CLEVELAND (AP) – Their horrendous start has long been forgotten, erased with an equally unexpected turnaround.
The Steelers are in contention, right back where they belong. The playoffs are possible.
Ben Roethlisberger threw touchdown passes to Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders and beat Cleveland for the 16th time as Pittsburgh, which opened the season with four straight losses, pushed deeper into the postseason picture with a 27-11 win over the Browns on Sunday.
The Steelers (5-6) have climbed back with a one-game-at-a-time philosophy that they’re not about to abandon.
“I’m not looking around,” Roethlisberger said, quickly dismissing any postseason speculation. “It’s all about focus. This game is over now. That’s all we can control.”
Roethlisberger connected on a 41-yard TD pass to Brown in the first half, and hit Sanders on a 4-yarder in the third quarter for the Steelers, who only have a few days to get ready for a Thanksgiving game at Baltimore – a matchup that didn’t look as if it would be very meaningful a few weeks back.
Roethlisberger finished 22 of 34 for 217 yards and improved to 16-1 against the Browns (4-7), who have lost five of six and seen a promising season turn into yet another miserable one.
An Ohio native, Roethlisberger relishes beating a team from his home state.