Pittsburgh free-fall continued tonight as they lost for the 5th straight game, this time 13-6 to a poor Cleveland Browns team in a game played in subzero conditions.
photo credit: tomcoolinmiami
Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was sacked eight times and lost for the first time in 11 career games against the Browns (2-11), who extended Pittsburgh’s longest losing streak in six years and defeated the Steelers (6-7) at home for the first time since 2000.
“To lose five straight coming off a Super Bowl from last year is embarrassing,” wide receiver Hines Ward said. “There’s nothing fun about losing games, especially five in a row. We’re better than that. We should play better than that. With three games left, you’re going to see who really wants to go out here and play for the pride of this organization and this city and who doesn’t want to be around here.”
During the Steelers current losing streak they have now lost to Kansas City, Oakland and Cleveland; three of the NFL’s worst teams with a combined record of 9-28. This is certainly not what Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin had in mind when he promised his team would “unleash hell” in December.
“We’ve found new and different ways to not rise up at critical moments and we’re losing football games because of it,” Tomlin said. “This one happened in all three phases.”
The win was just the second for Cleveland’s embattled first-year coach Eric Mangini, who certainly helped his job security by beating Pittsburgh, something no Browns coach had done since Chris Palmer nine years ago.
Josh Cribbs rushed for 87 yards out of the wildcat formation, had 104 return yards and caught one pass for 9 yards. He picked up a big first down on a 14-yard run in the fourth quarter when the Browns were trying to milk the clock.