Pittsburgh Steelers (7-8) vs. Cleveland Browns (5-10)Date: Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012Kickoff: 1 p.m., ETSite: Heinz Field (65,500) • Pittsburgh, Pa.Playing Surface: Natural GrassTV Coverage: CBS (locally KDKA-TV, channel 2)Local Radio: Steelers Radio Network*WDVE-FM (102.5)/WBGG-AM (970)Announcers: Bill Hillgrove (play-by-play) Tunch Ilkin (analyst) Craig Wolfley (sideline)Spanish Radio: Grupo Imagen - Destrito Federal (Mexico City) *XEDA-FM 90.5
Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach Mike TomlinOverall regular-season record: 62-33 (.653)/sixth seasonRegular-season record at Pittsburgh: 62-33 (.653)/sixth seasonPlayoff Record/Years: 5-3/four yearsCleveland Browns Head Coach Pat ShurmurOverall regular-season record: 9-22 (.290)/second seasonRegular-season record at Cleveland: 9-22 (.290)/second seasonPlayoff Record/Years: n/aSeries History: Series began in 1950Overall: Pittsburgh leads 62-57At Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh leads 38-21At Cleveland:Cleveland leads 36-24Neutral Sites: n/aLast Regular-Season Meeting: Nov. 25, 2012*(in Cleveland) Cleveland 20, Pittsburgh 14Postseason Series: Pittsburgh leads 2-0(postseason record not included in overall series record)Sunday's regular-season finale marks the third consecutive season that these two franchises have met in Week 17 and the fourth time it's happened since 2008…Pittsburgh is playing at home in the final game of the regular season for the first time since beating Cleveland, 31-0, in 2008...the Steelers have not been swept by Cleveland in the regular season since the 1988 season…the Browns have won in Pittsburgh just twice since 1990…the Steelers only loss to the Browns at Heinz Field came during the 2003 season…Cleveland's win earlier this season was just its fourth since the turn of the century (2000, 2003 and 2009)…the three Steelers quarterbacks have a combined 21-3 record against Cleveland in their careers…the last four contests that have taken place in Pittsburgh have all been decided by at least 11 points…a win would give the Browns consecutive wins for the first time since they won the second meeting in 1999 and the first meeting in 2000…a win would give Pittsburgh a victory toclose out the regular season for the fifth consecutive season.STEELERS-BROWNS CONNECTIONSLOCAL CONNECTIONS• Steelers linebackers coachKeith Butler was on the Browns staff from 1999-2002.• Steelers quarterbacks coachRandy Fichtner was born in Cleveland.• Steelers defensive line coachJohn Mitchell was on the Browns staff from 1991-1993.• SteelersLB James Harrison was born in Akron, Ohio, less than an hour south of Cleveland. Harrison attended Coventry High School in Akron, and then attended Kent State University. The majority of Harrison's family still lives in the Akron area. • Browns linebackers coachBill Davis was born in nearby Youngstown, Ohio. Davis was on the Steelers staff from 1992- 1994.• Browns quarterbacks coachMark Whipple was on the Steelers staff from 2004-2006.• BrownsDE Jabaal Sheard played collegiately at University of Pittsburgh. Sheard earned first-team All-America honors in 2010. Sheard was drafted by the Browns in the second round (37th overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft.• BrownsS Ray Ventrone was born in Pittsburgh and attended Chartiers Valley High School. He originally signed with the New England Patriots as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2005 after *finishing his collegiate career at Villanova University.
• Pittsburgh Head Coach Mike Tomlinand Browns offensive*coordinatorBrad Childress were both on the Minnesota Vikings coaching staff in 2006. Tomlin was in his only season as the Vikings' defensive coordinator before taking the head job in Pittsburgh in 2007 and Childress was in his first year as Minnesota's head coach.• Tomlin was in his final season as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive backs coach in 2005 when BrownsTE/FB Alex Smith was in his rookie season in the NFL. Also, SteelersS Will Allen and Smith were teammates with the Bucs from 2005-2008.• Steelers offensive coordinatorTodd Haley and Browns defensive assistantChuck Bullough worked together on the Chicago Bears coaching staff from 2001 to 2003. During those years, Browns defensive coordinatorDick Jauron was the Bears' head coach. While Haley was the wide receiver coach/offensive assistant with the New York Jets from 1997-2000, Browns assistant strength and conditioning coachRick Lyle was a defensive lineman for the Jets.• Steelers defensive coordinatorDick LeBeau was on the Cincinnati Bengals coaching staff in 1980, when Browns defensive coordinatorDick Jauron played for the Bengals. Jauron was on the Detroit Lions staff from 2004-2005 with Steelers offensive line coachSean Kugler. Jauron and Kugler also were on the Buffalo Bills staff together from 2007-2009 when Jauron was the head coach.• Steelers tight ends coachJames Daniel and Browns linebackers coachBill Davis were on the Atlanta Falcons staff together from 2001-2003.• SteelersWR Jerricho Cotchery and BrownsP Reggie Hodges played together for the New York Jets in 2008. Cotchery was also with the Jets Browns assistant strength and conditioning coach Rick Lyle was on the Jets coaching staff from 2006-2008.• SteelersLB Brandon Johnson and BrownsDE Frostee Rucker were teammates with the Cincinnati Bengals from 2008-2011. In 2006, Johnson was a rookie with the Arizona Cardinals when Browns wide receivers coachMike Wilson was in his final season as the Cardinals' receivers coach.• Steelers wide receivers coachScottie Montgomery played for the Denver Broncos from 2001-2002 when Browns senior assistant-defense coachRay Rhodes was on the
Broncos staff.COLLEGE CONNECTIONS*
• SteelersS Troy Polamalu *played with BrownsDE Frostee Rucker at the University of Southern California during the 2002 season. During the 1999 season, Polamalu's first with the Trojans, Browns wide receivers coachMike Wilson was on the USC coaching staff.• SteelersC Maurkice Pouncey,OT Marcus Gilbert andRB Chris Rainey were teammates with BrownsCB Joe Haden at the University of Florida from 2007-2009 and all four men played key roles in the Gators 2009 BCS National Championship.• SteelersLB James Harrison and BrownsWR Joshua Cribbs were teammates at Kent State University in 2001. • SteelersOG Ramon Foster and BrownsRB Montario Hardesty were teammates at the University of Tennessee from 2005-2008. BrownsOL Jarrod Shaw was also a member of the Vols with Foster and Hardesty from 2006-2008.• SteelersCB Curtis Brown and BrownsQB Colt McCoy andRB Chris Ogbonnaya were teammates at the University of Texas from 2007-2009. SteelersNT Casey Hampton and BrownsK Phil Dawson from played together at Texas from 1996-1997.• SteelersP Drew Butler and BrownsWR Mohamed Massaquoi were teammates at the University of Georgia from 2007-2008. Butler was also teammates with BrownsDB Prince Miller at UGA from 2007-2009.• SteelersTE Leonard Pope was a University of Georgia Bulldog with BrownsTE Benjamin Watson *in 2003.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
PITTSBURGH TEAM NOTES• Looking to improve to 63-57 against the Browns all-time including*39-21 at home.• If Pittsburgh wins, it will be the Steelers ninth consecutive win over Cleveland at Heinz Field.• The Steelers are looking to improve to 12-1 against the Browns at Heinz Field, including the postseason.• If Pittsburgh wins, it will be 11-2 in the final week of the season, dating back to 2000.• If they win the Steelers will be 5-0 at Heinz Field in games played during the last week of the season.• The Steelers are looking for the 599th win in franchise history (including the postseason) to make them one shy of becoming the fourth team in NFL history, and first AFC team, to reach 600 wins.• Pittsburgh is hoping to hold its 11th opponent this season (ninth in the last 11 games) to 20 points or less.• Pittsburgh is looking to improve to 404-258-2 during the regular season since 1970.• The Steelers defense is looking to keep their 12th opponent to under 100 net yards rushing this season.• If Pittsburgh holds Cleveland to less than 180 net passing yards it will mark the 10th time this season the Steelers did not allow their opponent to register at least 180 net passing yards. • Pittsburgh's defense will try and hold the opposing quarterback to a passer rating of 90.0 or less for the 12th time this season. • The Steelers defense is looking to register at least one takeaway for the 13th game this season.• Pittsburgh is looking to record its fourth individual 100-yard rushing performance of the season for the first time since Willie Parker (4) and Mewelde Moore (1) combined for five
100 yard rushing games in 2008.PITTSBURGH INDIVIDUAL NOTES*
Head Coach Mike Tomlin• If Pittsburgh wins, will improve to 63-33 during the regular season,*including 36-12 at home and 10-2 against Cleveland.• Is looking to improve to 5-1 in Week 17 games. • If the Steelers win, they will be 5-3 at home this season, marking the sixth consecutive year they have recorded at least five home wins during the regular season under Head Coach Mike Tomlin.• If the Steelers win, will improve to 18-11 in regular-season games in December/January.QB Ben Roethlisberger• Looking to improve to 87-39 as a starter during the regular season.• If the Steelers win, Roethlisberger will improve to 24-12 as a starter in the month of December.• Is 171 yards shy of recording the fourth-most passing yards during one regular season in his career:• If he maintains his average of 260.9 passing yards per game it will be the fourth-most passing yards Roethlisberger has averaged per game during the regular season.• Looking to record at least three touchdown passes for the fourth time this season, marking the second most times he has thrown for at least three touchdowns in one season (5 in 2007 and 2009).• If Roethlisberger throws for three touchdowns he will record the second-most passing touchdowns during the regular season in his career:• If he does not throw another interception, he will finish the season with the second-fewest interceptions in his career. It will also be only the third time in his career that Roethlisberger has thrown for less than 10 interceptions in a season.• If he throws at least one touchdown pass it will mark the first time he has thrown for at least one touchdown pass in every game he has played in during one regular season.• Looking to record a passer rating of 120.0 for the fourth time this season, which would tie for the second most times he has registered a passer rating of at least 120.0 in the same regular season (four in 2004 / five in 2009).• Is looking to throw for at least 360 yards for the third time this season, which would tie (2011, 3) for the second most times he has thrown for at least 360 yards in one season (2009, 4). • Needs 290 passing yards to reach 30,000 for his career.RB Jonathan Dwyer• Looking to eclipse 100 yards rushing for the third time this season. It would mark the most 100-yard rushing games by a Steelers player during one regular season since Rashard Mendenhall registered three 100 yard rushing games in 2010.WR Mike Wallace• Needs six receptions to register at least 70 receptions for the second consecutive season (72 in 2011). • If he records at least 100 yards receiving, it will mark the 15th 100- yard game of his career and the third of this season. • Is two touchdown receptions shy of tying his career high of 10, set in 2010.• Needs 164 receiving yards to reach 1,000 for the third consecutive season (1,193 in 2011 and 1,257 in 2010). He would join Hines Ward (2001-04) as the only Steelers receivers to record at least three straight 1,000-yard receiving seasons. Wallace would also tie John Stallworth (3) for the second-most 1,000-yard receiving seasons by a Steelers' player behind Ward's six.WR Antonio Brown• Is five receptions short of tying his single-season career high of *69, set in 2011.
LB LaMarr Woodley• Needs 1.5 sacks to tie Greg Lloyd (53.5, 1988-97) for the fifth-most*sacks by a Steelers' player since sacks became an official statistic in 1982.• Looking to tie his single-season career high (2010) with his second interception of the season.S Troy Polamalu• Needs one interception to become the ninth Steelers' player to record 30 career interceptions.• With one fumble return for a touchdown, will tie Jason Gildon (3) for the most fumbles returned for touchdowns in franchise history. • Is one defensive touchdown shy of tying Carnell Lake, Dwayne Woodruff and Jack Butler (5) for the second-most defensive touchdowns in Steelers history (Rod Woodson, 6).• Needs one interception return for a touchdown to tie Carnell Lake, Dwayne Woodruff, Deshea Townsend and Tony Campagno (3) for the fourth-most in franchise history.K Shaun Suisham• Needs to make two field goals to tie his single-season career *high of 29, set in 2007 as a member of the Washington Redskins.• Is one touchback short of his career high of 28, set in 2011.