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Live from Heinz Field Oct. 18
October 18, 2009 - Buck Frank
Steelers lead 17-7.
For a brief moment it appeared the Steelers were on the verge of blowing out the Browns, but Joshua Cribbs returned a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown to keep the punchless Browns in the game. It was Cribbs' third career return for a score against Pittsburgh.
The Steelers had taken a 14-0 lead on a 52-yard pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Hines Ward.
They extended their lead right before halftime on a Jeff Reed 32-yard field goal. The Steelers were fortunate to get a first down on a fourth-and-1 sneak by Roethlisberger. It appeared as though he was short when measured with the chains, but nonetheless it was a first down.
Ward also caught a beautiful over-the-shoulder pass for an apparent touchdown, but he didn't maintain possession of the ball through the entire catch -- the NFL rule that's becoming a joke -- and the Steelers had to settle for three points.
The Steelers lead 7-0 on a Ben Roethlisberger-to-Heath Miller 8-yard TD pass at the beginning of the quarter. Big Ben had tons of time to find Miller in the back corner of the end zone. The play followed a 41-yard pass to Santonio Holmes, which followed a 25-yard pass to Miller.
The touchdown drive began after Troy Polamalu, playing in his first game since the opener, stepped in front of a Joshua Cribbs pass and intercepted it at the Steelers' 15-yard line.
The Browns continue to have problems with their passing game. We've counted four drops so far.
Half-hour until kickoff.
It's a chilly day, but the sun is out in Pittsburgh.
The Steelers are hoping to make it 12 straight against the Browns and will have both Troy Polamalu and Willie Parker back in the lineup. Parker, however, won't start the game.
The Steelers de-activated Limas Sweed for the game, along with two other mild surprises -- fullback Carey Davis and linebacker/special teamer Andre Frazier.
The Browns will be without outside linebacker Kamerion Wimbley, who reportedly has the flu. Starting kicker Phil Dawson (calf) and tight end Steve Heiden (knee) will also miss the game.
The Steelers have 25 former players in attendance, including Jerome Bettis, Jeff Hartings and Kimo von Oelhoffen. Others include Walter Abercrombie, Frenchy Fuqua and Glenn Edwards.