Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was 15-of-23 passing for 134 yards with 3 touchdowns to Leonard Pope, Antonio Brown and Plaxico Burress to lead the team to a 24-10 win Sunday over the Cleveland Browns in the 2012 season finale.
The win means that the Steelers finish the season at 8-8 after going 3-3 in the AFC North division. The win also means that the team avoided finishing the season with a sub-.500 record, something that they haven\’t done since going 6-10 in 2003.
The Steelers defense managed to force 4 turnovers in the game as safety Troy Polamalu recorded his first interception of the season and cornerback Cortez Allen forced 2 fumbles while linebacker Lawrence Timmons sealed the game late with a sack fumble of Browns quarterback Thaddeus Lewis, who was forced to start Sunday for the Browns due to injuries to Brandon Weeden and Colt McCoy.
Linebacker James Harrison, who very well might have played his last game in a Steelers uniform Sunday, recorded 6 total tackles and sack in the win. Harrison is under contract for the next two seasons but could wind up being a salary cap causality during the offseason after nine seasons in Pittsburgh.
Running back Jonathan Dwyer led the Steelers on the ground with 52 yards on 11 carries and Pittsburgh rushed for 91 yards in the game total.
9 different receivers caught passes from Roethlisberger in the game with Emmanuel Sanders leading the team in receiving yards with 28 on his 2 catches.
The game was filled with several skirmishes which started after guard Doug Legursky tried to cut block a Browns defensive player. Phil Taylor retaliated by blind-siding tackle Kelvin Beachum down the field several plays later. Beachum left the game with a concussion and never retuned.
The Steelers also lost defensive end Brett Keisel and cornerback Keenan Lewis in the first half to knee injuries and rookie guard David DeCastro was also forced from the game with a stinger. The injury to Keisel might be one to his MCL and head coach Mike Tomlin said after the game that he will need an MRI to determine the damage.