December 30, 2012
Pittsburgh 24, Cleveland 10
QB Ben Roethlisberger capped off a three-touchdown performance with a 12-yard strike to WR Plaxico Burress late in the fourth quarter to seal the Steelers 24-10 victory over the visiting Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field. With the win, the Steelers finished 8-8 on the season.
Neither team scored in the first quarter but the Browns were at the Steelers’ 25-yard line. S Troy Polamalu picked off QB Thad Lewis to end Cleveland’s threat of scoring. It was Polamalu’s 30th career interception.
Midway through the second quarter, K Shaun Suisham connected on a 41-yard field goal to give the Steelers a 3-0 lead. K Phil Dawson’s 51-yard field goal tied the game at 3-3 late in the second quarter. And after forcing a Steelers’ punt, the Browns took over with just less than two minutes remaining in the half.
But on the second play of the drive, CB Cortez Allen forced a fumble on WR Josh Gordon that was recovered by LB Lawrence Timmons. Roethlisberger then led the team on a three-play, 24-yard drive that was capped off with a one-yard touchdown pass to TE Leonard Pope, and the Steelers took a 10-3 lead into halftime.
Cleveland marched 80 yards in six plays on its opening drive of the second half to tie the game 10-10. On that drive, the Browns faked a punt for a 35-yard gain and the Steelers committed a 35-yard pass interference penalty, which help set up Lewis’ seven-yard touchdown pass to WR Greg Little.
On Pittsburgh’s ensuing drive, Roethlisberger led the team on a 12-play, 80-yard drive that was capped off with a nine-yard touchdown pass to WR Antonio Brown to give the Steelers a 17-10 lead late in the third quarter.
In the middle of the fourth quarter, the Steelers’ defense forced its third turnover of the game. Lewis completed a pass to WR Travis Benjamin and Allen forced his second fumble of the afternoon and returned it 21 yards to the Cleveland 27-yard line. It marked Allen’s fifth forced turnover in the last two games. Six plays later, Roethlisberger found Burress for the game-clinching touchdown.