CLEVELAND (WJW) – The Cleveland Browns had one final mission in the 2022-2023 season: Keeping their top AFC North rival the Pittsburgh Steelers out of the playoffs.

A Browns win Sunday would have given Cleveland a season sweep of Pittsburgh and put the Browns ahead of the Steelers in the final standings for the first time since 1999. Bit it wasn’t to pass. The Browns fell 28-14.

Before kick-off, the Browns and Steelers took a knee to honor Damar Hamiln.

The Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers kneel in prayer for injured Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin before an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Matt Freed)

NFL clubs are demonstrating league-wide support for Buffalo Bills Safety Damar Hamlin in week 18.

It was a slow start to the game in Pittsburgh with a 0 – 0 score at the end of the first quarter.

By halftime, both teams had scored, but the Steelers took the lead. The Browns fell behind 10-7 heading into the third quarter.

In the third quarter, the Browns announced two players were out for the rest of the game: CB Denzel Ward and LB Reggie Ragland Jr., who both have injured their shoulders.

The Steelers were able to make a field goal and the score moved to 13-7. Then, following yet another interception off Deshaun Watson, the Steelers capitalized in the end zone with a touchdown, moving the score to 20-7.

The Browns scored their second touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter, moving the score to 20-14, with a good field goal.

With over four and a half minutes to play, it was a two touchdown lead for the Steelers: 28-14. And that was how the game ended. Although the Steelers won, they were not able to make a playoff berth, with the Miami Dolphins winning.

The Browns ended 7-10 on the season.

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“It would be huge for us,” G Joel Bitonio said prior to the game. “They’ve been a very, very good franchise. At least my whole career, they’ve been very good. They’ve done some good things. For us to get a second win against them in Pittsburgh, I think would be a big thing for us. We’re treating it like a very important game for us.”