Browns lead Steelers 13-6 through three
Chris Jennings ran 10 yards for a touchdown, the first by a
Cleveland running back in more than a year, and the Browns held a
13-6 lead against the Pittsburgh Steelers through three quarters on
The touchdown was the first of Jennings’ career and the first by
a Browns running back since Jerome Harrison on Nov. 17, 2008,
Cleveland’s defense flustered the Steelers, sacking Ben
Roethlisberger seven times and allowing just 205 yards of
Jeff Reed kicked a pair of field goals for Pittsburgh, which
didn’t convert a third down until early in the third quarter.
Corey Williams and Marcus Benard each had two of the sacks on
Roethlisberger, who was taken down 30 times entering the game. It
is the most sacks for a Cleveland defense since it had eight on
Oct. 20, 2002, against Houston.
Josh Cribbs took a snap out of the wildcat formation and ran
through Pittsburgh arm tackles for a career-long 37-yard run in the
second quarter, setting up Jennings’ score. Cribbs, who has
returned three kickoffs for touchdowns against the Steelers in his
career, returned a punt 55 yards in the first quarter, which led to
a 29-yard field goal by Phil Dawson.
Dawson added another 29-yard field goal in the second
Pittsburgh’s Santonio Holmes surpassed 1,000 receiving yards on
a 19-yard catch late in the half. It is the first 1,000-yard season
for the reigning Super Bowl MVP.
Steelers fans and their famed “Terrible Towels” outnumbered
Browns fans at kickoff inside frigid Cleveland Browns Stadium.
With the gametime temperature hovering around 15 degrees and
wind chill dropping it below zero, the stadium was more than
half-empty for the start of the game.
Pittsburgh wide receiver Hines Ward played despite a hamstring
Ward, injured Sunday in a loss to Oakland, was limited in
practice this week. But with the Steelers (6-6) riding a four-game
losing streak and fighting for an AFC playoff spot, the team’s
leading receiver started against the Browns (1-11).
Ward recently questioned Roethlisberger for not playing despite
Pittsburgh cornerback William Gay also was active. He left last
week’s game because of a concussion.
The Browns haven’t beaten Pittsburgh at home since 2000. They
have lost 12 straight and 18 of the last 19 in the series.