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fordfixer
09-15-2008, 01:48 AM
Steelers win 10th straight in rivalry with Browns

By TOM WITHERS 2 hours ago
http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5h4NF ... wD936TECG1 (http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5h4NFmmB_GzImbOzq3CPUeiSk9ETwD936TECG1)
CLEVELAND (AP) On a less-than-ideal night for football or any other outdoor activity, the Pittsburgh Steelers made it a perfect 10 over the Cleveland Browns.

Ignoring his sore right shoulder and wind gusts of 60 mph, Ben Roethlisberger threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Hines Ward as the Steelers made it 10 straight wins over their closest rival, beating the Browns 10-6 on Sunday to extend the NFL's longest current winning streak between two teams.

As is their way, the Steelers wrecked Cleveland's return to prime time after a five-year hiatus. Pittsburgh has won eight in a row in Cleveland, 16 of 17 in the series and 23 of 26 in a rivalry that has been one-sided since the days Roethlisberger was learning how to throw a football as a kid in Findlay, Ohio.

During the game, it was disclosed on TV that Roethlisberger sustained a separated shoulder last week in a win over Houston. But Big Ben didn't seem bothered as he completed 12 of 19 for 186 yards and improved to 10-0 in NFL games inside his home state. The Cincinnati Bengals haven't had any luck in their stadium against him either.

Jeff Reed kicked a 48-yard field goal in tricky conditions and the Steelers held off a late rally by the Browns (0-2), who were hoping this would be the year they finally challenged Pittsburgh for supremacy in the AFC North.

Not yet.

Phil Dawson kicked field goals of 31 and 38 yards, the second one with 3:21 left to pull the Browns to 10-6.

Browns coach Romeo Crennel was counting on his defense getting the ball back, but Roethlisberger, as he has always done against Cleveland, came up with the big play. He scrambled from pressure to buy some time and rifled a 19-yard pass to Heath Miller for a first down at midfield.

Willie Parker broke free on a 19-yard run and the Steelers ran out all but the final 26 seconds. Parker finished with 28 carries for 105 yards.

Cleveland quarterback Derek Anderson threw two interceptions, one setting up Roethlisberger's TD to Ward, and the second that ended the Browns' best shot at a TD on the final play of the first half.

One play after dropping a touchdown pass at the front of the end zone in traffic, Ward made up for it with an easy grab for six points in the second quarter.

On third-and-9, Ward got loose in Cleveland's secondary, and with cornerback Terry Cousin unable to catch him, Pittsburgh's wideout had no trouble hauling in Roethlisberger's pass for the game's first score.

Ward punctuated the touchdown by kicking his feet behind him like a dog toward the Browns' vaunted Dawg Pound section.

The Steelers' drive was helped by two defensive penalties against the Browns.

Cleveland finally got its offense going and crossed midfield in the final two minutes of the first half. But with a chance to tie it, the Browns bungled away their first scoring opportunity.

Inside Pittsburgh's 20, they fumbled a snap and were called for an illegal shift. Referee Tony Corrente explained that the Browns had the option of having 10 seconds run off or being charged with their final timeout. Cleveland elected to have the time taken off, leaving them with 44 seconds.

Anderson then completed a 9-yard pass to the 12, and Cleveland's QB quickly sneaked for a first down before the Browns called their final timeout with 8 seconds left. Rather than kicking a field goal, Crennel sent Anderson and the offense back onto the field.

Anderson, though, who needed to get the ball into the end zone threw short and the pass was picked off by diving safety Troy Polamaul at the 3 to end the half.

Last week, Crennel was booed for kicking a field goal in the fourth quarter with the Browns down by three TDs.