Steelers Offense Still Too Much

The Browns allow 546 yards as the Steelers cruise to a 27-14 win in Pittsburgh. Fred Greetham recaps the affair, the twelth consecutive win by Pittsburgh over the Browns...

The Browns came into Pittsburgh looking to snap an 11-game losing streak to the Steelers.

They're still looking.

They'll have to wait for the return visit by the Steelers later this season as the Steelers won 27-14 posting over 500 yards in offense.

The Browns only offense for much of the game was Josh Cribbs, who returned a 98-yard kickoff for a touchdown and rushed for 45 yards from the wildcat offense.

Meanwhile, the Steelers amassed 546 yards, 417 through the air by Ben Roethlisberger.

The Steelers had big plays from Roethlisberger to Santonio Holmes, Hines Ward and Heath Miller to propel them to 17 first half points. Ward had 159 yards, while Holmes had 104.

The Browns squandered a scoring opportunity in the first quarter after Alex Hall recovered a fumbled snap by Roethlisberger on the Steelers' 39. Cribbs took the first two snaps at quarterback and picked up the first down to the 29 on a run on the second play. On third-and-6, Derek Anderson came in and, after getting pressured, flipped the ball to Jerome Harrison, who ran to the 14 for a first down.

After the first down, Cribbs was at quarterback and he threw his first pass and it was dropped by Chansi Stuckey. He tried to throw to Stuckey on the next play and it was intercepted by Troy Polamalu inside the 10.

After the turnover, the Steelers moved the ball 85 yards for a touchdown as Roethlisberger hit Miller, who beat David Bowens for an eight-yard touchdown with 11:26 to play in the first half to make it 7-0. Big plays were a pass from Roethlisberger to Miller for 22 yards to the Browns' 49 and then Roethlisberger hit Holmes for 41 yards to the nine.

The Browns moved the ball into Steelers' territory to the 45, but couldn't convert on third down and had to punt back to the Steelers.

After punting back to Pittsburgh, it took no time for the Steelers to go 87 yards in under three minutes to make it 14-0. Ward caught a crossing pass from Roethlisberger from 52 yards out with 4:26 to play in the first half.

Cribbs took the ensuing kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown to make it 14-7 with 4:15 to play in the first half. With the score, Cribbs became the Browns all-time leader in kick returns for scores with eight. It was his eighth (six kickoff/ two punt) return for a score.

After Cribbs' score, the Steelers once again moved quickly into Browns' territory on a pass to Miller and a late hit on David Bowens moved the ball to the 34. Two runs by Willie Parker took the ball to the 25 at the two-minute warning.

Eric Wright had his hands on a Roethlisberger pass, but couldn't hang on. The Steelers elected to go for the first down from the 15 on fourth down with 30 seconds to play and Roethlisberger picked it up with a quarterback sneak.

The measurement showed the ball was short, but the Steelers were given a first down and Roethlisberger hit Ward for an apparent touchdown, but the replay overruled the call that Ward didn't control the ball with 17 seconds to play.

After a pass that was dropped by Brandon McDonald in the end zone, the Steelers settled for a 32-yard field goal by Jeff Reed with seven seconds to play to make it 17-7 at the half.

The Browns took the second half kickoff and made it 17-14 with 11:39 to play as Anderson hit Lawrence Vickers from one yard out for the score. The Browns went 66 yards in six plays spanning 3:21 for the score.

The big play was when Mohamed Massaquoi caught a 43-yard pass from Anderson to the nine.  A slant to Massaquoi moved the ball to the one. On third down, Anderson rolled out and hit Vickers for the score.

After the Browns' score, the Steelers answered for the fourth-straight time to make it 24-14 with 8:32 to play in the third quarter. Roethlisberger continued to pick the Browns apart and hit Ward who took the ball to the Browns' 23. Mike Wallace went for 21 to the two on an end-around. Rashard Mendenhall scored on the next play.

Cribbs returned the kickoff after the touchdown to the 41, but the offense did nothing and punted after a three-and-out.

The Steelers moved into Browns' territory again, but on third-and-10, Brodney Pool intercepted the pass and returned it to the 48. After a holding penalty on Joe Thomas, Anderson was stripped on third-and-16 by Lawrence Timmons and James Harrison recovered at the Browns' 34.

Willie Parker returned the favor by fumbling on a hit by McDonald and Abe Elam recovered at the 16.

The Browns picked up a first down on a pass to Massaquoi, but Anderson lost the ball again on a sack by James Farrior and Brett Keisel recovered at the Browns' 26.

Mendenhall returned the favor on the next play as David Bowens forced it out and recovered himself for the Browns at the 15. However, once again, the Browns could not take advantage of the turnovers and punted back to Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh extended their lead to 27-14 with 5:42 to play as Reed kicked a 39-yard field goal. The Steelers went back to methodically moving the ball and proceeded to move into Browns' territory. Roethlisberger hit Ward to take the ball inside the 15. Back-to-back sacks by McDonald and Jason Trusnik forced the Steelers to kick the field goal. The Steelers had the ball for 6:11 in moving 55 yards in 11 plays for the score.

A short kick after the field goal put the Browns in good field position and Anderson hit Robiskie for 23 yards to the Steelers' 26. However, Anderson was intercepted by Ryan Clark at the one to end the threat.

From there, the Steelers ran out the clock.


Wildcat Look: WR Joshua Cribbs took the first snap and ran around left end for 18 yards to the 38. He also ran on another play on the series for five yards. Cribbs almost broke a punt in the first quarter, but was tackled by the punter at the Browns' 48. Cribbs ran a couple other times before trying to throw a pass and his second pass was intercepted by safety Troy Polamalu. Cribbs had 30 yards rushing in the first quarter on just three runs. RB Jerome Harrison had 26 yards on five carries, while RB Jamal Lewis had two yards on four carries. The Browns used the look for most of the first half, but abandoned it in the second half until less than one minute to play in the third quarter. Cribbs had six carries for 45 yards to lead the Browns.

Fumbleitis: The Browns and Steelers traded fumbles four times in the third quarter. QB Derek Anderson lost the ball twice on sacks and RB Willie Parker and RB Rashard Mendenhall did the same. Both teams committed four turnovers.

Long Streak: The Browns came into the game having lost 11 straight to the Steelers and 17 of 18 if playoff games are included. The streak is now 12 games.

DA's Day: QB Derek Anderson, who was 2-of-17 for 23 yards against the Bills, started 0-of-3 against the Steelers, although two passes could have been caught. Anderson completed his first pass with just over ten minutes to play in the second quarter to WR Mohamed Massaquoi. In the first half, Anderson was 2-of-9 for 14 yards. He finished 9-of-24 for 114 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He also fumbled twice and was sacked twice. His QB rating was 51.0.

First for Brian: Rookie WR Brian Robiskie almost caught his first NFL pass on a third-and-10, but couldn't get both his feet in bounds. He did catch a pass for 23 yards.

Fraley Benched: After helping produce back-to-back 100 yard rushers with OL Hank Fraley at right guard, Fraley was replaced by Floyd Womack, who started prior to an injury. Fraley lined up as a tackle eligible on several occasions.

No Stick on Stuckey: WR Chansi Stuckey dropped the first pass thrown to him. Rookie WR Mohamed Massaquoi dropped the first pass thrown to him, but finished as the leading receiver with five receptions for 83 yards.

Sack Men: LB David Bowens and DL Robaire Smith combined to sack Roethlisberger on the first drive. The Steelers were on the Browns' 36 before the sack and it forced a punt. LB D'Qwell Jackson led the Browns at the half with five tackles. LB Eric Barton and DB Abe Elam led the Browns with six tackles. DB Brandon McDonald and LB Jason Trusnik had sacks.

D'Qwell Down: LB D'Qwell Jackson left with a shoulder injury and was replaced by LB Kaluka Maiava.

No Kam, Heiden or Dawson: LB Kamerion Wimbley missed the game with the flu, while K Phil Dawson missed his third-straight game with a calf injury. LB Jason Trusnik started in Wimbley's place. It was Trusnik's first career start. He was acquired in the Braylon Edwards trade.

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