New Year's happened. Whoops. Given the emotional finish to the day that ultimately left the whole city angry and disappointed, it feels like the finale against the Browns happened a month ago. The Steelers won the ultimately meaningless game; let's look back on how they did it.
Someone named Spiro is the play-by-play guy.
Jason Campbell struts onto Heinz Field to lead the Browns' offense. Jarvis Jones notably starts on defense in Jason Worilds' absence. He blows up a screen pass on second down. Campbell dodges out of the pocket on 3rd down and has room to make a play, but Jarvis closes in quickly and he just throws the ball away. The Browns punt.
That's how you are going to need to play next year.
Ben changes the play at the line and sends Le'Veon Bell out as a wideout. He goes to the opposite side of the field and hits Heath Miller for nine yards. Jonathan Dwyer plows ahead for the first down. Antonio Brown comes back to the ball and makes some moves to get some extra yards, down to the 21. Ben starts firing for the end zone and misses Sanders, then finds Jerricho Cotchery too late to keep his feet in bounds. Cotchery doesn't make the same mistake twice when Ben finds him over the middle for a first down. He follows it up with a quick catch and run down the left sideline for the score. 7-0.
If this is his last game as a Steeler, he might as well make it a good one.
The Browns get moving again and Jones makes another tackle in the flat. Edwin Baker cuts back against the grain and gets like 35 yards up the middle
. A defensive holding penalty furthers the Cleveland drive. Josh Cooper picks up a first down. Campbell gets time and space with a play-action fake, but he airmails the ball out of bounds. The Cleveland line gets a great push on a sweep to the right, but Ryan Clark reads the play and knifes in for the tackle.
Another farewell tour?
Brett Keisel overpowers his blocker and gets to Jason Campbell. The ball pops out and
Cris Chris Carter falls on it.
This drive is getting nostalgic.
Ben gives the ball right back. He makes a terrible read and a linebacker picks off the pass.
Brett Keisel runs around everyone and stuffs a run from behind. The Browns line up to go for it on 4th & 4 at the 29. Then they call a time out and line up on offense again. Cooper finds himself wide open and the ball hits him in the hands. He remembers he plays for the Browns and juggles the pass all the way to failure. The Steelers take over.
Looking back, did Chudzinski even care about anything by this point? He requested an expedited meeting in which he was going to be fired.
Le'Veon Bell finally breaks free with a cutback run to the left for 8 yards.
"The Steelers like to go no huddle with Ben running the show, and for some reason they're huddling up and slowing the game down."
We are all Steve Beuerlein.
Ben gets sacked for a big loss as the quarter ends.
Troy Polamalu sprints into the backfield and Baker scoots right past him. Lawrence Timmons shuts down a short pass on 3rd & 2 and the Browns punt it away again.
Bell gets a phenomenal run with some heavy yards after contact. Emmanuel Sanders gets into the game with a catch for a first down. Bell gets the call again and grinds up the middle for five. Antonio Brown makes a tight catch for another first. Another phenomenal run by Bell is wiped out by a holding call on Heath Miller.
Bad call, don't even care.
Jonathan Dwyer gets those yards back with a catch and run over the middle. Bell repeats the feat for a first down, and a flag is picked up. Bell finishes off the drive with another tough run. 14-0.
Dude is fearless.
Forrest Whittaker fields a kickoff before it bounces out of bounds. Mike Carey feels bad and rules it a penalty on Suisham anyway.
Still better than Carl Cheffers.
Jarvis Jones makes a tackle 20 yards downfield. Gordon Lightfoot picks up another first down. A Cleveland penalty and a few great plays by Lawrence Timmons draw another punt from the Browns. Tomlin wastes some time, ostensibly just to make people mad on Twitter.
Emmanuel Sanders gets the hurry-up drive moving, but Ben gets chased around on the next play and recovers his own fumble. One incompletion later, the Steelers give up and hand the ball off to Bell to end the half.
HOW ARE THERE NEW CHRISTMAS COMMERCIALS ON TV?
The Steelers start the half with the ball. Jerricho Cotchery fights to get a few extra yards. Jabaal Sheard starts screaming at the line judge for some reason. Mat McBriar has to punt it away.
Steve McLendon's leg explodes and he limps to the bench. Troy Polamalu makes a great read and stuffs a 3rd down pass. Jason Campbell gets hit as he throws on 4th down (again) and the Steelers take over.
Antonio Brown watches a football bounce off his forearm, but the offense starts moving, undeterred. Bell puts together a few solid runs. Cotchery sets a beautiful pick to set Brown loose on a quick slant. Heath Miller catches a ball at the sticks and gets forward progress for the first. Cotchery drops a pass in the end zone and goes down hard. He walks off the field in considerable pain. The Steelers settle for a field goal. 17-0.
Baker gets rolling for the Browns. Will Allen wrestles him down on the next play. Campbell lofts a perfect pass over Allen's head to Cooper for a first down. Cortez Allen drops an interception in the end zone.
The third quarter was boring.
The Browns line up on 4th & 1 and take a delay of game penalty. They hate their kickers, so they go for it again. Ike Taylor defends the pass and the Steelers take over.
Antonio Brown picks up a first down and Le'Veon Bell gets right back into the game with more physical runs. Ben airs it out into double coverage for Derek Moye, in for Cotchery. Some dude comes down with the interception.
If it were like, Week 7, it'd be time for an amber alert for Markus Wheaton. Hopefully he plays next year.
Vince Williams makes a tackle. Dick LeBeau dials up the blitz and the Cleveland offense gets lost. Timmons wrestles Campbell to the ground. The Browns actually decide to punt on 4th down. Brown gets a short return and a facemask penalty pushes the Steelers even further.
The offense doesn't do much, but they're already in field goal range. 20-0.
Remember Jeff Reed? Yeah, me neither.
Campbell dodges a sack and launches a missile downfield over everyone's heads. The Browns do nothing and punt.
Ben Roethlisberger sees a pass fall short of being intercepted, well short of a receiver. He rolls out and runs, but he's a yard short of the first down and McBriar punts again.
Cameron Heyward reaches around his blocker and takes Campbell down with one hand. The Steelers go Prevent and give the Browns whatever they want in the middle. They move down the field and wind down the clock and Whittaker takes a screen pass into the end zone to put the Browns on the scoreboard with 2:46 left. 20-7.
The Steelers send out the hands team for the impeding onside kick, and Troy Polamalu is the guy that comes up with the ball.
With two minutes remaining and the Steelers with possession, everyone in Pittsburgh gets focused on scoreboard watching. Cleveland burns all their timeouts and McBriar punts the ball into the river. Lawrence Timmons picks off a tipped ball on the Browns' final drive.
Everyone switched over to see the Jets beat the Dolphins and the Bengals beat the Ravens, only to have their hopes come crashing down in Kansas City.