Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Pittsburgh officially the pits

Cough it up eight times in rare loss to lowly Browns

  • Print

CLEVELAND -- They didn't look like themselves at all. Not with the turnovers, penalties and blown chances.

These weren't the Pittsburgh Steelers of old.

And it had little to do with their 37-year-old quarterback.

"That was an ugly performance," coach Mike Tomlin said.

With their playoff lives in peril, the Steelers committed eight turnovers and third-string QB Charlie Batch didn't do enough to overcome the miscues as Pittsburgh lost 20-14 to Cleveland on Sunday, giving the Browns a rare win over their hated rivals.

"When you turn the ball over the way we did, you're not going to beat anybody," Tomlin said. "We were highly penalized. When you do those things, you're going to lose I don't care who is playing quarterback."

Batch, forced to start because of injuries to Ben Roethlisberger and Byron Leftwich, threw three interceptions and the Steelers (6-5) lost five fumbles, the last on a desperation final-play lateral as they fell to the Browns (3-8) for just the second time in 18 games.

Batch finished 20 of 34 for 199 yards, but couldn't rally the stumbling Steelers the way Big Ben can.

"I have to put it on my shoulders," Batch said. "We had a chance to win, actually two, and I turned it over. Can't do that. I made some bad throws. We had all the fumbles, and yet we still had a chance to win, that's the crazy part."

Browns rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden sustained a concussion in the final minutes, allowing backup Colt McCoy to come in and finish off a victory Cleveland fans will savour long after this season ends.

Coach Pat Shurmur said the 29-year-old Weeden was being treated for the head injury, which happened when he hit his head while throwing an incompletion.

Browns rookie Trent Richardson rushed for 85 yards, scoring the go-ahead TD on a 15-yard run in the third.

For one of the few times in recent years, Cleveland finally won a close game. And this one pleased new owner Jimmy Haslam, who had a minority share of the Steelers before buying the Browns for $1.05 billion in August. Haslam enjoyed not seeing "Terrible Towels" waving after the game.

"I've seen it the other way around," Haslam said. "It's good to see their fans leaving and our fans staying and cheering. It was a great win for us. It's nice for me, but it's bigger for our coaches and our players."

It also sent president Mike Holmgren out on a winning note. After the game, the Browns announced that it was the final game for Holmgren, who has been replaced by new CEO Joe Banner.

One of Haslam's goals was to revive one of the NFL's fiercest rivalries, which has been shaded in yellow and black for most of the past decade. Even with the loss, Pittsburgh is 23-5 against Cleveland since 1999, but in each of the seasons they lost one game to the Browns, the Steelers missed the playoffs.

That could happen again. Pittsburgh is tied with Cincinnati for second place in the AFC North behind Baltimore, and will visit the Ravens next week.

Tomlin has a lot to work on before then.

All four Pittsburgh running backs fumbled and Batch was understandably rusty. The Steelers were also called for several holding penalties that slowed drives. Wide receiver Plaxico Burress, re-signed during the week, did not have a reception but did draw an interference penalty in the end zone.

"We aren't going to have any team meetings, not going to sit in a circle and sing 'Kumbaya' or anything like that," safety Ryan Clark said. "We are going to do what we do after we win a game -- go back to work and figure out a way to play better."

Pittsburgh lost linebacker LaMarr Woodley in the first half with a left ankle injury, and offensive lineman Mike Adams went down with an ankle injury in the second half.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 26, 2012 C4

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Tree remover has special connection to Grandma Elm

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • MIKE APORIUS/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS STANDUP - pretty sunflower in field off HWY 206 near Bird's Hill Park Thursday August 09/2007
  • KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS / Jan 10  2011 ‚Äì WEB STDUP ‚Äì Frosty morning at -15 degrees C , in pic frost covers the the Nellie McClung statue  on the MB Legislature grounds at 7am

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Who are the real Bombers?

View Results

Ads by Google