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Roethlisberger, Brown and Bryant lead Steelers over Browns

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A hobbled Ben Roethlisberger came off the bench in relief of an injured Landry Jones to throw for 379 yards and three touchdowns as the ‪‎Steelers‬ beat the Browns 30-9.

PITTSBURGH—If you heard that Steelers starting quarterback Landry Jones completed a mere three passes on four attempts for 23 yards, and the Steelers won 30-9 over the visiting AFC North rival Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field on Sunday, it would sound like a surprise. But that is precisely what happened.

Jones started the game, but he did not see much action. He suffered a foot injury less than four minutes into the game on the Steelers’ second possession.

“It was unfortunate, but it’s part of the game,” Jones said afterwards. “There was no real discussion about me coming back into the game.”

PLAYER of the GAME
The Steelers were hoping that injured starter Ben Roethlisberger could rest his sore foot and sit out the game, but he was pressed into duty as Jones was carted off following his injury. He was really the only option as tight end Heath Miller was considered the emergency third string quarterback for the game.

“Ben [Roethlisberger] congratulated me after the game on my first win as a starter. I thanked him for coming in,” Jones said. “[Roethlisberger] is probably the most expensive backup in the NFL.”

Roethlisberger responded from his unfamiliar job as the backup quarterback and came off the bench to complete 22 passes on 33 attempts for 379 yards and three touchdowns. He set an NFL record for most yardage by a backup quarterback. Not bad for someone who was not even supposed to play.

“I had a lot of mental preparation. We let Landry Jones get most of the reps [in practice],” Roethlisberger said. “Coach and I checked in every day after treatment. I thought that the guys around me played great."

Some of the guys that played great around him included favorite targets Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant. Brown caught 10 passes for 139 yards, including a 56-yarder, and scored two touchdowns. Bryant caught six passes for 178 yards, including a 64-yarder, and scored one touchdown.

The Steelers never trailed in the game. They took a 6-3 lead after the first quarter. They appeared to take a 9-3 lead late in the second quarter after Chris Boswell kicked a 26-yard field goal, but the Browns were called for a penalty on the kick, which gave the Steelers a first down.

Roethlisberger took advantage of the gift and tossed a four-yard touchdown to Brown to give the Steelers a 14-3 lead. On the Browns’ ensuing possession, Will Allen caused a fumble and Jarvis Jones recovered it at the Cleveland 36-yard line.

TURNING POINT of the GAME
The Browns held the Steelers scoreless after the turnover but Pittsburgh’s defense rose to the occasion and forced a punt, giving the Steelers a second chance in the red zone before the half. This time they capitalized, as Roethlisberger hit Bryant for a 32-yard touchdown to give Pittsburgh a 21-3 lead with 42 seconds left in the half.

DEFENSIVE PLAYS of the GAME
The score basically put the game out of reach. The defense was led by Allen, who had 11 tackles (9 solo), a tackle-for-loss, and a forced fumble. Lawrence Timmons had 10 tackles  (7 solo), two tackles-for-loss, and a quarterback hurry.

The Steelers recovered two fumbles and Mike Mitchell intercepted a Manziel pass at the goal line. It was his third pick of the season.

Boswell kicked a 25-yard field goal in the third quarter to extend the Steelers' lead to 24-3. The Browns scored their first touchdown of the game less than two minutes into the fourth quarter when Manziel hit tight end Gary Barnidge for a 7-yard touchdown. The conversion was missed and the Steelers led 24-9.

On the ensuing possession, Roethlisberger hit Brown in stride over the middle and he ran 56 yards for a Steelers Lawrence Timmonstouchdown to push the Steelers' lead to 30-9 and finish the scoring for the game.

STAT of the GAME
The Browns were considered a push-over for opposing run offenses, as their run defense was ranked one of the worst in the NFL, but they held the Steelers run game to 60 yards on the ground, including just three yards on seven attempts in the first half.

Pittsburgh now has a bye week before returning to action on Nov. 29 at Seattle.

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