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PITTSBURGH 13, CLEVELAND 6

Steeler Victory Is Hardly a Masterpiece

November 24, 2003|From Associated Press

CLEVELAND — The Pittsburgh Steelers have rarely felt so good about looking so bad.

Pittsburgh capitalized on five Cleveland turnovers for an ugly 13-6 victory over the bumbling Browns on Sunday, keeping the Steelers' slim playoff hopes alive.

Jerome Bettis ran for a season-high 93 yards in 24 carries for Pittsburgh, which won despite being outgained, 303-168, in total yards, getting only 11 first downs, committing 10 penalties and running only six offensive plays in the third quarter.

The Steelers had 73 passing yards, with fullback Dan Kreider getting two catches for a team-high 21 yards.

"It did not matter if it was pretty, ugly or 3-0," Steeler quarterback Tommy Maddox said. "You want to be good statistically, but you want to win games.

"That's the most important thing."

Chad Scott intercepted Kelly Holcomb's pass with 1 minute 41 seconds remaining at the Pittsburgh 39 to seal it for the Steelers (4-7), who had dropped six of seven and were coming off a short workweek after playing at San Francisco on Monday night.

"Nobody believed in us but us," said Steeler linebacker Joey Porter, who is holding out hope the club will make the playoffs. "We're still in this."

Cleveland didn't score a touchdown despite having the ball inside Pittsburgh's 20 four times -- and came away with one field goal on three visits within the 10.

In the third quarter, the Browns (4-7) twice had first and goal at Pittsburgh's six-yard line but failed to score.

On the Browns' second trip there, Holcomb forced a pass to Andre' Davis into double coverage that was picked off by Brent Alexander in the end zone.

In all, the Browns gained 12 yards in 14 plays inside the 20. On their 10 snaps inside the 10, they gained one yard, were stopped on a crucial fourth down and threw an interception.

Cleveland also had a punt return for a touchdown by Dennis Northcutt called back because of a holding penalty in the first quarter.

Maddox completed nine of 24 passes and threw a one-yard scoring pass to Mark Bruener in the second quarter.

Holcomb, who shredded the Steelers for 429 yards in the playoffs last season, went 25 of 44 for 234 yards and threw two interceptions.

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