PITTSBURGH — On the strength of two second-half touchdown passes from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, the Pittsburgh Steelers earned a 24-10 victory over the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field Sunday afternoon.
Pittsburgh wide receiver Plaxico Burress caught a 12-yard touchdown pass from Roethlisberger and extended the Steelers’ lead over the Browns to 24-10 with 3:20 remaining in the game. Burress ran a slant route, got past the coverage, went up in the air and secured his first touchdown catch of the season.
The six-play, 27-yard drive was set up by a Browns turnover.
After making a diving catch for a first down, rookie wide receiver Travis Benjamin tried to extend the play and gain more yards. However, the ball was knocked loose by Pittsburgh cornerback Cortez Allen. Allen then recovered the ball and returned it 25 yards.
The Steelers held a 17-10 lead over the Browns after three quarters of play.
Pittsburgh wide receiver Antonio Brown hauled in a nine-yard touchdown pass and put the Steelers back in front of the Browns, 17-10, with 4:39 left to play in the third quarter.
On third-and-goal from the nine, Roethlisberger lined up in the shotgun formation, but was forced out of the pocket with pressure from the Browns’ defense. As Roethlisberger scrambled to his right, Brown darted past a Cleveland defender and caught the scoring pass.
The Steelers’ scoring drive covered 80 yards in 12 plays and took 6:24 off the third-quarter clock.
Cleveland wide receiver Greg Little caught a seven-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Thaddeus Lewis and tied the game with the Steelers at 10-10 with 11:03 remaining in the third quarter.
On second-and-goal from the seven, Lewis took the snap from center Alex Mack and dropped back to pass. With his initial options covered by the Steelers’ defense, Lewis rolled to his left and found Little along the back line of the end zone for the touchdown. After releasing the pass, Lewis was hit by Steelers linebacker James Harrison, which resulted in a 15-yard penalty on the veteran defender.
Earlier in the six-play scoring drive, the Browns faced a fourth down from their own 25-yard line. Long-snapper Christian Yount utilized a direct snap to defensive back Ray Ventrone, and the veteran ran for a 35-yard gain.
The fake punt came two plays after the Browns faced a third-and-13 following John Greco’s false start penalty.
With Roethlisberger’s one-yard touchdown pass to tight end Leonard Pope with less than a minute remaining in the first half, the Steelers held a 10-3 halftime lead over the Browns. The three-play, 24-yard drive came after Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon was stripped of the football following a pass from Lewis.
Cleveland kicker Phil Dawson converted a 51-yard field goal attempt, which helped the Browns tie the Steelers, at 3-3, with 3:48 remaining in the first half. Dawson’s field goal is tied for the second-longest field goal in Heinz Field history. Former Steelers kicker Jeff Reed set the record with a 52-yarder in 2010.
With the kick, Dawson is now seven of seven on field goals of at least 50 yards this season. He is 13 of 14 from 40 or more and entered the game with an NFL-best 13 field goals from at least 50 yards since the start of the 2011 season.
Dawson’s kick capped off a 10-play, 47-yard drive that lasted 4:05.
Kicker Shaun Suisham’s 41-yard field goal gave the Steelers a 3-0 lead over the Browns with 7:53 remaining in the second quarter of play.
Suisham, now 28 of 31 on field goal attempts this season, capped off a nine-play, 48-yard drive that took 4:52 off the second-quarter clock. The Steelers were forced to attempt a field goal after running back Isaac Redman was stopped for no gain on third-and-three from the Browns’ 23-yard line.
The Browns and Steelers played a scoreless first quarter. It was the third time this season where the Browns and their opponents played a scoreless first quarter. In the previous two games, the Browns lost at Baltimore, 23-16, but won at Oakland, 20-17.
In the first quarter of his first career NFL start, Lewis completed 7 of 11 attempts for 86 yards with an interception. He has connected four different players, wide receivers Gordon, Little and Travis Benjamin, as well as tight end Benjamin Watson. All except for Watson have a reception of at least 12 yards.
Running back Montario Hardesty gained 20 yards on six carries, and had a long run of 16 yards on the day.
Between Lewis’ passing and Hardesty’s running, the Browns were able to hold the ball for 8:20 in the first quarter.
Game Recap is presented by Giant Eagle, the Official Supermarket of the Cleveland Browns.
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