Found December 29, 2012 on
Fox Sports Ohio:
The Pittsburgh Steelers are in unfamiliar territory under coach Mike Tomlin: eliminated from postseason contention. The Cleveland Browns have become too accustomed to missing out on the playoffs, and mass changes in the organization could be on the way as a result.
On Sunday the Steelers will host the Browns, with Cleveland turning to inexperienced quarterback Thad Lewis as it looks for its first season sweep of the series since 1988.
Pittsburgh (7-8) will miss the playoffs for the fourth time since 2001 after Sunday's 13-10 loss to Cincinnati marked its third straight defeat. It's the second time the Steelers won't be in the postseason since Tomlin took over in 2007.
But Tomlin said he won't coach any differently this week. The only changes to Pittsburgh's lineup will be by way of injury, not to get a look at younger players with the future in mind.
"This is an opportunity to play and play to win, to get this sour taste out of our mouth," said Tomlin, who is 62-33 in the regular season. "I am not going to approach it with that (look-ahead to 2013) mentality."
One Steeler with a particularly sour taste in his mouth is Ben Roethlisberger, who threw interceptions that led to the opponents' game-winning field goals in each of the last two games. Often considered one of the league's most clutch quarterbacks, Roethlisberger shouldered much of the blame for Pittsburgh's struggles in close games this season.
The Steelers are 3-5 in games decided by three points or less.
"A lot of it just has to do with me not playing well enough down the stretch," he said. "Fourth-quarter drives or last-minute throws, I'm just not making it happen, so my best answer would be that I just didn't play well enough."
Roethlisberger's eight interceptions are the second fewest of his career, but four have come in the last three games since he returned from shoulder and rib injuries sustained against Kansas City on Nov. 12, leading some to believe he still shouldn't be playing.
He's thrown six touchdowns during the same span. Roethlisberger tallied 17 TDs and four picks in his nine games before being injured.
"We can talk about that in the offseason maybe, but I feel good enough to play," he said.
Roethlisberger will play without one of his favorite targets, as Pro Bowler Heath Miller will have surgery on Thursday to repair a torn ACL and MCL suffered in Sunday's loss. Miller's 19 red-zone targets are tied for the NFL's fourth-most and his eight receiving touchdowns are tied for third among tight ends.
The Browns (5-10) can't avoid their 11th 10-plus loss season in the last 14 years after Sunday's 34-12 loss at Denver. A victory on Sunday would be Cleveland's first in Pittsburgh since a 33-13 win on Oct. 5, 2003, and would give coach Pat Shurmur a two-win improvement in his second season with the team.
It might not be enough to give Shurmur another year, as new owner Jimmy Haslam and CEO Joe Banner have promised to revamp the organization, which has reached the playoffs twice since 1990.
Such moves might be to the chagrin of some players, like Josh Cribbs, who is playing under his third coach in eight years.
"Every year you have a constant rebuilding process, not a good recipe for successful football," said Cribbs, whose 12.2 yards per punt return rank fourth.
The Browns may need a major boost from Cribbs to put some points on the board considering their inexperience under center. Thad Lewis, who has never taken an NFL snap, will start at quarterback with Brandon Weeden and Colt McCoy both nursing sprained right shoulders.
Josh Johnson, signed earlier in the week, is expected to be Lewis' backup.
"He's been preparing himself to play all year," Shurmur said of Lewis, who last started a game in 2009 as a senior at Duke. "What we expect is he goes out and plays winning football."
To make matters worse, Lewis won't be able to turn and hand the ball to Trent Richardson, who was carted off the field in Denver because of a left ankle injury. Richardson, who is tied for second in the league with 11 rushing TDs, will finish his rookie season 50 yards shy of 1,000.
Richardson ran for 85 yards and a TD and the Browns forced eight turnovers in a 20-14 home win against the Steelers on Nov. 25. That was only Cleveland's second victory in the past 18 meetings.
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Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark wrote on Twitter that he is currently in a Pittsburgh area hospital following the 24-10 win Sunday over the Cleveland Browns.
"Figures I's put myself in the hospital after the last game," wrote Clark on his Twitter feed. Clark also added a picture of himself from the legs down in a hospital gown.
The Steelers safety did not...
According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, linebacker James Harrison is likely playing in his final game as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers today.
Harrison, who has been hampered by injury problems in recent years, is set to make $6.57 million next season (and count $10 million against the cap). The Steelers have given linebackers LaMarr Woodley and Lawrence Timmons big...
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace will not play in the season finale against the Cleveland Browns according to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and that should not come as a big surprise.
Wallace, who has failed to practice all week because of a hip injury, will miss his first game since coming...
The Pittsburgh Steelers wrapped up their final practice of the 2012 season on Friday in preparation for the season finale Sunday at Heinz Field against the Cleveland Browns and the final injury report of the season is now out.
Not practicing again on Friday were wide receiver Mike Wallace (hip), cornerback Curtis Brown (ankle) and tackle Mike Adams (ankle) All three players have...
Don't you just love the smell of hypocrisy on a Friday, especially when it comes from the NFL?
All of you certainly remember last Sunday when Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel was flagged early in the game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Keisel was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct for performing his signature sack celebration, in which he pretends to be...
Former Pittsburgh Steelers center and coach Chuck Cherundolo has died in Florida at the age of 96.
His daughter, Pat Cherundolo, said Saturday that the former player died of heart failure on Dec. 22 in Lakeland.
Cherundolo played for the Steelers in the 1940s, taking a break to serve in the Navy during World War II. In 2007, the Steelers named him to their legends team, representing...
The Pittsburgh Steelers fired special teams coordinator Al Everest two games into the preseason this earlier this year and replaced him with assistant special teams coach Amos Jones, who head coach Mike Tomlin hired to his staff back when took the job in 2007. The firing was considered very surprising at the time because teams rarely, if ever, make coaching changes in training camp...
Mike Wallace’s four-year career with the Pittsburgh Steelers may have come to a close as the wide receiver was one of three players the team placed on injured reserve. Offensive tackle Mike Adams and cornerback Curtis Brown also were shut down a day before Sunday’s season finale at home against the Cleveland Browns. Wallace sat out practice this week with a hip injury after...
Pittsburgh wide receiver Mike Wallace (hip, hamstring) has been placed on injured reserve. SOURCE: Bob Labriola, Steelers DigestFantasy Spin:No surprise here. With Wallace already ruled out for Sunday's game against Cleveland, the team needed to make a move to clear up a roster spot.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have declared DL Alameda Ta'amu, QB Byron Leftwich, CB Curtis Brown, WR David Gilreath, CB Justin King, DL Loni Fangupo, LB Marshall McFadden inactive for Week 17.
In case you missed it and want to follow along as the NFL offices levy fines against the notorious James Harrison, here is his all-too-typical hit on Browns quarterback Thaddeus Lewis.
[Related: Cabot: Shurmur, Heckert “Expected To Be Fired” Following Pittsburgh Game]
PITTSBURGH - The Pittsburgh Steelers finished a frustrating season on a winning note, beating Pat Shurmur in what was likely his last game as the Cleveland Browns' coach. Ben Roethlisberger shook off a late-season slump to throw three touchdowns passes to lead the Steelers to a 24-10 victory on Sunday at Heinz Field. The Steelers finished 8-8 after being eliminated from playoff...
Every Friday on The Terrible Podcast my co-host David Todd and I pick all of the NFL games against the spread and we will post those picks every Sunday morning throughout the season and track the results along the way. The Friday episode, that includes our preview of the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday game against the Cleveland Browns can be heard here.
Here are the Week 1 Picks
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