Published: Mon, September 11, 2017
Sports | By Mabel Barber

Roethlisberger, Steelers hold off Browns

James caught six passes for 41 yards, adding a 4-yard touchdown catch late in the first half that put the Steelers ahead for good at 14-7. A team that's in the middle of the road in this area the past three years needs a major spike to have a chance at the 30-points-per-game clip the offense so covets.

Roethlisberger passed for 263 yards.

Despite a mostly quiet offense, the Pittsburgh Steelers lead the Cleveland Browns thanks to their first blocked punt for a touchdown in almost 20 years. Brown had 11 receptions for 182 yards, while the offense had 290 total yards. Although Browns linebacker Joe Schobert tipped the pass, Brown stayed focused, caught the ball, turned upfield and gained 50 yards.

The second Roethlisberger-to-James touchdown combination of the day gave the Steelers a 21-10 lead over the Browns. He went 6-for-7 with 45 yards passing to go along with the touchdown run, and his team is now tied up at home against the Steelers. While the offense will get most of the headlines for the Steelers in 2017, the barometer for their success will come from the performance of their defense, namely their front seven. Three penalties for 35 yards gave the Browns the ball, and momentum, at the 29-yard line.

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James Conner said Thursday that while he and Bell split reps evenly in practice, he expects Bell will start and get most of the carries in Sunday's 1 p.m. kickoff at FirstEnergy Stadium.

Scoring Play: Ben Roethlisberger two-yard touchdown pass to Jesse James.

Browns fans are no stranger to disappointment and misery, but usually it takes a little longer than four plays into the season for that to kick in.

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