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Browns Season Ends With 24-10 Loss To Steelers

By DARYL RUITER, 92.3 The Fan Browns Beat Reporter
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Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers drops back to pass against the Cleveland Browns during the game on December 30, 2012 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers drops back to pass against the Cleveland Browns during the game on December 30, 2012 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

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PITTSBURGH (92.3 The Fan) — If Sunday’s game was the last for Pat Shurmur, it will be one that he would like to forget.

The Browns turned the ball over 4 times and the Pittsburgh Steelers turned them into 14 points en route to a 24-10 win over the Cleveland Browns Sunday afternoon at Heinz Field.

“Overall, they battled,” Shurmur said. “We didn’t score enough points. We made a couple of mistakes that they capitalized on.”

Third string quarterback Thaddeus Lewis, in for the injured Brandon Weeden and Colt McCoy, completed 22 of 32 passes for 204 yards and an interception but it wasn’t enough as the Browns ended their 5th straight season with at least 11 losses.

It’s expected that Sunday’s loss was the last for Shurmur as coach of the Browns.

“We didn’t win enough games,” Shurmur said of his 2 seasons. “I have no regrets.”

The Browns had a chance to take the first lead early in the 2nd quarter but Phil Dawson was wide right on a 39 yard attempt toward the closed end of the stadium with 12:45 to play in the 2nd quarter. It was just his 2nd miss of the season.

“First and foremost, losing to the Steelers is never fun,” Dawson said. That’s disappointing. We really wanted to come in here and sweep them at their place. That’s was the goal.”

Pittsburgh took advantage and followed it up with a 9-play 48 yard drive capped by Shaun Suisham’s 41-yard field goal to give the Steelers 3-0 lead with 7:53 to play in the half.

Lewis helped move the Browns 10 plays and 47 yards in position for Dawson to hit a 51-yard field goal. Dawson finished the season a perfect 7-for-7 on kicks of +50 yards this season. The kick tied Dawson for the 2nd longest in Heinz Field history.

Lewis hit Josh Gordon on a quick screen but Cortez Allen stripped him and the loose ball was recovered by Lawrence Timmins at the 24 for Steelers.

Earlier in the half Troy Polamalu ended a Browns drive with an interception of Lewis.

Pittsburgh turned the 2nd turnover in the half into a Roethlisberger to Leonard Pope 1-yard touchdown. Eric Hagg was flagged for interference in the end zone to set the Steelers up at the 1.

Ray Ventrone ran for 35 yards on a fake punt to keep the Browns’ opening possession of the 2nd half alive.

“I played running back in high school, so I’m sure the local guys weren’t surprised to see me run with the ball,” Ventrone, who is a Pittsburgh area native, said. “I had 60 people here watching me.

“We saw the look we wanted and it worked.”

Travis Benjamin then drew an interference penalty on Josh Victorian at the 5 to set up a 1st and goal. Lewis hit Greg Little in the back of the end zone for a 7-yard touchdown to tie the game at 10 with 11:05 to play in the 3rd.

Roethlisberger marched 12-plays and 80 yards capped by a 9 yard TD throw to Antonio Brown for a 17-10 Steelers with 4:39 left in the 3rd.

With 6:27 to play in the game Lewis found Benjamin for a 17 yard gain but Allen popped the ball loose and picked it up.

The Steelers turned the 3rd turnover of the afternoon into a 12 yard TD to Plaxico Burress to provide the final margin.

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