Parker and the offense delivered

Steelers 41, Cleveland Browns 0December 24, 2005
Cleveland Browns Stadium

It was the Christmas gift the Steelers wanted more than anything, a win over the Browns that would keep their playoff hopes alive.

In 2005 the Steelers defeated the Browns in a regular season game 41-0.

The Steelers 41-0 victory over the Browns, coupled with a Chargers loss, kept the dream alive for the black and gold.

Knowing they had to win, the Steelers did that in dominating fashion.

The Steelers put up 457 yards of total offense, including 209 yards on the ground, with Willie Parker accounting for 130 yards on 17 carries and a touchdown.

"He's been patient, he hits it," said Coach Bill Cowher. "Sometimes when he is patient you want him to hit it and sometimes when he hits it you want him to be patient. He is going to get better. What people don't understand is that the more he carries the ball, the better he will become. He is a young player and a first year starter. He is going to get better as a ball carrier as he experiences things."

The scoring came from everywhere, which isn't surprising when you put 41 points on the board. Jerome Bettis started it off with a two-yard run, and Hines Ward pulled in a seven-yard pass from Ben Roethlisberger for a 14-0 first quarter lead. The Steelers extended the lead to 20-0 at halftime thanks to two Jeff Reed field goals.

Parker had his biggest play of the day in the third quarter when he broke through a hole on the left side and went 80 yards for a touchdown and a 27-0 lead.

Verron Haynes added a 15-yard touchdown run, and Quincy Morgan caught a 31-yard pass from Charlie Batch for the 41-0 win.

"It felt good to go out there and do what we wanted to, running and throwing the ball," said Roethlisberger. "We may have missed a couple of plays here and there, but we went out and played hard. Our offensive line played well, again. They always do a good job."

It was the Steelers first shutout in five seasons, and came courtesy of a defense that held the Browns to just 186 yards and harassed rookie quarterback Charlie Frye, sacking him eight times and forcing four fumbles.

"Our defense was out there having fun flying around," said Roethlisberger. "It was fun watching them today. We had a good day, and it felt good for us."

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