Playing it like it was old school in the AFC Central, the Pittsburgh Steelers rolled into Cleveland to take on the Browns Sunday night with wind and rain being the early victor over anything either team could do on offense. Nevertheless, the Steelers, a team that had beaten the Browns 9 straight entering the Sunday night showdown, had enough once again to top their rivals, beating them 10-6 to move to 2-0.
The night was of little offense, but had a lot of hard hitting and a few critical plays. Maybe the most critical came on the last play of the second quarter with the Steelers up 7-0. From the Steelers 11, Browns QB Derek Anderson threw an awful pass at the three that Troy Polamalu picked off, ending the biggest threat the Browns would have all night. The only scoring from the Browns were two Phil Dawson field goals.
The Steelers, going against the wind, put together their best drive of the game midway through the second quarter. Starting at their own 30, Ben Roethlisberger converted a third down to Santonio Holmes, then was sacked but earned a face mask penalty, putting them on the Browns 49. On a fourth-and-one five plays later, Willie Parker went around end for 13 yards and a first down.
After Roethlisberger hit Holmes to put the Steelers at the 12, three plays later he found Hines Ward running free in the end zone for a 7-0 lead and the only score of the first half and the only TD on the night. The drive was 70 yards in 12 plays and took 6:29. It was on the next drive that Anderson threw the big pick that ended the half.
Jeff Reed kicked a 48-yard field goal in the third quarter, then Dawson hit field goals of 31 and 38 yards to close out the scoring. Browns coach Romeo Crennel showed little faith in his offense when he kicked a field goal from the Steelers 20 on a 4th and 7 with about 3:25 left. The Steelers were able to run out all but the last :30 seconds to ice the game.
Roethlisberger was 12-for-19 for 186 yards and a score. Willie Parker ran for 105 yards on 28 carries. Holmes had five catches for 94 yard, Ward 59 yards on five grabs and the score. The Steelers D held the Browns to 208 yards on offense, Anderson going just 18-for-32 for 166 yards and two picks.
The 2-0 Steelers have a big NFC matchup Sunday as they travel to Philadelphia to play the Eagles. The 0-2 Browns will look to get on track as they travel to Baltimore to play the 1-0 Ravens.