Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Ben Roethlisberger, No 7, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ quarterback, was back to his best.
Ben Roethlisberger, No 7, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ quarterback, was back to his best.
Ben Roethlisberger, No 7, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ quarterback, was back to his best.

Roethlisberger returns to Steelers with a bang

Steelers quarterback admits nerves on return from suspension but comes away with more than a win.

Ben Roethlisberger revelled in the cheers he feared he might not hear and the Pittsburgh Steelers displayed the big-play ability they have missed all season in an easy 28-10 victory over Cleveland on Sunday.

Roethlisberger, returning from his four-game suspension, was cheered loudly during his first game in nine months. He completed 16 of 27 passes for 257 yards and three touchdowns.

It was his first game since he was accused of, but not charged with, sexually assaulting a college student in March. Many Steelers fans had expressed outrage at his actions, but except for 20 sign-carrying protesters outside the stadium, that anger was not evident. Roethlisberger received numerous loud ovations from the crowd of 65,168.

“I started thinking about it on the way here,” said Roethlisberger, who once worried that his reception would be chilly. “Before the game I got emotional. To hear the cheers was something special. I got a little emotional.”

With the Steelers leading 7-3 but backed up to their four-yard line late in the third quarter, Roethlisberger completed passes of 50 yards to Mike Wallace and 36 yards to Heath Miller on successive plays. Three plays later, Hines Ward fought through two potential tacklers on an eight-yard touchdown catch to make it 14-3.

Roethlisberger also threw scoring passes of 29 yards to Wallace and 14 yards to Miller.

“We had our hands full with those guys. They’re really fast, they’re really good,” said Colt McCoy, the Cleveland quarterback who was making his first NFL start. He completed 23 of 33 passes for 281 yards, but was sacked five times.

“He had a lot of poise for his first game, playing against one of the toughest defences in the league,” Eric Mangini, the Browns coach, said.

McCoy was playing with a depleted cast after James Harrison, the Steelers linebacker, sidelined wide receivers Joshua Cribbs and Mohamed Massaquoi with head injuries during the second quarter. Cribbs left after a helmet-to-helmet collision which caused him to crumple on to the turf for several minutes.

Massaquoi was shaken up after Harrison’s hit caused him to drop a pass.

“You don’t want to injure people. I don’t want to injure anybody,” Harrison said. “But I’m not opposed to hurting anybody.”

Apparently, his teammates aren’t, either. “He’s a beast,” Ward said of the 2008 Defensive Player of the Year. “When you see him knocking guys out, you know he’s a man on a mission. You don’t want to see guys get hurt, but he set the tempo for us.”

The Browns were forced to play the second half with only two healthy wide receivers, Brian Robiskie and Chansi Stuckey.

The Steelers beat Cleveland for the 13th time in 14 games, and moved into first place in the AFC North as Baltimore lost to New England 23-20 in overtime.

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 The seventh edition of the Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament was kicking off at Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi on Wednesday with plenty of excitement in store. Ravindranath K / The National

In pictures: IPL 7 kicks off in Abu Dhabi

The first match in the seventh edition of the Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament, between Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders, was held at Zayed Cricket Stadium amid plenty of colour.

 Al Rayyan's Yakubu Ayegbeni, left, tries to escape the attention of Jazira's Khamis Ismail. Karim Jaafar / AFP Photo

Late strike qualifies Al Jazira for last 16 of Asian Champions League

A dramatic late goal gave Al Jazira a 3-2 victory at Al Rayyan of Qatar in the Asian Champions League (ACL) on Wednesday night and it was just enough to push Walter Zenga’s side into the knockout stages.

 Zayed Cricket Stadium had not witnessed so electrcic an atmosphere before Wednesday evening. Pawan Singh / The National

Packed house gathers in Abu Dhabi for Indian Premier League opener

In less than half a day, Zayed Cricket Stadium witnessed the force that is Indian cricket, with the sound drowning out the controversies that have dogged the Twenty20 tournament, writes Osman Samiuddin.

 Lionel Messi of Barcelona looks down after being defeated during the Copa del Rey Final between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona at Estadio Mestalla on April 16, 2014 in Valencia, Spain. David Ramos/Getty Images

Plenty of life still in Barcelona, says Gerardo Martino

Barcelona coach maintained his side can still return to their former glories after they were beaten 2-1 by a Gareth Bale-inspired Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey final.

 Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton, left, and Nico Rosberg at the official press conference following qualifying for the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park on March 15, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia. Mark Thompson/Getty Images

F1: Toto Wolff says Mercedes have all the right ingredients in place

With Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg at the wheel, Mercedes have so far dominated the first three grands prix going into this weekend’s fourth round in China.

 Sunderland manager Gus Poyet, left, reacts as Manchester City's manager Manuel Pellegrini looks on during their English Premier League football match at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester on April 16, 2014. The match ended in a 2-2 draw. AFP PHOTO/Andrew YATES

Poyet says ‘I am sure that Luis Suarez is going to be happy’ after Sunderland draw at Manchester City

Sunderland’s survival chances remain slim because now they face Chelsea away at the weekend but manager Gus Poyet insists they are not trying to benefit Liverpool or his fellow Uruguayan, Luis Suarez.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National