PITTSBURGH — Two fumbles by rookie receivers resulted in Steelers touchdowns and that was the difference in Pittsburgh as the Browns lost 24-10.
The Browns fell to 5-11 in what is expected to be head coach Pat Shurmur’s final game as head coach.
The Browns started third-string quarterback Thad Lewis, who made his first NFL appearance and was without the services of running back Trent Richardson.
Lewis passed for 204 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Lewis’ first career touchdown pass came in the third quarter when he hit Greg Little on a 7-yarder.
The touchdown was a result of a special teams play by Ray Ventrone who ran 35-yards into Steelers territory setting up a first and ten.
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw three touchdown passes in the win as the Steelers avoid their first losing season in nearly a decade.
Antonio Brown, Leonard Pope and Plaxico Burress scored for Pittsburgh who finished the year 8-8. They will not be a part of the postseason.
The Browns are 9-23 under Shurmur, the lone highlight a three-game winning streak in late November and early December that had Cleveland playing meaningful football games.
Browns General Manager Tom Heckert is expected to be let go as well by Browns owner Jimmy Haslam III and Joe Banner who took over as owner and CEO of the Browns in October.
The year 2013 will start with a season of change for Cleveland who is accustomed to changes.
It’s what they have done best since 1999, when the team returned to the league.