The Browns ran more plays than the Steelers did and picked up 304 yards, but could not get into the end zone against a defensive unit that came up with two interceptions and three quarterback sacks. It was the seventh time in 13 games this season that the Browns had scored one touchdown or fewer.
Pittsburgh won its fourth in a row, improved to 10-3 and moved a half game in front of Baltimore in the AFC North. Baltimore is expected to move back into a tie for the division lead Sunday when it goes after its fourth straight win against the winless Indianapolis Colts.
Roethlisberger brought the Steelers back from an early 3-0 deficit by driving them 73 yards in five plays late in the opening period. The touchdown came on an 11-yard pass to Jerricho Cotchery.
Roethlisberger left the game in the second quarter after being sacked at his own 17-yard line. He was favoring his left ankle as he was helped off the field and into the locker room.
The Pittsburgh quarterback returned to start the second half and wrapped up the victory by throwing a 79-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Brown early in the fourth quarter.
Roethlisberger completed 16-of-21 passes for 280 yards with one interception.
Cleveland's Colt McCoy was 18-of-35 for 209 yards.
The only score for Cleveland (4-9) came on a 20-yard field goal by Phil Dawson. The Browns have lost three in a row and six out of seven.