With the elements changing the composure of a game where the Steelers would be able to victimize a weak Browns secondary, Pittsburgh was able to rely on the reliable mixture of running, effective passing and opportunistic defense to turn back the Browns for the 10th time in a row.
Both sides were slow to establish any sort of rhythm on offense, but the Steelers were able to keep the ever exposed Derek Anderson in a state of confusion, while Ben Roethlisberger made the key throws he needed to make to extend drives and put the Steelers in position to put points on the board. Despite the fact that he scored the game's only touchdown, Hines Ward looked the worst among the Steelers' key components, looking a bit like Nate Washington trying to squeeze the ball in.
Once again, Willie Parker went over 100 yards against the Browns, eclipsing the century mark on a clinching dash on the team's final drive. Where there were concerns, the Steelers excelled again. Josh Cribbs was rendered a non-factor by the special teams and the offensive line performed admirable for the most part.
The defense bent but found moments to come up big, like Troy Polamalu's pick in the red zone right before the half. Naturally, they were helped by the inept clock management down the stretch by Romeo Crennel.
With a separated shoulder coming in, Ben deserves all the more credit for playing near flawlessly. Not that the Browns didn't try to exploit that vulnerability, with Shaun Rogers taking a cheap late hit on the Steelers Qb in the 4th quarter that wasn't flagged. Class act, those AFC North bottom feeders.