Pittsburgh traveled to Cleveland in Week 17 needing a win plus a Baltimore loss to secure the AFC North title and a first-round bye. The Steelers were able to defeat the Browns 13-9, but Baltimore knocked off Cincinnati to send Pittsburgh to the No. 5 seed and a Wild Card matchup in Denver.
The Steelers found themselves in a 6-0 hole late in the first half after a pair of Phil Dawson field goals for the Browns. Pittsburgh drove inside Browns territory on its first three drives of the game, but couldn’t put any points on the board.
On the team’s first drive of the game, the Steelers turned it over on downs at Cleveland’s 32, and then Roethlisberger was sacked for a 9-yard loss to move back of potential field-goal range on the second possession. The third time Pittsburgh got the ball, they again drove down the field, but Shaun Suisham’s 45-yard field goal missed wide left to keep the Steelers scoreless.
Pittsburgh got the ball back with 1:01 left in the first half and again marched down the field all the way do the Cleveland 1-yard line with 11 seconds left on the clock. After two incomplete passes, Suisham converted a 19-yard field goal as time expired to make the score 6-3 in Cleveland’s favor at the half.
The Steelers opened the second half with the ball and again positioned itself inside the Browns red zone, but again had to settle for a field goal to knot the score at 6-6.
After Troy Polamalu intercepted Seneca Wallace’s pass, Pittsburgh found the end zone for the first time on Isaac Redman’s 7-yard run. Redman played in place of Rashard Mendenhall, who was lost for the season with a knee injury earlier in the game.
The Browns added a field goal late in the third quarter to cut the Pittsburgh lead to 13-9, but that would be the final margin as the Browns’ final drive came up just short, stalling at the Pittsburgh 24 as time expired in the fourth quarter.
Redman filled in well for Mendenhall, finishing with 19 carries for 92 yards and one touchdown. Antonio Brown led the Steelers receivers with six catches for 90 yards. Roethlisberger finished 23-of-40 for 221 yards.