Pittsburgh—The Browns couldn't get in from less than a yard on their opening possession and that told the tale of the game.
Having the full complement of running backs for the first time in several games, the Browns couldn't take advantage of opportunities created by three turnovers made by the defense. The lack of the running game forced the Browns to throw the ball more than they wanted to and the Browns were unable to score a touchdown once again in the 14-3 loss to the Steelers.
Outside a 28 yard run by Chris Ogbonnaya, the Browns had just 70 yards on 29 carries for a 2.4 average. Overall, the Browns had 98 yards rushing on 30 attempts for a 3.3 average. Peyton Hillis, coming off a strained hip was tackled behind the line of scrimmage on third and short from inside the one yard line after a touchdown by Colt McCoy was reversed and the Browns were just short of the goal line.
Hillis finished with 10 carries for 25 yards (2.5 avg.) and Montario Hardesty coming off a strained calf injury had 11 carries for 24 yards (2.4 avg.). McCoy carries six times for 15 yards (2.5 avg.).
Ogbonnaya led the Browns with 31 yards on just two carries, including a 28 yard run on a draw play on a third-and-long.
Stellar Stand: The defense played well other than the opening drive of the game when the Steelers went 73 yards in just five plays for a touchdown after the Browns opening drive field goal. The highlight was a four play goal line stand after a Mike Wallace touchdown was reversed and he was ruled down on the Browns' two.
With first-and-goal from the two, Rashard Mendenhall tried four-straight times to get in but was stopped on the first two plays by LB Chris Gocong and then by DB Mike Adams and DL Phil Taylor before Adams and D'Qwell Jackson combined to stop him on fourth down.
Cribbs, Marecic, Hagg, Watson Down: The Browns lost several players in the game. TE Ben Watson (concussion), FB Owen Marecic (concussion), DB Eric Hagg (undisclosed) and WR Josh Cribbs (groin) to injury. None of them returned after they left the game. QB Colt McCoy was injured but returned.
Long Start: The Browns threw the ball down field early as TE Evan Moore caught a 33-yard pass along with 25-yard strikes to WR Josh Cribbs and WR Mohamed Massaquoi. However, after the early throws the longest pass was a 17-yard completion to WR Greg Little. Moore led the Browns with four catches for 55 yards, including a long of 33 yards. Massaquoi had three receptions for 44 yards.
Hillis, Hardesty Active: After injuring his hip against the Ravens, RB Peyton Hillis was active and started. He carried 10 times for just 25 yards, while Hardesty carried the ball 11 times for just 24 yards. RB Chris Ogbonnaya carried the ball just twice for 31 yards to lead the team. Ogbonnaya had a run of 28 yards on third-and-18 early in the game for a first down.
Rough Day: QB Colt McCoy is now 0-8 against the AFC North. McCoy was 18-of-35 for 209 yards with two interceptions and a 46.0 rating. He was sacked three times. On the Browns' first possession, McCoy scrambled for a touchdown, but in review the officials ruled that he was down just short of the goal line. On third down, Hillis was dropped for a loss and the Browns settled for what turned out to be their only points of the game a field goal by K Phil Dawson. The Browns are 3-19 in the AFC North since 2008.
D'Qwell Tops: LB D'Qwell Jackson led the Browns with 13 tackles, followed by DB Mike Adams who had 10 and also had an interception. Jackson had a sack as did DL Scott Paxson.
Inactives: QB Thaddeus Lewis, DB T.J. Ward, OL Steve Vallos, OL Oniel Cousins, TE Jordan Cameron, LB Quinton Spears and DL Auston English. LB LaMarr Woodley was the most noted inactive for the Steelers.