“Big Ben now has more wins in Cleveland than every Browns QB since 1999”
From Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports:
Just to be clear: Big Ben plays for the Steelers
On Sunday afternoon, rookie second-round pick DeShone Kizer became the Browns’ 27th starting quarterback since returning to Cleveland in 1999. The team had previously — and unsuccessfully — used first-rounders on the likes of Tim Couch, Brady Quinn, Brandon Weeden and Johnny Manziel.
But in 2004, the Browns could’ve ended the run of futility and saved themselves and their embittered fan base 14 more seasons of misery. All they had to do was draft Ohio native Ben Roethlisberger with the sixth-overall pick. Instead, then-coach (and former University of Miami coach) Butch Davis went with tight end Kellen Winslow, who two games into his rookie season broke his leg in a motorcycle accident. And three years after that, was out of Cleveland altogether.
Roethlisberger, meanwhile, has two Super Bowl rings and remains one of the league’s best passers.
We mention this because Roethlisberger and the Steelers eked out a 21-18 Week 1 win at FirstEnergy Stadium, which now means Roethlisberger — who, we reiterate, plays for the Steelers — now has more wins in Cleveland than any Browns quarterback since the team returned to the NFL in 1999.
Roethlisberger is now 22-2 against the Browns all time, and 11-2 when playing in Cleveland. Derek Anderson, who played for the Browns from 2005-09 and was the last quarterback to lead the team to a winning record (10-6 in 2007) trails Big Ben with 10 wins in Cleveland.
And it sounds like Big Ben’s motivation, in part, comes from the fact that the Browns passed on him more than 13 years ago. This tweet, prior to the Steelers-Browns matchup last November, remains evergreen.
“Two quarterbacks had already been picked (Philip Rivers and Eli Manning), so as a competitor, I felt underestimated,” Big Ben told ESPN.com at the time. “When Cleveland passed on me, technically my hometown team, that was it. I couldn’t wait to have a team and play the Browns at some point. Funny how it works out I’d go to Pittsburgh and play them twice a year.”
Roethlisberger finished 24 of 36 for 263 yards, two touchdowns and an interception against the Browns on Sunday.
You can read more here.
Ben, post-game video:
‘We’ll take a win any way we can get it‘
Ben threw two touchdown passes to tight end Jesse James on Sunday to lead the Pittsburgh Steelers to a 21-18 victory over the Cleveland Browns in the season-opening game for both teams.
The Steelers tried to set the tone quickly. They deferred after winning the coin toss, drove the Browns backward on three plays and then blocked a punt by Britton Colquitt. Linebacker Tyler Matakevich knifed through the middle of the line to swat the ball and Anthony Chickillo fell on it in the end zone for the touchdown.
The Browns settled down after another shaky possession in which rookie DeShone Kizer was sacked twice before tying the score on a 1-yard quarterback sneak by Kizer. 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. Kizer scored two plays later.
The first half was a clash of defenses for the most part, but then with 45 seconds left in the first quarter, the Steelers took a 14-7 lead on a 4-yard touchdown pass from Roethlisberger to James.
The Steelers had 62 yards of offense until the scoring drive that started at the Steelers 9. Antonio Brown had 80 yards on three receptions on the drive — one of them 50 yards on a pass deflected by linebacker Joe Schobert over the middle.
The Browns cut the deficit to 14-10 on a 24-yard field goal by rookie Zane Gonzalez with 9:27 left in the third quarter.
The Steelers expanded their advantage to 21-10 on the following possession when Roethlisberger hooked up with James for a 2-yard pass out of an empty backfield. Roethlisberger got excellent protection on the play and found James in front of Schobert.
The Steelers made life miserable for the Browns quarterback — this time Kizer. They sacked the rookie seven times and then snuffed out a drive late in the third quarter when linebacker T.J. Watt intercepted a pass on the Pittsburgh 17.
You can read more here.