Pittsburgh at Cleveland
When: 1:00 PM ET, Sunday, January 3, 2016
Where: FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio
The Pittsburgh Steelers had a chance to control their own destiny for a playoff spot but watched their offense fall off drastically in a loss at Baltimore last week. The Steelers will need a win and some help to make the playoffs when they visit the Cleveland Browns in the regular-season finale on Sunday.
Pittsburgh needs to beat the Browns and have the Buffalo Bills knock off the New York Jets in order to earn a wild card spot, and the Steelers are concentrating on their part of that equation. “There's a scenario that hasn't transpired in order to get in the dance,” Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin told reporters. “But the other part of that scenario is us winning," Tomlin said. "I'm not looking for comfort. I'm just trying to meet the challenges of this week. You set yourself up for failure if you view it any other way." Cleveland has not done well lately in its efforts to throw a wrench into the playoff picture and fell to postseason hopefuls Seattle and Kansas City in the last two weeks. The Browns are 1-9 in their last 10 games and have a question at quarterback again with Johnny Manziel in the concussion protocol.TV:
1 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE:
Steelers -10.5 O/U:
47ABOUT THE STEELERS (9-6):
Pittsburgh scored 30 or more points in six straight games before turning the ball over three times in a 20-17 loss at the Ravens. “It was time of possession, turning the ball over,” wide receiver Antonio Brown explained to reporters. “We have to find a way to get better in that area, especially on the road.” That offense did not have time to operate at full strength in Wednesday’s practice, when quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was among several players sent home due to illness.ABOUT THE BROWNS (3-12):
Cleveland has its own issues on offense with Manziel questionable, and Austin Davis would get the start if Manziel is not cleared by Sunday. Davis made his lone start against the Cincinnati Bengals on Dec. 6 and threw for 230 yards, but was intercepted once and did not find the end zone in a 37-3 loss. “I think anytime you go out and get a chance to start and the game goes the way that one did, it just leaves a bad taste in your mouth,” Davis told reporters. “Obviously that game didn’t go the way we wanted it to, but just another chance to play, another chance to compete and go get after it again. Last game of the season and I know the guys are excited and ready to play and so am I.”EXTRA POINTS
1. The Steelers have taken five of the last six in the series, including a 30-9 triumph on Nov. 15.
2. Cleveland TE Gary Barnidge needs 23 receiving yards to become the third player in team history (Ozzie Newsome, Kellen Winslow Jr.) to reach 1,000.
3. Pittsburgh RB D’Angelo Williams needs 101 yards to reach 1,000 for the third time in his career.PREDICTION:
Steelers 38, Browns 17
Stats and Records