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Browns Overturn Steelers, 23-9

October 03, 1988| From Times Wire Services

PITTSBURGH — Cleveland spent the early weeks of the season turning over quarterbacks, but now the Browns are turning turnovers into victories.

The Browns converted 3 of 5 Pittsburgh second-half turnovers into a pair of Matt Bahr field goals and rookie Brian Washington's 75-yard touchdown run with an interception Sunday as Cleveland beat the Steelers, 23-9.

The Browns, who lost starting quarterback Bernie Kosar and backup Gary Danielson to injuries in the first 2 games, used the victory to stay competitive in the AFC Central Division race at 2-3.

The Steelers, who opened 1-6 2 seasons ago, lost their fourth straight to fall to 1-4.

The Browns, who lost 16 games in a row at Pittsburgh from 1970 through 1985, won here for the third consecutive year.

The Steelers turned the ball over three times in a four-play span in the third period, giving them 16 turnovers in the last 3 games.

"We've got quite a few guys who have never lost in Pittsburgh," tight end Ozzie Newsome said. "They don't know the frustration I felt here for 8 years, and that's good. We have a team now that comes here thinking the Cleveland Browns can win."

The Browns won even though quarterback Mike Pagel threw for only 131 yards while completing 15 of 26 passes.

The victory marked the 12th time in the last 14 Browns-Steelers game that the team committing the fewest turnovers has won.

"It seems like a couple of mistakes kill us every week," Steeler veteran center Mike Webster said. "And we haven't been making the big plays to offset them. We need to turn it around and fast--like 2 or 3 weeks."

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