The Pittsburgh Steelers finished the season the way they needed, with their third straight victory — a 20-7 home win over Cleveland on Sunday afternoon, and early afternoon wins by the New York Jets and the Cincinnati Bengals left them needing only a win by Kansas City, which would have forged a five-way tie for the final AFC playoff position and placed the Steelers in the postseason team pool. But, the Chiefs, whose playoff slot could not be affected by their game Sunday and who were thus fielding mostly substitutes as starters, let a 24-14 lead slip away, missed a late field goal, and lost in overtime 27-24 to the San Diego Chargers.
Finishing a game ahead of the Steelers (8-8), the Chargers (9-7) earned the last playoff position, and will travel to meet Cincinnati on Wild Card weekend. The complete weekend playoff schedule can be found in another story on this website.
In Sunday’s season finale at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw a touchdown pass t0 Jerricho Cotchery, teammate Le’Veon Bell scored on a 5-yard run, and Shaun Suisham kicked a pair of field goals. The Browns’ only score came on a 35-yard pass play from Jason Campbell to Fozzy Whitaker with 2:46 remaining in the game. Cleveland closed the season with seven consecutive losses and finished with a 4-12 record.
The revamped version of the Cleveland Browns, formed in 1999, are 5-26 against the Steelers and 1-17 versus Roethlisberger.
The Steelers’ quarterback completed 19-of-31 passes for 179 yards with two interceptions. Antonio Brown caught nine passes for 87 yards, set a new team single-season record with 1,499 receiving yards, and finished up second to Hines Ward’s record of 112 receptions, recording 110. Bell rushed for 90 yards and caught a pass for six more yards, finishing the year with 1,259 yards from scrimmage, and breaking the Franco Harris record for Pittsburgh rookies of 1,235 such yards.
Campbell completed 23-of-41 throws for 240 yards with one interception. Josh Gordon caught seven passes for 82 yards.