Anthony Blaylock had a dream, then played it out.
"Believe it or not, I dreamed about this last night," Blaylock said. "I dreamed I was going to make some kind of big play today. I had flashes of running something in--I didn't know if it'd be an interception or what.
"It was a big situation for me, coming in to start. All last night I tossed and turned. I said I wasn't going to put pressure on myself like I did last year. I was going to relax and play my type of ball and whatever happens, happens."
Blaylock was filling in for holdout Frank Minnifield, a Pro Bowl cornerback who is seeking a $1 million annual deal. Blaylock saw considerable playing time filling in for injured defensive backs last year, with mixed results.
He nearly recovered a fumble deep in Pittsburgh territory in the first half, but his legs were out of bounds when he grabbed the ball, nullifying the recovery.
His second chance was much easier. Merril Hoge's fumble bounced right into his hands, and Blaylock had a clear path to the end zone for his first career touchdown.
"The ball popped out and it just bounced right to me," he said. "I just said, 'Oh, thank God, thank God.' "
The Browns, defending champions in the AFC Central Division, won a season-opening game at home for the first time since 1978.
Both teams struggled in their first games under new offensive coordinators, Joe Walton at Pittsburgh and Jim Shofner at Cleveland. The Steelers outgained the Browns, 210 yards to 158.
Cleveland's Jerry Kauric, who beat out Matt Bahr for the kicking job after Bahr hurt his back in the exhibition season, kicked field goals of 28 and 47 yards, and Gary Anderson kicked a 19-yarder for Pittsburgh.