When the Pittsburgh Steelers made Ben Roethlisberger active prior to Sunday’s game, it raised a few eyebrows, given that the veteran quarterback was carted off of the field with a foot injury last week. In hindsight, the call couldn’t have been better, as Roethlisberger came in to fill in for starter Landry Jones, who injured his left ankle.
Best back-up quarterback in the league? Well, at least for one week, as Roethlisberger led the Steelers to a 30-9 victory over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday at Heinz Field.
Jones went down on the second series of the game on Sunday after he led the Steelers to the red zone. Roethlisberger came into the game, and right away showed that he was more than capable of starting, as he hit Antonio Brown for the 4-yard touchdown to put the Steelers up 12-3. The two connected again on the subsequent two-point attempt, giving Pittsburgh a 14-3 lead.
Before the half, Roethlisberger continued to attack the Browns deep, as he connected with Martavis Bryant, who earlier in the game coughed up the ball down the sidelines, for a 32-yard touchdown pass to give the Steelers a 21-3 lead entering the half.
The Steelers wouldn’t relinquish the lead the rest of the game, as they held the Johnny Manziel-led Browns’ offense at bay throughout the game, forcing three turnovers and sacking the Texas Tech alum six times. The Browns only score of the game came in the fourth quarter, when Manziel found breakout tight end Gary Barnidge for a 7-yard TD pass. A missed Travis Coons extra-point attempt brought the score to 24-9.
The Steelers answered, though, as Roethlisberger hooked up with Brown again, this time from 56 yards, for the nail in the coffin to give the Steelers the 30-9 victory.
In relief, Roethlisberger ended the game going 22-33 for 379 yards, 3 touchdowns and 1 interception. Brown (10 for 139) and Bryant (6 for 178) led the Steelers in receiving.
Neither team’s running game could get going, as the teams combined for -2 yards at the half. Despite his showing last week against the Raiders, DeAngelo Williams totaled just 54 yards on 17 carries on Sunday, good for 3.2 yards per clip.
The Steelers will head into the bye before returning to the field in two weeks against Seattle on the road.