TD for Cleveland, which has allowed six of its nine opponents to score at least 30 points this season.






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  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    CLEVELAND 7 14 0 7 28
    PITTSBURGH 3 6 7 15 31 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: CLE - TD, KELLEN WINSLOW 4 YD PASS FROM DEREK
    ANDERSON (PHIL DAWSON KICK), 10:50.
    Drive: 16 plays, 71 yards in 8:55.
    Key plays: Anderson 10-yard pass to
    Jurevicius on 3rd-and-10 to
    Cleveland 3

    Nov 11 4:12 PM
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    Browns vs. SteelersNov 11 4:10 PM
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    Browns vs. SteelersNov 11 4:06 PM


  • NFL
    TD PIT
    HEATH MILLER 2 YD PASS FROM BEN ROETHLISBERGER
    (JEFF REED KICK)
    CLEVELAND 28
    PITTSBURGH 31 3:13 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Browns vs. SteelersNov 11 3:55 PM
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    Browns vs. SteelersNov 11 3:55 PM


  • NFL
    TD CLE
    JOSH CRIBBS 100 YD KICKOFF RETURN
    (PHIL DAWSON KICK)
    CLEVELAND 28
    PITTSBURGH 24 11:14 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Browns vs. SteelersNov 11 3:38 PM


  • NFL
    TD PIT
    BEN ROETHLISBERGER 30 YD RUN
    (BEN ROETHLISBERGER PASS TO HINES WARD FOR TWO-POINT CONVERSION)
    CLEVELAND 21
    PITTSBURGH 24 11:32 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Browns vs. SteelersNov 11 3:31 PM


  • NFL
    END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    CLEVELAND 7 14 0 21
    PITTSBURGH 3 6 7 16 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: CLE - TD, KELLEN WINSLOW 4 YD PASS FROM DEREK
    ANDERSON (PHIL DAWSON KICK), 10:50.
    Drive: 16 plays, 71 yards in 8:55.
    Key plays: Anderson 10-yard pass to
    Jurevicius on 3rd-and-10 to
    Clev

    Nov 11 3:21 PM


  • NFL
    TD PIT
    HINES WARD 12 YD PASS FROM BEN ROETHLISBERGER
    (JEFF REED KICK)
    CLEVELAND 21
    PITTSBURGH 16 6:14 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Browns vs. SteelersNov 11 3:07 PM


  • NFL
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    CLEVELAND 7 14 21
    PITTSBURGH 3 6 9 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: CLE - TD, KELLEN WINSLOW 4 YD PASS FROM DEREK
    ANDERSON (PHIL DAWSON KICK), 10:50.
    Drive: 16 plays, 71 yards in 8:55.
    Key plays: Anderson 10-yard pass to
    Jurevicius on 3rd-and-10 to
    Clevelan

    Nov 11 2:30 PM


  • NFL
    FG PIT
    JEFF REED 30 YD
    CLEVELAND 21
    PITTSBURGH 9 0:04 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Browns vs. SteelersNov 11 2:27 PM


  • NFL
    TD CLE
    BRAYLON EDWARDS 16 YD PASS FROM DEREK ANDERSON
    (PHIL DAWSON KICK)
    CLEVELAND 21
    PITTSBURGH 6 5:24 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Browns vs. SteelersNov 11 2:10 PM


  • NFL
    FG PIT
    JEFF REED 35 YD
    CLEVELAND 14
    PITTSBURGH 6 9:02 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Browns vs. SteelersNov 11 1:49 PM


  • NFL
    TD CLE
    LAWRENCE VICKERS 2 YD PASS FROM DEREK ANDERSON
    (PHIL DAWSON KICK)
    CLEVELAND 14
    PITTSBURGH 3 14:56 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Browns vs. SteelersNov 11 1:38 PM


  • NFL
    END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    CLEVELAND 7 7
    PITTSBURGH 3 3 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: CLE - TD, KELLEN WINSLOW 4 YD PASS FROM DEREK
    ANDERSON (PHIL DAWSON KICK), 10:50.
    Drive: 16 plays, 71 yards in 8:55.
    Key plays: Anderson 10-yard pass to
    Jurevicius on 3rd-and-10 to
    Clev

    Nov 11 1:35 PM


  • NFL
    FG PIT
    JEFF REED 28 YD
    CLEVELAND 7
    PITTSBURGH 3 1:29 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Browns vs. SteelersNov 11 1:28 PM


  • NFL
    TD CLE
    KELLEN WINSLOW 4 YD PASS FROM DEREK ANDERSON
    (PHIL DAWSON KICK)
    CLEVELAND 7
    PITTSBURGH 0 4:10 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Browns vs. SteelersNov 11 1:19 PM
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