CLEVELAND — The Browns motivation was to stave off embarrassment. The Steelers motivation was to defend their Super Bowl championship.
Both teams came into the game with 3-6 records, but the Steelers had their sights on running the table and defending their Super Bowl championship of a year ago.
The Browns weren't embarrassed, but they blew a 10 point lead in the fourth quarter and fell to the Steelers, 24-20 to drop to 3-7.
Willie Parker scored two fourth quarter touchdowns in a span of less than four minutes to rally the Steelers from a 20-10 deficit to improve their record to 4-6.
The Browns opened the scoring and took a 7-0 lead with 11:54 to play in the second quarter as Daven Holly took a tipped pass off the hands of Santonio Holmes and from Ben Roethlisberger for a 57-yard interception return for a touchdown.
The Steelers Sean Morey returned the following kickoff for 76 yards to the Browns' 18. On third down from the Browns' 12, Willie McGinest intercepted a pass off the hands of Hines Ward at the Browns' seven to stop the Steelers' threat.
The Browns took over and marched the length of the field and took over eight minutes off the clock before settling for a 23-yard field goal to make it 10-0 with 1:50 to play in the first half. The big play on the drive was when Edwards and Frye hooked up for 63 yards to the Steelers' 19. Troy Polamalu saved the touchdown as he angled down Edwards, who had five receptions for 99 yards in the first half. The Browns went 87 yards on 14 plays in 8:36 for the score. It was the largest amount of time the Browns have consumed on a drive this season.
After the field goal, the Steelers, in the hurry up offense, Roethlisberger was intercepted for the third time in the first half and second by Holly. The ball went off of Cedric Wilson's hands and Holly returned it inside the five, but a penalty on Simon Fraser gave the Browns the ball at the Steelers' 44 and the Browns were unable to take advantage of the opportunity and led at the half, 10-0.
The Steelers got on the board in third quarter after Jason Wright fumbled after he was stripped by Casey Hampton and Ryan Clark at the Browns'44. The Steelers went to work and moved inside the Browns' 25 before Jeff Reed kicked a 43-yard field goal with 4:57 to play to make it 10-3.
Dawson kicked a 35-yard field with 13:54 to play in the game to give the Browns a 13-3 lead. The Browns went 45 yards in 10 plays and took 6:03 off of the clock.
Trailing by 10, the Steelers continued the no huddle offense and moved down the field for a touchdown to make it 13-10 with 9:33. Roethlisberger hit a wide open Santonio Holmes for a 20-yard score. The Steelers went 87 yards on the drive and a key play was a completion to Holmes for a first down on third-and-20.
Joshua Cribbs answered the Steelers' touchdown with a 92-yard return for a score with 9:21 to play in the game to give the Browns a 20-10 lead. Cribbs went untouched the distance for the score.
The Steelers came right back after Cribbs' score with another long drive and aided by three personal foul penalties the Steelers made it 20-17 with 4:14 to play. Willie Parker had a one-yard run for the score. The Steelers went 79 yards in 16 plays spanning 5:07.
It appeared the Browns had stopped Pittsburgh when Kamerion Wimbley broke through and had the Browns first sack, but Wimbley grabbed Roethlisberger's face mask and what would've resulted in a fourth-and-long gave the Steelers a first down on the Browns' 31 and kept the Steelers' drive going. The Browns had three personal fouls on the drive to give the Steelers three first downs.
After a three-and-out by the Browns, the ball went back to the Steelers with 3:06 to play. The Steelers moved to the Browns' 24 and on third-and-6, and Roethlisberger hit Holmes for a first down at the 17 with 44 seconds to play. With 32 seconds to play, Roethlisberger hit Parker with a four-yard shovel pass to give the Steelers the 24-20 win.
The Steelers went 77 yards for the winning score in 11 plays.
The Browns got the ball back with 27 seconds to play and after a passes to Edwards and two to Winslow to the Steelers' 22, the Browns had just three seconds left. The last play of the game was tipped up and off of Edwards' hands incomplete. Edwards couldn't hang on to the tipped ball as it went off his hands twice.
Wimbley Record: Rookie LB Kamerion Wimbley set a new record for sacks for Browns rookies as he was credited with a sack in the fourth quarter to give him 6 ½ for the season. The previous record was held by Michael Dean Perry, who had six in his rookie season.
Active Edwards: After talking after the win over the Falcons about the upcoming Steelers game, WR Braylon Edwards backed it up. He caught five passes for 99 yards in the first half, including a 63-yard catch. He finished with seven receptions for 137 yards. It was his fourth 100-yard receiving game of his career.
Run Joshua: KR Joshua Cribbs returned a kick 92 yards in the fourth quarter for a touchdown. It was his second kickoff return for a touchdown in his career. He had a 90-yard return for a score against the Lions in 2005.
Gambler Romeo: On fourth-and-short from the Steelers' 10, the Browns went for it and QB Charlie Frye snuck over right guard for the first down. The Browns ended up getting a field goal on the drive.
Phil Short: With 3:14 to play in the first quarter, Phil Dawson's 44-yard field goal attempt hit the front of the cross bar and bounced back to the field to keep the game scoreless. Dawson hit on a 23- and 35-yarder later.
Have a Holly, Jolly Time: CB Daven Holly's first career NFL interception came against QB Ben Roethlisberger in the second quarter and he returned it for a 57-yard touchdown. The last time the Browns had an interception returned for a score was on Oct. 10, 2004 by Chris Crocker against the Steelers. Holly picked up his second interception near the end of the first half.
Wright Stuff: RB Jason Wright came into the game with just 39 yards all season. He had 46 yards on 12 carries in the first half and finished with 74 yards. He had 20 yards on the Browns first drive. Wright had a big fumble in the third quarter after an eight-yard gain.
Tale of Two Halves: In a battle of former MAC quarterbacks, Ben Roethlisberger had a miserable first half. He was 4-of-11 for 36 yards with three interceptions for a QB rating of 6.4. All three of Roethlisberger's interceptions were off the hands of Steeler receivers. Frye was 8-of-15 for 122 yards and a 80.4 rating. Frye was sacked twice, while Roethlisberger wasn't. In the second half, Roethlisberger was 21-of-33 for 236 yards and finished with 272 yards and a QB rating of 61.9., including two touchdowns. He was sacked twice. Frye was 17-of-27 for 224 yards and was sacked five times and a QB rating of 89.1.
Injury Update: S Brian Russell injured his elbow in the third quarter, but returned.
Frye Sack: QB Charlie Frye was sacked and fumbled on the team's first possession. The Browns had moved into the Steelers' 40. DE Travis Kirschke sacked Frye and LB Clark Haggans recovered at the Steelers' 37. Frye was sacked four times in the game.
Little Pressure: The Browns gave QB Ben Roethlisberger a lot of time and didn't sack him until the fourth quarter.
Bad Omen: RB Jason Wright had a long run on the first play of scrimmage, but it was called back on a holding on TE Kellen Winslow. Wright was credited with an eight-yard gain when the call was made. The Browns moved the ball on their first two possessions, but had nothing to show for it. The first series was thwarted by a Charlie Frye fumble and the second drive resulted in a missed field goal by Phil Dawson.
Droughns Inactive: The Browns placed RB Reuben Droughns on the inactive list and Jason Wright started in his place. Other inactives were: DB Justin Hamilton, DB Leigh Bodden, OL Isaac Sowells, OL Fred Matua, OL Nat Dorsey and WR Travis Wilson. Ken Dorsey was the third QB. For the Steelers: WR Willie Reid, RB Duce Staley, OL Marvin Philip, OL Chris Kemoeau, OL Willie Colon, DE Rodney Bailey and LB Marquis Cooper. Brian St. Pierre is the third QB. Bryant McFadden started in place of Deshea Townsend at RCB.