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This time, Brown converts winning field goal

11/12/2001

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Kris Brown didn't leave the field kicking
himself this week.

Brown, who missed four field goals in a loss last week, was wide
with a late attempt in regulation before making his fifth field
goal with 9:38 left in overtime Sunday to lift the Pittsburgh
Steelers to a 15-12 victory over the Cleveland Browns.

"It's a little better feeling," Brown said. "Last week was
probably the longest, hardest week of my life. I'm just very happy
to get the opportunity."

Brown's game-winning, 32-yard kick was set up by Jerome Bettis,
who ran for 163 yards -- 48 on Pittsburgh's winning drive in OT -- as
the Steelers (6-2) stayed alone atop the AFC Central.

Moments earlier, Brown missed a 45-yard attempt with 1:37 left
in regulation and the scored tied 12-12. But the Steelers won the
OT toss, and behind Bettis, drove the ball to the Browns' 14.

"Kris told me to give him another chance," Bettis said. "When
we won the toss, I went to him and said, 'I'm going to give you
that chance to win it.' And he did."

On the first play of OT, Bettis swept left and went 37 yards to
the Browns' 45, bowling over safety Percy Ellsworth and a few other
Browns along the way.

He carried six more times as the Steelers rode "The Bus"
inside the Cleveland 20 to set up Brown.

Did the Steelers and Jerome Bettis simply wear down the Browns?
Yes, and that's what the Browns were afraid of -- that their defense would be on the field a lot. The Browns' D is a tired unit to begin with, because they play more than 70 snaps every game. The unit has had problems with depth due to injury, too. When you're on the field for 70 to 80 plays and you have fewer guys, that makes it tough.

To tackle Bettis as many times as he carries the ball is not an easy task. Give credit to the Browns, though, because they held the Steelers to five field goals. The Browns' offense has to make some first downs and give the defense a chance to rest.

ESPN.com's Vinny Cerrato was director of player personnel for the Redskins and 49ers.


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"I wanted the football," Bettis said. "I'm not saying I
wanted it 10 times. But the holes were there, and I just ran
through them."

Before sending Brown in on third down, Pittsburgh coach Bill
Cowher had a brief chat on the sideline with his kicker, who calmly
drilled his winning kick and was mobbed by teammates.

Brown made kicks from 31, 27, 37, 37 and 32 yards.

"I gave Chris the game ball," Cowher said. "I know how he
would have felt if he would have sat with that last miss. I have a
lot of confidence in him."

And in his defense.

The Steelers' top-ranked unit held the Browns to just 187 yards,
including 88 after the first quarter, and sacked quarterback Tim
Couch seven times -- all in the second half.

For the second straight week, the Browns (4-4) were beaten by a
player named Brown in overtime. In Chicago last Sunday, Bears
safety Mike Brown's interception return for a TD beat Cleveland
27-21.

"It was another very winnable game," linebacker Jamir Miller
said. "We had it in our hands and let it slip away. That's very
frustrating."

Couch finished 18-of-33 for 160 yards, but Cleveland's offense
managed only 3 points over the final 57 minutes.

"Earlier this year, we were winning these kind of games,"
Couch said. "The last two weeks we haven't found a way. It's tough
to take."

Pittsburgh's Kordell Stewart was 18-of-32 for 188 yards.

After Brown missed the four kicks in a 13-10 loss against
Baltimore last Sunday, Cowher sent him to Heinz Field for a special
practice session on Wednesday. The extra work paid off.

"Words can't describe how happy I am for Kris," wide receiver
Hines Ward said. "Or how happy he is, either."

Brown's third field goal, a 37-yarder, tied it 9-9 with 10:52
remaining in the third quarter.

The Browns responded with a 13-play drive and took the lead on
Phil Dawson's 40-yard field goal with 4:20 left in the quarter.

The Steelers then appeared to be in business when Amos Zereoue
took a short screen pass from Stewart, made a nice cutback in front
of Pittsburgh's bench and went 62 yards to the Browns' 2.

But on first down, Stewart tried to outrun the Browns to the
corner of the end zone and was stripped near the pylon by defensive
end Tyrone Rogers.

Officials ruled it went out at the 1, but the Browns challenged
the call. TV replays showed Stewart fumbled the ball into and out
of the end zone for a touchback.

The Browns became the first team to score against the Steelers
in the first quarter this season when Orpheus Roye, who played four
seasons in Pittsburgh, tackled Bettis one yard deep in the end zone
for a safety.

Cleveland took over at the 49 following the free kick, and Couch
made it 9-0 by threading a 12-yard TD pass to tight end O.J.
Santiago with 6:43 left in the quarter.

Game notes
Bettis moved into 12th on the career rushing list, moving
past Ricky Watters in the first quarter. Bettis has 10,670 yards.
O.J. Simpson is 11th with 11,236. ... Santiago's TD was his first
since Dec. 27, 1993, when he was with Atlanta. ... Browns S Earl
Little sustained a concussion in the second quarter when he was
flattened on a clean block by Ward. X-rays on Little's neck were
negative. ... Cleveland last played consecutive overtime games in
1986. The Browns won both. ... The crowd of 73,218 was the largest
in the three-year history of Cleveland Browns Stadium.