Browns
Steelers
0 - 31 Final
  for this game

Steelers lose QB Roethlisberger in blowout win

Dec 28, 2008 - 11:29 PM By Brad Everett PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- What was supposed to be a meaningless regular-season finale turned out to be anything but for the playoff-bound Pittsburgh Steelers.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was knocked down and out with a concussion late in the second quarter of the Steelers' 31-0 victory over the wretched Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field on Sunday.

With just under two minutes remaining before halftime, Roethlisberger was driven into the ground while being sandwiched by Willie McGinest and D'Qwell Jackson. His body twisted as he fell and his head bounced off the turf.

Roethlisberger lay on the field for about 15 minutes as the medical staff attended to him. He could be seen moving his arms and legs before being lifted onto a stretcher and wheeled away on a cart. He flashed a thumbs-up sign to the crowd as he was transported off.

"To this point, all tests are negative, which of course is positive and encouraging," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. "We are optimistic about where he is going to be capable of being. Again the bye is going to be helpful in regards to that. Again, it is encouraging."

"I'm pretty sure he'll be all right," said running back Willie Parker, who ran for 116 yards on 23 carries, including a 34-yard TD run. "He was doing a lot of the things (the medical staff) asked him to do, so he doesn't have us in doubt or anything."

Already locked into the No. 2 seed in the AFC playoffs, the Steelers (12-4) could not improve on their playoff position with a win against a Browns team that finished the season with six consecutive losses.

Tomlin, though, wanted Roethlisberger and the other starters to play a portion of the game because they won't play again for another two weeks.

Roethlisberger completed 9-of-14 passes for 110 yards and an interception before leaving.

"I didn't even see it," Steelers receiver Hines Ward said of the hit. "We were all running routes and Ben was trying to make a play. The doctors say he hit the back of his head on the ground. As far as I know, I think he's going to be all right."

If the Steelers are without Roethlisberger when they open up the playoffs at Heinz Field, backup Byron Leftwich will serve as his replacement.

Leftwich relieved Roethlisberger after the injury and quickly finished off the Steelers' second touchdown drive of the game, scoring on an 8-yard scamper with 32 seconds left in the first half to put the Steelers ahead, 14-0. Leftwich finished 7-of-12 for 80 yards.

"I'm just thankful that I got an opportunity to play, but you don't want to play under those circumstances," Leftwich said.

"Byron is a veteran, franchise-caliber quarterback," Tomlin said. "We have a great deal of confidence in what he can do for us. We always expect him to do well when he goes in and he did that."

Parker and Leftwich provided much of the offensive production and the prolific Steelers' defense shined yet again, earning its first shutout of the season while limiting the Browns (4-12) to just 126 total yards.

"I thought (the defense) did a nice job," Tomlin said. "We have 11 (players) on the field, and those 11 understand the standard of the Pittsburgh Steelers' defense."

Tyrone Carter intercepted two passes, completing the one-sided scoring spree with a 32-yard interception return in the fourth quarter.

It was another dismal performance for the Browns, particularly for an offense that failed to muster a touchdown for the sixth straight game - an NFL-record 24 consecutive quarters without an offensive touchdown. The 1974 Chicago Bears' streak lasted 22 quarters.

"It was an end to a very disappointing season for the Cleveland Browns," said Browns coach Romeo Crennel, who may not be back next season. "We didn't expect the season to go the way it went, but it did. It's disappointing, but that's what it is and that's what we have to deal with."

Bruce Gradkowski - the Browns' fourth starting quarterback in six weeks - was harassed all afternoon, and completed 5-of-15 passes for just 18 yards.

It was the 11th consecutive loss for the Browns against the Steelers, and it also marked the fifth straight year the Browns were swept in the season series.






  • 30
    roots
    MattDOOM777 Added 5 roots

    Browns 0, Steelers 31  FinalDec 29 5:17 AM
  • 25
    roots
    #1 Cards Fan Added 10 roots

    Browns 0, Steelers 31  FinalDec 28 5:49 PM


  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    CLEVELAND 0 0 0 0 0
    PITTSBURGH 0 14 3 14 31 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NONE
    2ND QUARTER: PIT - TD, WILLIE PARKER 34 YD RUN (JEFF REED
    KICK), 10:53. Drive: 3 plays, 57
    yards in 1:28. Key plays:
    Roethlisberger 20-yard pass to
    Miller to Cleveland 34. PITTSBURGH
    7

    Dec 28 4:06 PM


  • NFL
    TD PIT
    TYRONE CARTER 32 YD INTERCEPTION RETURN
    (JEFF REED KICK)
    CLEVELAND 0
    PITTSBURGH 31 8:43 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Browns 0, Steelers 31  4th - 8:43Dec 28 3:45 PM


  • NFL
    TD PIT
    GARY RUSSELL 3 YD RUN
    (JEFF REED KICK)
    CLEVELAND 0
    PITTSBURGH 24 9:41 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Browns 0, Steelers 24  4th - 9:41Dec 28 3:37 PM


  • NFL
    END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    CLEVELAND 0 0 0 0
    PITTSBURGH 0 14 3 17 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NONE
    2ND QUARTER: PIT - TD, WILLIE PARKER 34 YD RUN (JEFF REED
    KICK), 10:53. Drive: 3 plays, 57
    yards in 1:28. Key plays:
    Roethlisberger 20-yard pass to
    Miller to Cleveland 34. PITTSB

    Dec 28 3:28 PM


  • NFL
    FG PIT
    JEFF REED 22 YD
    CLEVELAND 0
    PITTSBURGH 17 5:35 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Browns 0, Steelers 17  3rd - 5:35Dec 28 3:13 PM


  • NFL
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    CLEVELAND 0 0 0
    PITTSBURGH 0 14 14 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NONE
    2ND QUARTER: PIT - TD, WILLIE PARKER 34 YD RUN (JEFF REED
    KICK), 10:53. Drive: 3 plays, 57
    yards in 1:28. Key plays:
    Roethlisberger 20-yard pass to
    Miller to Cleveland 34. PITTSBURGH

    Dec 28 2:38 PM


  • NFL
    TD PIT
    BYRON LEFTWICH 8 YD RUN
    (JEFF REED KICK)
    CLEVELAND 0
    PITTSBURGH 14 0:32 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Browns 0, Steelers 14  2nd - 0:32Dec 28 2:35 PM


  • NFL
    TD PIT
    WILLIE PARKER 34 YD RUN
    (JEFF REED KICK)
    CLEVELAND 0
    PITTSBURGH 7 4:07 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Browns 0, Steelers 7  2nd - 4:07Dec 28 1:59 PM
  • 15
    roots
    thefanblog Added 5 roots

    Browns 0, Steelers 0  2nd - 10:35Dec 28 1:47 PM


  • NFL
    END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    CLEVELAND 0 0
    PITTSBURGH 0 0 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NONE

    Dec 28 1:31 PM
  • 10
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    GREGnKY Added 5 roots

    Browns vs. SteelersDec 28 6:52 AM
  • Sweetness34 The Browns will finish the season without scoring a TD in 6 games.

    Browns vs. SteelersDec 26 8:26 PM
  • 5
    roots
    aqualung1 Added 5 roots

    Browns vs. SteelersJul 6 3:51 PM