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Game day blog: Final — Steelers 20, Browns 7

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 29, 2013

The Browns (4-12) fell to the Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8) 20-7 today in the regular-season finale at Heinz Field. Below is our game day blog. It will be updated at the end of each quarter.

Final: Steelers 20, Browns 7 

The Browns finally got onto the scoreboard but it was far too little, far too late. Campbell hit Fozzy Whittaker for a 35-yard catch-and-run touchdown with 2:46 left in the game. Prior to that, Suisham added a second field goal to put the Steelers up 20-7. Edwin Baker finished the game with 69 yards on 18 carries (3.8 ypc). Campbell was 23-of-41 for 240 yards, a touchdown and an interception. 

3Q: Steelers 17, Browns 0

The Steelers made it a three-score game with a Shaun Suisham 30-yard field goal to cap an 11-play, 54-yard drive. The Browns have been relying on running back Edwin Baker but haven't but able to put together a full drive. At the close of the quarter, the Browns were facing a third-and-1 at the Steelers' 14-yard line. 

2Q: Steelers 14, Browns 0 

The Steelers extended their lead to 14-0 on Le'Veon Bell's 5-yard touchdown run with 4:29 left in the second quarter. Bell spun around defensive end Billy Winn and ran around the right edge for the score. That capped a 14-play drive that took 8:17 off the clock. Jason Campbell drove the Browns to the Pittsburgh 33-yard line, but the Browns elected to punt. Cornerback Buster Skrine is questionable to return with a shoulder injury. That means both starting cornerbacks are out. Julian Posey is playing in his place. 

1Q: Steelers 7, Browns 0 

The Steelers took a 7-0 lead on their opening drive of the game. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger went right after the Browns' cornerbacks with Joe Haden out of the game, eventually finding Jerrico Cotchery wide open for a 9-yard touchdown. The Browns' ensuing drive went to the Steelers 25-yard line, but quarterback Jason Campbell was sacked by Brett Keisel and lost a fumble. Roethlisberger was then intercepted by Craig Robertson two plays later. The Browns then went for it on fourth-and-4 at the 29-yard line. Campbell had Josh Cooper wide open but threw it behind him. 

Pregame notes

Inactives: Browns – Quarterback Alex Tanney, cornerback Joe Haden (hip pointer), left guard Jason Pinkston (concussion), right guard Shawn Lauvao (thigh contusion), tight end Andre Smith (strained calf), defensive end John Hughes (sprained knee) and nose tackle Phil Taylor (concussion). Note: Tight end Jordan Cameron (concussion) is active and expected to start despite entering the weekend listed as questionable. Steelers – Quarterback Landry Jones, cornerback Isaiah Green, linebacker Terence Garvin (knee), defensive end Brian Arnfelt, center/guard David Snow, defensive tackle Hebron Fangupo and linebacker Jason Worilds (abdomen).

Lineup changes: Browns – Rookie Leon McFadden will start at cornerback in place of Haden. Rookie Garrett Gilkey will start at left guard in place of Pinkston, and starting left guard John Greco will switch to right guard and start in place of Lauvao. Billy Winn will start at right defensive end in place of Hughes, and Ishmaa’ily Kitchen will start at nose tackle in place of Taylor. Notes: Gilkey and Kitchen will start for the first time in the NFL. Steelers -- None announced.

Ryan Lewis’ top storylines: 1. The Pittsburgh Steelers, remarkably, are still alive for playoff contention after starting this season 0-4, although it’s a long shot. The Steelers need to beat the Browns today and then need the Cincinnati Bengals to beat the Baltimore Ravens, the New York Jets to beat the Miami Dolphins and the Kansas City Chiefs to beat the San Diego Chargers. A Browns win kicks the Steelers out regardless of what happens elsewhere. 2. The Browns currently have the No. 5 pick in the NFL Draft based on win-loss record and strength of schedule. It’s expected that a Browns loss would move them up to No. 4 because the Oakland Raiders should slide back because they play the Denver Broncos. The Browns are locked into a top eight pick, win or lose. With a loss and a Jacksonville Jaguars win, the Browns would pick third overall. 3. Wide receiver Josh Gordon could become the first Browns receiver to lead the NFL in receiving yards (he has 1,564 yards, 72 more than the Detroit Lions’ Calvin Johnson). He could also become the first receiver since Torry Holt in 2000 to lead the league in yards and yards per catch. And with 10 catches, he’d set the franchise record for catches in a season, passing Kellen Winslow Jr. and Ozzie Newsome (89 each). 4. The Browns are banged up. Cornerback Joe Haden will be a game-time decision with a hip pointer, per coach Rob Chudzinski. Tight end Jordan Cameron (concussion) and guards John Greco (sprained knee) and Shawn Lauvao (thigh contusion) are also questionable. Guard Jason Pinkston (concussion) and nose tackle Phil Taylor (concussion) are both out. 5. Two of the Browns’ better players, center Alex Mack and strong safety T.J. Ward, could be playing in their last game as a member of the Browns unless they are re-signed in the offseason. Each is in the final year of his contract. Quarterback Jason Campbell (1-6 as a starter) could also be making his last start with the Browns.

Preview stories via Ohio.com: 1. Browns believe upset over Steelers would help heal wounds suffered during another dismal season. 2. Browns vs. Steelers key matchup: Steelers rookie running back Le’Veon Bell vs D’Qwell Jackson, front seven. 3. Five numbers to watch for Sunday. 4. How they rank. 5. Predictions from Nate Ulrich, Marla Ridenour and Ryan Lewis. 6. Five Browns players picked for Pro Bowl: Josh Gordon, Joe Haden, Jordan Cameron, Alex Mack, Joe Thomas. 7. Browns notebook: D’Qwell Jackson says he’d be absolutely shocked if $4.1 million bonus prevents him from returning to team. 8. Unanimous choice for Browns’ player of year, Josh Gordon aiming to become undisputed best wide receiver in NFL next season. 9. Browns notebook: Defensive coordinator Ray Horton disappointed in himself: ‘We didn’t finish, and that falls on my shoulders’. 10. From the other sideline: Browns hope to become Grinch who stole playoffs from Steelers. 11. Browns notebook: Potential free agent T.J. Ward says he wants to return to team after having what he believes has been Pro Bowl season. 12. Browns quarterback Jason Campbell’s father tells him to stop feeling sorry for himself.

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