Steelers pull away from Browns in 24-10 win

Steelers pull away from Browns in 24-10 win
December 30, 2012, 3:59 pm
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Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons (94) hits Cleveland Browns quarterback Thad Lewis as Lewis passes in the first quarter an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Don Wright)

(APWF)

PITTSBURGH (AP) Ben Roethlisberger threw three short touchdown passes, and the Pittsburgh Steelers avoided their first losing season in nearly a decade with a 24-10 victory over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

Antonio Brown, Leonard Pope and Plaxico Burress scored for the Steelers (8-8), who mustered enough energy to end a disappointing season on a positive note. Pittsburgh's top-ranked defense forced four turnovers as the Steelers won for just the second time in the last six weeks, a slide that knocked them out of the playoffs for the first time since 2009.

Cleveland's third-string quarterback, Thaddeus Lewis, passed for 204 yards with a touchdown and an interception in his first NFL start. But the Browns (5-11) dropped their third straight in what is likely coach Pat Shurmur's final game on the sideline.

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