Steelers lead Browns 14-7 at halftime of season opener in Cleveland

The Steelers opened the regular season with a 21-18 win over the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium, their 43 opening day win, which ranks first all-time in the AFC.

Fans say win or lose, Sunday was a victory for the local law enforcement, the Browns, and the community.

The Steelers former second-round draft pick out of Michigan State chose to stay away from the team most of the offseason after receiving the franchise tag ahead of the start of the new league year in March.

The Steelers took a two-score lead over the Browns when quarterback Ben Roethlisberger slipped a two-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jesse James over the middle of the field with 5:37 to play in the third quarter. Antonio Brown, who had been relatively quiet leading up to that point, had three huge receptions for a total of 80 yards, including a 50-yard catch and run. He finished going 20-30 with 222 yards, recording a touchdown through the air along with one on the ground.


Roethlisberger passed for 263 yards.

Martavis Bryant, who missed all of last season, and Le'Veon Bell, who missed all of the offseason and training camp, were out of sync in the offense.

The Steelers had 62 yards of offense until the scoring drive that started at the Steelers 9.

While penalties worked against the Steelers plenty throughout the afternoon, one worked in their favor on the ensuing drive.


Pittsburgh linebacker Tyler Matakevich burst through the line and Anthony Chickillo jumped on it in the end zone, ending Cleveland's first drive of the season in tremendous failure.

Kizer scored his first rushing touchdown of his career with 24 seconds left in the first quarter.

Watt is the younger brother of Houston Texans star J.J. Watt. That's when Watt came up with a huge play, intercepting Kizer and returning it 17 yards. Bell wants to make almost double that, though he believes he should be compensated for his major role in Pittsburgh's passing game.

The Steelers hadn't blocked a punt for a touchdown since Lance Brown did it against Kansas City in 1998. James took exception to that, then answered with six catches for 41 yards and two scores. The key play in the 68-yard drive was a 21-yard pass interference penalty on Steelers safety Sean Davis at the Pittsburgh 4-yard line.



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