Ben Roethlisberger Throws 2 TDs Despite Injury As Pittsburgh Steelers Beat Cleveland Browns 14-3
Pittsburgh 14 – Cleveland 3
Ben Roethlisberger threw two touchdown passes despite sustaining an ankle injury, and the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Cleveland Browns 14-3 on Thursday night. Roethlisberger passed for 280 yards, an interception and two scores, including a 79-yard touchdown toss to Antonio Brown with 2:52 left in the game. Roethlisberger sustained a left ankle injury when he was sacked by Cleveland's Scott Paxson with 6:08 remaining in the second quarter. The Steelers' quarterback, who has been playing with a broken right thumb for the past few weeks, was helped off the field and left the game for X-rays, which were negative. Roethlisberger returned to start the second half for Pittsburgh (10-3).
Browns' quarterback Colt McCoy threw for 209 yards and two interceptions, including one to William Gay at the Steelers' 20-yard line with 3:11 to play that all but secured the victory for Pittsburgh. Roethlisberger's long scoring pass to Brown two plays later helped punctuate the win. Rashard Mendenhall led the Steelers with 76 yards rushing, though he was stopped on four consecutive attempts for a touchdown from inside the Cleveland 2-yard line early in the fourth quarter. Brown paced Pittsburgh with five receptions for 151 yards and the touchdown catch. Jerricho Cotchery caught the Steelers' other touchdown, an 11-yarder from Roethlisberger in the first quarter.
Cleveland (4-9) struggled to sustain long drives for most of the game after moving the ball downfield on the opening drive. McCoy appeared to dive into the end zone for a touchdown on the first possession, but a TV replay showed that he was down prior to the ball breaking the plane of the goal line. The Pittsburgh defense stopped running back Peyton Hillis on the next play and held Cleveland to a 20-yard field goal by Phil Dawson. The Browns had just 98 net yards rushing on the game.