|Date of game: 9/7/2014
Recap: Pittsburgh vs. Cleveland
Pittsburgh, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Shaun Suisham kicked a 41-yard field goal as time expired and the Pittsburgh Steelers held off a fierce push from the Cleveland Browns with a 30-27 victory.
The Steelers took over at their own 45 with 47 seconds remaining and the game tied at 27-27. Markus Wheaton caught a pass for 11 yards for a fresh set of downs and Ben Roethlisberger hit Wheaton again, this time over the middle for 20 yards. The Steelers then rushed to the line and spiked the ball before Suisham's kick through the uprights won the game.
Roethlisberger threw for 365 yards on 23-of-34 passing with a touchdown and an interception. Antonio Brown caught five catches for 116 yards and a touchdown, while Wheaton had 97 yards on six catches.
Pittsburgh's Le'Veon Bell led all rushers with 109 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries and added 88 receiving yards on six receptions. LeGarrette Blount had a rushing touchdown and Suisham made three field goals for the Steelers (1-0), who have 11 straight home games against the Browns.
"It was great to get a win," Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said. "The game was a game of two halves, but I like the team's ability to smile in the face of adversity."
Brian Hoyer overcame a poor first half to finish 19-of-31 for 230 yards and a touchdown for the Browns. Isaiah Crowell rushed for two touchdowns and Terrance West ran for 100 yards after starting running back Ben Tate left the game with a knee injury.
Travis Benjamin caught a touchdown pass and Andrew Hawkins had a team- high 87 receiving yards on eight catches for Cleveland (0-1), which scored 24 unanswered points coming out of halftime to erase a 27-3 deficit.
"Obviously, we didn't want to start the way we did," said Hoyer. "If you have the heart and character to battle back against that team and get back to where we were, I'll take that team any day."
Cleveland came out like a different team in the second half. Hoyer found Hawkins for a 16-yard pickup that had 15 yards tacked on by Ike Taylor's 15- yard facemask penalty. West then rushed 22 yards to put the Browns at their opponents' 27, Miles Austin picked up 17 yards on a catch and Crowell rushed the ball in from three yards out for a score to cap a 6-play, 80-yard drive.
The Browns started their next drive at their own 41. Hoyer hit Hawkins across the middle for 19 yards, Benjamin made an 11-yard catch and Crowell broke free for a 15-yard dash and a 27-17 game.
Billy Cundiff's 25-yard field goal to start the fourth quarter got the Browns within a touchdown.
Jabaal Sheard then sacked Roethlisberger deep in Steelers territory on third down to force a punt and start the Browns at midfield. West and Crowell each picked up first downs on the following series, while Hawkins caught a 17-yard pass before Benjamin's catch from nine yards out tied the game at 27-27.
On Pittsburgh's opening drive, Roethlisberger dumped a short pass off to Brown, who took the ball 41 yards into Cleveland territory. A few plays later, Bell gained 23 yards in similar fashion to set up an eventual 36-yard field goal from Suisham.
The Browns responded with a 39-yard Cundiff field goal after Jordan Cameron's 47-yard catch.
Wheaton beat a defender down the sideline and hauled in a 40-yard pass at the Cleveland 16 later in the first quarter. Three plays later, Blount plowed into the end zone from seven yards out for a 10-7 Steelers lead with less than a minute left in the opening stanza.
Karlos Dansby picked off Roethlisberger at the Steelers' 34 early in the second, but the Browns were forced to punt after Jarvis Jones sacked Hoyer for a 10-yard loss.
On Pittsburgh's next drive, Bell pushed the Steelers into Cleveland territory with a 30-yard catch before Roethlisberger eluded pressure and aired out a 35- yard bomb to Brown for a 17-7 game.
Brown returned a punt 36 yards to begin the Steelers' next possession, but picked up a 15-yard unnecessary roughness call for kicking punter Spencer Lanning in the helmet on a hurdle. Pittsburgh, however, just needed two plays to score. Justin Brown hauled in his first NFL catch for 12 yards before Bell found a few holes, cut to his right and stumbled into the end zone for a 38- yard touchdown with 7:43 left in the first half.
Suisham split the uprights from 34 yards out as the first half expired for a 27-3 lead.Game Notes
Browns head coach Mike Pettine made his debut. He was named the 15th coach in
Cleveland history on Jan. 23 ... Pittsburgh will travel to Baltimore on
Thursday ... The Browns will host the Saints next Sunday ... It was the sixth
season opener between the two teams and the first Week 1 meeting since 2007
... Cleveland had just 101 yards in the first half, but finished with 389 ...
Pittsburgh finished with 490 yards, totaling 364 in the opening half.