Steelers Go Back to the Future; End 2012 Season with 24-10 Win Over Browns

It wasn’t pretty, but then again, what really was in 2012?

Nevertheless, the Steelers ended the season on a high note Sunday, beating the battered but frisky Cleveland Browns 24-10 at Heinz Field.

The game featured a number of scuffles between the teams, and included Steelers C/G Doug Legursky taking a shot at Browns LB Craig Robertson, and then later on Cleveland NT Phil Taylor taking down Steelers OT Kelvin Beachum.

In the end, it was almost like a Steelers-Browns game that actually mattered.

“It was a pretty grimy game,” Legursky said. “That’s the way we like it. At the end of the day, there are no hard feelings, we were competing to win.”

The Steelers led 17-10 midway through the fourth quarter when Cortez Allen forced a fumlbe on Browns WR Travis Benjamin, and returned it to the Browns 27.

They converted the turnover into their last TD of the season, a Ben Roethlisberger 12-yard TD pass to Plaxico Burress, who played well in what could be for the second time his last game with the Steelers.

“It was nice, it was fun,” Roethlisberger said. “They doubled him every time we got down there but that time they didn’t. He’s a big body down there and made a great catch.”

Burress didn’t get all that much of a shot to be a big part of the team after being signed due to injury, but at least walks away with his head high after being a big part of the last win of 2012.

He could be a part of the Steelers future, more so if the team winds up losing Mike Wallace, who didn’t play Sunday and will almost for sure explore free agency and look for a huge deal somewhere.

As for Burress, he said after the game he would like to keep playing.

“I understand it’s a business,” Burress said. “I am just going to keep working hard, I know I will be back somewhere.”

Some of the other Steelers highlights included the running of Jonathan Dwyer, who rushed for 52 yards on 11 carries, and will be one of the backs the Steelers will take a long look at this offseason.

Safety Troy Polamalu picked off an early Thad Lewis pass, but overall the game was rather sloppy, with the score tied 3-3 late into the second quarter.

The Steelers took a 10-3 halftime lead when Roethlisberger threw a one-yard TD to Leonard Pope with :47 seconds left in the half.

The score came after a Josh Gordon fumble that was recovered by Allen.

Cleveland tied the game at 10 in the third quarter when Lewis hit Greg Little with a score after the Browns caught the Steelers sleeping with a fake punt.

The Steelers countered with a drive that ended with Roethlisberger hitting Antonio Brown from 9 yards out with 4:39 left in the third to make it 17-10.

The Burress score put the final nail in the Browns coffin and avoided the Steelers first sweep of Cleveland since the 1988 season.

With many question marks, the Steelers wind up the year at 8-8, and now will face a number of tough decisions that will make this a most interesting offseason.

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About the author: Matt Loede

 

Matt Loede has been in the sports media for over 16 years, with experience covering Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association and of course, the National Football League. On NFL Sunday’s you can hear Matt on National networks like Fox Sports Radio, Associated Press, and other stations around the country. Matt also joined The Washington Post in 2009 as a guest columnist on league hot topics. Born and raised in Cleveland, Matt studies and talks football inside and out, and is anxious to share his thoughts and comments with readers on a daily basis.

 

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6 Comments

  • Dave B.

    After signing a whopping 61 million dollar contract extension last summer , what happened to you Lamar ? Where O where are you tonite , why did you leave us here all alone ? Thats the question alot of Steeler fans and even some teammates should be asking right now . Woodleys job is to generate pressure on the opposing quarterback and get sacks . After the 2012 season concluded , Lamar Woodley had a grand total of four sacks . Thats not a misprint , four sacks for the entire season . Oh an by the way , after November 18 he had absolutely none ! That is completely and totally unacceptable for a player that is supposedly one of the premier outside linebackers in the league . You cant blame it on age , the guy just turned 28 last month . He should be at his peak physically , but hes not . So whats the solution to the problem ? How about overall conditioning in the offseason which leads to being overweight and out of shape . Woodley is listed at 265 pounds but thats probably wishful thinking on the Steelers part . This guy is bigger than alot of defensive lineman around the league . Bottom line , he shouldnt be . Hes not a lineman . His game is built on speed and he does not have it . At the end of the day , the 2012 season came to a close and its time to move on , however , the veterans on this team need to step up and start taking care of their own buisness if they want to contend next year . Lamar Woodley is just one example , of a guy that didnt .

    • George H

      Well said. Woodley didn’t seem to have gotten it going for almost a year and a hand now. You’re right about age, but it might be more of an injury concern than anything else. I do think though that with proper conditioning, he should be able to overcome those nagging injuries and be a force again. We really need him to be assuming that Harrison is likely gone. He needs to meet up with Timmons this offseason and start a nw workout plan. Those two are young and our future on defense. Both have already experienced great success, but they both will have to now leaf the defense instead of being key role players. Remember it’s impossible to lead if your always on the sidelines

  • George H

    Year and a half*

  • The Tony

    With the likely departure of Harrison, do the Steelers try and trade him for draft picks? If so, what would be his worth?

  • Aw, this was an extremely good post. Taking the time and actual effort to produce a top notch article… but what can I say… I put things
    off a lot and never manage to get anything done.

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