Am I the only one that is glad that’s over?
It was nail biting and hair pulling for about 57 minutes Thursday night, but in the end, it’s the usual outcome for these Steelers – Browns affairs, as the Steelers won it with a couple big stands and big plays 14-3.
The play of the night, a hobbled Ben Roethlsiberger hitting Antonio Brown on a 79-yard touchdown with 2:52 to play to put the dagger in the hearts of Browns fans to send Cleveland to 4-9.
The Steelers improve to 10-3 on the season, and will get 10 days to get a beat up Ben healthy, as well as center Maurkice Pouncey, who left the game with a high ankle sprain.
Roethlisberger ended the night 16-for-21 for 280 with two touchdowns and a pick. His QB rating on one leg for the entire second half was 129.6.
The Steelers D stopped the Browns after their opening drive. They allowed Cleveland to get to the half yard line, when Colt McCoy was stopped on 2nd down. 3rd down the team went to Peyton Hillis, and he was stopped for a one-yard loss.
The Browns kicked the three instead of going for 7, and it helped the Steelers as their offense came out red hot. They passed the way down the field, and Roethlsiberger hit Jerricho Cotchery for an 11-yard TD just three and a half minutes later to make it 7-3.
The rest of the first half was a turnover fest, as the Steelers put the ball on the ground twice in the red zone, stopping scoring chances, and McCoy threw a pick to Troy Polamalu.
It was three turnovers in seven plays, as neither team wanted to take control of the game. The Browns had some chances in Steelers territory in the second quarter, but went nowhere against the NFL’s number one ranked defense.
Charlie Batch relieved Roethlisberger, and did nothing, as the half ended with the Steelers up by four.
The Browns appeared to have a shot after they stopped the Steelers on the one-yard line early in the fourth quarter. After a Greg Little drop forced a punt, Mike Adams picked off Roethlisberger and took it to about midfield.
The Browns got to the 19, but McCoy threw a bad pick in the end zone to Willie Gay on third down from the 15, and two plays later the Steelers finished them off with the big pass play from Roethlisberger to Brown that went 79 yards.
The win continued the Steelers dominance in the rivalry – they have won 15 of 16 and 21 of the last 23.
Up next for the Steelers – a break. They will get 10 days off, and then head out west to take on the San Fran 49ers on Monday, December 19th.
Interesting to note though, with the 49ers already having clinched the division, they may by that game already have the shot to rest some players as they likely are not going to be able to catch the Packers for home field in the NFC.