The Pittsburgh Steelers beat the to the Cleveland Browns 24-10 Sunday in the season finale to even their record at 8-8 heading into the offseason. Below are the players that I thought had winning and losing performances in the game. Feel free to add your own in the comments.
Cortez Allen – For the second week in a row Allen produced turnovers as he had two forced fumbles and one recovery Sunday against the Browns. Last week in the loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, it was Allen who had two interceptions and a forced fumble in the loss. The Steelers second-year cornerback totaled 6 tackles in the game to boot and did not allow a receiving touchdown. All of that added together gets him easily onto our winners list.
Lawrence Timmons – Timmons will head into the offseason on a very high note as he had back-to-back sacks in the final two minutes of the game, and also forced a fumble on the second of those sacks that wound up being recovered by Ziggy Hood. The Steelers former first round draft pick also recovered a fumble in the game and had six tackles, including one for loss.
James Harrison – In what very well may have been his final game in a Steelers uniform, Harrison closed out the 2012 season with 11 total tackles, which led the team, and one sack, his sixth of the season. 7 of his 11 tackles were 3 yards or less from the line of scrimmage. The veteran linebacker did incur a roughing the passer call on the lone touchdown pass by the Browns in the game, but that is forgivable when you consider his total effort.
Troy Polamalu – Polamalu looked as healthy as ever in the season finale and recorded 1 interception, 2 passes defensed and 3 total tackles.
Jonathan Dwyer – Dwyer really ran hard in this game and compiled 52 yards rushing on 11 carries. He also chipped in another 9 yards of offense with his one reception in the game. His running effort produced 3 runs of 12 yards.
Drew Butler – It hasn\’t been a great season for the rookie out of Georgia and 3 of his 6 punts Sunday were 40 yards or less. Butler almost seemed to have a dead leg in this game in addition and he will have to improve greatly during the offseason.
Maurkice Pouncey – Pouncey seemed way too occupied with defensive tackle Phil Taylor following his hit on Kelvin Beachum that knocked him out of the game. The Steelers center was in the middle of several skirmishes that could have resulted in him getting thrown out of the game. That would have been brutal had that happened as the Steelers had all offensive linemen that weren\’t injured ion the game at that time. If that weren\’t enough he got worked over up the middle a few noticeable times as well.
Josh Victorian – The Steelers young cornerback gave up the deep pass interference play that led to the Browns only touchdown. He was also picked on a few times underneath in this game with no significant plays to his credit.
Keenan Lewis – We all know that Lewis is gutsy enough to try and play through injury, but he kept himself in way too long against the Browns and was victimized a few times as he was playing on one leg in coverage. He had no business being out there and was only hurting the defense early in.