Steelers-Browns Post-Game Notes

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STEELERS vs BROWNS SUNDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2008 KICKOFF -- 1:00 P.M.  POST-GAME NOTES

Team Notes:
 
• Pittsburgh finished the regular season with a 12-4 record, but already had clinched the No. 2 seed in the AFC playoffs and the accompanying bye next week.
• The Steelers won their 11th straight game against the Cleveland Browns and improved to 57-55 all-time in the regular-season series.
• Pittsburgh improved to 35-21 all-time at home in the regular season against the Browns.
• The Steelers' 11-game winning streak over the Browns is the longest in the series history for Pittsburgh and is tied for the second-longest current streak against a single opponent in the NFL (New England over Buffalo).
• Pittsburgh has won 17 of the past 18 games against the Browns.
• The Steelers finished a perfect 6-0 against teams in the AFC North Division this year, marking the first time since 2002 the Steelers did not lose a game versus divisional teams. The Steelers have won 13 of their last 15 games against AFC North Division opponents.
• The shutout is the first for Pittsburgh this year and the first since it defeated the Miami Dolphins 3-0 on Nov. 26, 2007.
• Pittsburgh owns the best home record in the NFL with a 216-83-1 record (.722) since the NFL merger in 1970.
• Pittsburgh finished the season outscoring its opponents 74-29 in the third quarter, which is the fewest in the NFL in any quarter.
RB Willie Parkergave Pittsburgh a 7-0 lead in the second quarter with a 34-yard rushing touchdown, his fifth of the season. It was also his 24th rushing touchdown of his career, moving him into eighth place on the team's all-time rushing touchdowns list ahead of Rocky Bleier. The 34-yard run was also the longest for Parker since a 41-yard touchdown run on Dec. 17, 2006 at Carolina.
QB Ben Roethlisbergerwas carted off the field on a stretcher with less than two minutes remaining in the first half, suffering a concussion.
• Backup QB Byron Leftwichgave Pittsburgh a 14-0 lead just before the half with an eight-yard touchdown run, his ninth career rushing touchdown.
• The Steelers shut out the Browns in the first half for the second time this season. Pittsburgh led 7-0 in Week 2 at Cleveland.
• Pittsburgh outgained the Browns 212-89 in the first half.
• The Steelers upped their lead to 17-0 in the third quarter as K Jeff Reedbooted a 22-yard field goal. The drive was set up by S Tyrone Carter'sinterception in the Browns' territory. It was his first pick of the season and the fifth of his career (second with Pittsburgh).
RB Gary Russellgave Pittsburgh a 24-0 lead in the fourth quarter with a three-yard touchdown run with 9:41 left in the game. The 12-play, 88-yard drive covered over seven minutes.
• Carter capped the scoring with his second interception of the game, returning it 32 yards for his first career touchdown to make it 31-0.
• Pittsburgh outgained the Browns 369-126 in total offense, including 193-20 through the air. The 20 yards passing against the Steelers is the fewest Pittsburgh has given up since it allowed only 17 yards passing against the Browns on Sept. 10, 1989.
• Pittsburgh limited the Browns to only eight first downs while gaining 20 of its own.
• The 126 yards allowed by Pittsburgh were a season low.
• The Steelers converted 58 percent (7 of 12) of their third downs while holding Cleveland to just 23 percent (3 of 13) on third downs.
• The Steelers finished the season with an NFL-low 223 points scored against their defense, an average of 13.9 points per game. The 223 points are the fewest against the Steelers since they allowed only 212 points during the 2001 season, an average of 13.3 points per game.
• Pittsburgh held the ball for 33:20 to the Browns 26:40.
• The Steelers posted three sacks in the game, giving them 51 on the year. The 51 sacks were the most since they had a team-record-tying 55 sacks in 2001.
• Pittsburgh had two interceptions in the game, both by Carter, to give it 20 on the season.
QB Dennis Dixon (3rd QB), S Ryan Clark, CB Fernando Bryant, LB Bruce Davis, OT Tony Hills,DT Scott Paxson, OT Jason Capizziand LB James Harrisonwere inactive.
 
 
Individual Notes:
QB Ben Roethlisberger
• Finished 9-for-14 for 110 yards with one interception (58.6 passer rating) before leaving the game in the second quarter with a concussion.
• Improved to 23-4 all-time against the AFC North Division as the starting quarterback. Roethlisberger has won 12 straight games against divisional opponents, which is the longest current streak in the NFL and the most since Peyton Manning won 12 straight from 2004-06.
• Improved to 51-20 all-time as a starting quarterback.
• Improved to 28-8 at home in the regular season as the starting quarterback.
 
QB Byron Leftwich
• Came on in relief of Roethlisberger and finished 7-for-12 for 80 yards (78.5 passer rating).
• Had an eight-yard rushing touchdown in the second, his ninth career rushing touchdown.
 
QB Dennis Dixon
• Made his NFL debut in the fourth quarter, finishing 1-for-1 for three yards, which was a completion to WR Hines Ward for his 800th career reception.
 
RB Willie Parker
• Finished with his fourth 100-yard rushing game of the season and 25th of his career as he posted 116 yards on 23 carries (5.0 avg.). It was his first 100-yard rushing game since he had 115 yards against San Diego on Nov. 16 of this year.
• The Steelers improved to 22-3 when Parker rushes for over 100 yards in a game.
• Had a 34-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, his fifth of the season. It was also his 24th career touchdown, moving him into eighth place on the team's all-time rushing touchdowns list ahead of Rocky Bleier.
• His 34-yard run was also the longest for Parker since a 41-yard touchdown run on Dec. 17, 2006 at Carolina.
 
RB Gary Russell
• Rushed four times for 21 yards (5.3 avg.) with one touchdown, his third of the year.
 
RB Mewelde Moore
• Rushed four times for 23 yards (5.8 avg.) and caught one pass for 10 yards.
 
WR Hines Ward
• Finished with six catches for 70 yards (11.7 avg.), including a long of 24 yards.
• His six catches give him 800 for his career, which is the only receiver in team history to catch at least 800 passes.
• Finished the season with 81 receptions, marking the first time since 2004 he has at least 80 receptions in a season and it is the fifth time in his career he has posted over 80 receptions.
• Finished the season with 1,043 receiving yards, marking his fifth career 1,000-yard receiving season and his first since 2004.
• Has now caught a pass in a team-record 162 consecutive games.
 
WR Santonio Holmes
• Finished with three catches for 31 yards (10.3 avg.) and returned four punts for 16 yards (4.0 avg.).
• Finished the season with a career-high 55 catches, surpassing last year's total of 52 receptions.
 
TE Heath Miller
• Caught five passes for 55 yards (11.0 avg.), giving him a career-best 48 receptions on the year. His previous high was 47 in 2007.
 
OT Max Starks
• Made his 11th straight start at LT.
 
LB James Farrior
• Finished with seven tackles (three solo).
 
LB Larry Foote
• Finished with seven tackles (five solo) and forced one fumble.
 
LB Lawrence Timmons
• Made his second career start in place of the injured LB James Harrison.
• Finished with a team-high eight tackles (one solo).
 
S Tyrone Carter
• Made his second start of the season in place of the injured S Ryan Clark.
• Picked off his first pass of the season in the third quarter.
• Added his second interception of the game (sixth career and third with Pittsburgh) in the fourth quarter and returned it 32 yards for a touchdown, his first career touchdown.
• His interception return for a touchdown is the first for Pittsburgh since CB Deshea Townsend picked off a Tony Romo pass in the Steelers' 20-13 victory over Dallas in Week 14 of this year.
 
CB Bryant McFadden
• Posted his first sack of the season (second of his career) in the first quarter.
• Finished with three tackles (all solo) with one pass defense.
 
P Mitch Berger
• Punted four times for 184 yards (46.0 avg.), including a long of 49 yards.
 
K Jeff Reed
• Finished a perfect 4-for-4 in PATs and 1-for-1 in FGs for seven points.
• His seven points give him 733 points for his career, moving him into second place on the team's all-time scoring list ahead of Roy Gerela.

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