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Big Ben Returns To Lead Steelers To Win Over Browns


Ben Roethlisberger threw for 257 yards and three touchdowns in his first game of the season to lead Pittsburgh to a 28-10 victory over Cleveland.

Roethlisberger completed 16-of-27 throws in his return from a four-game suspension as the Steelers (4-1) got back into the win column following a loss to Baltimore and a bye week.

"I felt like it was a pretty good day," Roethlisberger said about his performance. "But, I felt like I left a lot of plays out there, missing things here and there. We won the game and took a lot of what they gave us. A lot of times we stopped ourselves, we had some missed assignments, some miscommunication and just some little things that stopped us."

Hines Ward made five catches for 54 yards and a score to extend his consecutive games streak with a reception to 183, matching Art Monk for the fourth-longest in league history.

Colt McCoy connected on 23-of-33 throws for 281 yards with one score and was intercepted twice in his first NFL start for the Browns (1-5), who have dropped two in a row after their only win.

"I wanted to go out there and do the best that I could for my teammates, we worked really hard this week," McCoy said. "You have to give a lot of credit to Pittsburgh's defense. They drew up some blitzes and they were coming after us but we fought through and converted on some third downs. We had some opportunities but we let them slip away from us."

Peyton Hillis ran for 41 yards and caught six passes for 49 yards in defeat.

Cleveland got on the board first on a 39-yard field goal by Phil Dawson with 1:51 left in the first quarter.

The Steelers put together an 11-play, 81-yard drive that was capped off by Roethlisberger's 29-yard scoring pass to Mike Wallace with 10:40 to play in the half.

On the hosts second third quarter possession, Roethlisberger completed a 50- yard pass to Wallace down the right sideline and hit Heath Miller for 36 yards on the next play to get to the Browns 10. After an incompletion, Ward made a catch at the five, fought off a tackle and dragged Sheldon Brown into the end zone to put the hosts ahead 14-3 with 3:13 remaining in the period.

There was no further scoring until the teams traded touchdowns over the last half of the final stanza.

Daniel Sepulveda had two punts inside the Browns 15-yard line called back on penalties before Chansi Stuckey mishandled the third. Keyaron Fox recovered at the Browns 13 with 7:50 left in the game to set up the next score.

Roethlisberger hit Rashard Mendenhall for eight yards and a first down at the two. The third-year pro then burroughed his way to paydirt on the next play to make it a 21-3 contest with 5:50 to play.

On the next drive, Benjamin Watson's 23-yard catch and a 28-yard throw to Evan Moore moved the Browns to the Steelers' 12. Following an incompletion, McCoy rolled to his right and found a wide open Watson in the back of the end zone to slice the lead to 20-10 with 4:09 remaining.

The Steelers recovered an onsides kick attempt but went three-and-out before Sepulveda's punt was downed at the Browns three.

McCoy was sacked on the first play after the two minute warning and was then picked off on the next play by Lawrence Timmons, who caught the ball off a deflection.

Roethlisberger lofted a 14-yard scoring pass to Miller on third down with 1:25 to put the game out of reach.

Dawson became the Browns all-time leader with 235 field goals...He has also scored 994 points, third-best on the franchise's all-time list behind fellow kickers Don Cockcroft and Lou Groza...McCoy's 22 completions were the second most by a Browns rookie in his first start behind only Eric Zeier's 26 in 1995...McCoy also carried four times for 22 yards and was sacked five times. Hillis had scored in five straight games before Sunday...Watson caught six passes for 88 yards while Moore made four grabs for 84...Cleveland wide receivers Josh Cribbs and Mohamed Massaquoi both left the game the game with head injuries and did not return...Mendenhall ran 27 times for 84 yards and caught three passes for 15 more...Wallace hauled in three passes for 90 yards...The Steelers have won 10 of their last 11 home meetings over the Browns...Roethlisberger has won all six of his starts at home against Cleveland.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.