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 threw 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 contention a week earlier with a loss to Cincinnati. Five of the Steelers' losses were by three points or less.
Meanwhile, the Browns ended with a 5-11 record that will likely cost Shurmur and general manager Tom Heckert their jobs. Shurmur has gone 9-23 in his two seasons.
Jimmy Haslam, who bought the Browns in October for $1.05 billion, is said to be looking to make a big splash with the next coaching hire and reportedly has his eye on the University of Alabama's Nick Saban, a native of northeast Ohio. Alabama will attempt to win its third national title in four years when it faces Notre Dame in the BCS National Championship Game on Jan. 7 at Miami.
The Browns also were forced to start third-string quarterback Thad Lewis as Brandon Weeden and Colt McCoy were both inactive because of sprained right shoulders. Standout rookie running back Trent Richardson (ankle) also sat out, and he finished the season with 950 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns
Lewis completed 22 of 32 passes for 204 yards and one touchdown while being intercepted once and sacked three times.
Roethlisberger was 15-of-23 passing for 134 yards, but two of his three TD passes came in the second half and snapped a 10-10 tie.
Roethlisberger threw a nine-yard scoring pass to Antonio Brown with 4:39 left in the third quarter to put the Steelers ahead 17-10, then iced the game with a 12-yard touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress with 3:20 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Cleveland had tied the score at 10-10 early in the third quarter when Greg Little caught a seven-yard touchdown pass from Lewis.
The only touchdown of a lackluster first half came when Roethlisberger found Leonard Pope for a one-yard score with 47 second left in the second quarter. That put the Steelers in front 10-3.
Pittsburgh took a 3-0 lead on Shaun Suisham's 41-yard field goal midway through the second quarter, and Cleveland's Phil Dawson answered with a 51-yard field goal four minutes later.
NOTES: Pittsburgh lost three players to injury in the first half: defensive end Brett Keisel (knee), guard David DeCastro (neck) and cornerback Keenan Lewis (knee). ... Cleveland wide receiver Josh Gordon (ankle) was knocked out of the game in the second quarter. ...The Steelers have won 17 of their last 19 meetings with the Browns, including nine in a row in Pittsburgh. ... Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison had 11 tackles, including six solos, and one sack. ... Browns defensive end Jabaal Sheard had two sacks. ... The Steelers will not participate in the playoffs for just the fourth time since 2001 and the second time in Mike Tomlin's six seasons as coach ... The Browns have lost at least 10 games in 11 of 14 seasons since returning to the NFL as an expansion franchise.