Steelers Vs. Browns: Pittsburgh Wins 13-9, But Miss Out On Playoff Bye

The Steelers will be the fifth seed in the AFC despite a 12-4 record.

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Rashard Mendenhall Injury: Steelers Running Back Has Torn ACL, Isaac Redman Likely To Start

Various sources, including Dale Lolley, are now reporting that Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall does, in fact, have a torn ACL.

It is a torn acl for Mendenhall. He could be ready to play by the start of the 201230 season

I’d make a joke about how 200,000 years seems like a long recovery time for an ACL tear, but the truth is that this stinks for Mendenhall and for the Steelers. Pittsburgh was using Isaac Redman after Mendenhall left Sunday’s game against the Browns, but he fumbled twice, and by the end of the game, the Steelers were only up four points and they were giving carries to undrafted free agent rookie John Clay. (And then it ultimately turned out that it didn’t matter anyway, because the Ravens won their game; Mendenhall was therefore lost in a meaningless contest.) Even with the fumbles, Redman isn’t a bad backup option, but I’d feel a lot better about the Steelers’ playoff chances with Mendenhall in there.

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Rashard Mendenhall Injury Update: Steelers Running Back May Have Torn ACL, Expected To Miss Wild Card Game, According To Reports

The PIttsburgh Steelers picked up one final win in the last game of the 2011 NFL season on Sunday with a victory over the Cleveland Browns. As they get ready to face the Denver Broncos in the first round of the playoffs, however, they are beginning to learn that their game against the Browns may have cost them something else.

Featured running back Rashard Mendenhall came out of the game early with a right knee injury and was helped to the locker room. It was later reported that Mendenhall was scheduled to undergo an MRI to assess the extent of the damage.

On Sunday night, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin stated he did not expect Mendenhall to return in time for the wild card game against the Broncos.

Scott Brown of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review later reported that Tomlin had suggested Mendenhall might have a torn ACL. He will be replaced in any missed games by Isaac Redman.

For all news and information regarding the Steelers, please visit Behind the Steel Curtain.

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Rashard Mendenhall Injury Update: Steelers RB To Get MRI, According To Report

The Pittsburgh Steelers picked up a win over the Cleveland Browns in the final game of the regular season on Sunday. Running back Rashard Mendenhall came out of the game in the first quarter after suffering a knee injury. Mendenhall was helped to the locker room by staff and was replaced in the game by Isaac Redman.

After the game, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that Mendenhall is scheduled to undergo an MRI on his right knee in order to assess the extent of the injury.

The Steelers have already made it into the postseason, although they missed out on a first-round bye due to a Baltimore Ravens win today. If Mendenhall is unable to play in any postseason games, it is expected that Redman will fill in as the featured back for Pittsburgh. Jonathan Dwyer would normally be next on the depth chart, but is currently on injured reserve.

For all news and information regarding the PIttsburgh Steelers, please visit Behind the Steel Curtain.

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2012 NFL Playoff Picture: Steelers To Face Broncos In First Round

The Steelers defeated the Browns 13-9 in a windy game in Cleveland late Sunday afternoon. The game wasn’t decided until the last play, as a late rally by Seneca Wallace and the Browns came up short; the Browns managed to stay in the game thanks to two late fumbles by Steelers running back Isaac Redman, who was playing in place of the injured Rashard Mendenhall.

As it turns out, the outcome of the game didn’t matter. The Baltimore Ravens (12-4) knocked off the Cincinnati Bengals to clinch the second playoff seed, which meant that the Steelers were stuck with the top Wild Card seed, which they would have taken even if they lost.

The Oakland Raiders are about to lose to the San Diego Chargers, which means that the Steelers will face the Denver Broncos, who are set to get the AFC West championship and the fourth seed despite a three-game losing streak and an 8-8 record. That’s a pretty good matchup for the Steelers, but obviously, it would have been even better to take a week off, given their long list of injuries.

Here are the final AFC playoff seeds.

1. New England Patriots
2. Baltimore Ravens

6. Cincinnati Bengals vs. 3. Houston Texans
5. Pittsburgh Steelers vs. 4. Denver Broncos

For more on the Steelers, check out Behind The Steel Curtain.

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NFL Playoff Picture: Bengals Win Sixth Seed Despite Loss; Steelers Fifth

The Steelers’ game against the Browns isn’t yet over – they lead 13-9 with two minutes left to play – but the Bengals couldn’t pull out a victory against the Baltimore Ravens, losing 24-16, so the Steelers will take the fifth seed in the playoffs and face off against the AFC West champs. It doesn’t matter whether they beat the Browns (as appears likely) or not.

Despite the loss, the Bengals have clinched the sixth seed in the AFC because the Jets and Broncos both lost. That means the only playoff seed yet to be determined is the AFC West champ, which will hinge on the outcome of the game between the Raiders and Chargers. We’ll have more on that shortly.

The seeds are as follows.

1. New England Patriots
2. Baltimore Ravens

3. Houston Texans vs. 6. Cincinnati Bengals
4. AFC West champs vs. 5. Pittsburgh Steelers

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Hines Ward Makes Career Catch No. 1000 In What Will Likely Be Final Regular-Season Game With Steelers

Hines Ward got his 1,000th career catch on Sunday night in the fourth quarter of the Steelers’ game against the Cleveland Browns. It wasn’t a particularly glorious moment, since it came on the road and it was a shovel pass that netted -3 yards, but hey, it got the job done.

Ward, 35, has been with the Steelers since 1998. This will probably be his last year with the Steelers, who have an excellent group of young receivers in Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders. Ward had fallen behind them on the depth chart by midseason. He got more playing time in the last couple games as the Steelers tried to let him reach the milestone.

Ward’s 1,000 career receptions places him eighth all-time, behind Jerry Rice, Tony Gonzalez, Marvin Harrison, Cris Carter, Tim Brown, Terrell Owens, and Isaac Bruce.

For more on the Steelers, be sure to check out Behind The Steel Curtain.

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Steelers Vs. Browns Score Update: Isaac Redman Touchdown Gives Steelers 13-9 Lead Heading Into Fourth Quarter

The Cleveland Browns are hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers in the final game of the regular season. The Browns managed to take a 6-3 lead into halftime, but entering the final quarter of the game, they have seen that lead slip away in the second half.

The Steelers tied the game on a 29-yard field goal by Shaun Suisham in the third quarter. A few minutes later, the Steelers were right back in the red zone. This time, they finally managed to cross the goal line as Ben Roethlisberger handed the ball off to Isaac Redman, who broke through with a seven-yard touchdown run. For the first time in the game, the Steelers took the lead, 13-6. It was the first touchdown of the game by either team.

The Browns got to the red zone in the final minutes of the third quarter, only to get pushed back and bring on the field goal team. Phil Dawson kicked a 49-yard field goal, his third of the game and the second from 40-plus yards. All nine Browns points have come from Dawson. At halftime, the score stands at 13-9 in favor of the Steelers.

All eyes remain on the scoreboard as the Steelers need to win and have the Ravens lose to the Bengals in order for the Steelers to obtain a first-round bye in the postseason. The score in that game is currently 17-10 in favor of the Ravens.

For more on the Steelers stay tuned to this stream and please visit Behind the Steel Curtain, SB Nation's Steelers blog. For the perspective from the other side, please visit SB Nation Cleveland and Dawgs by Nature, SB Nation's Browns blog.

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Steelers Vs. Browns Score Update: Browns Hold 6-3 Lead At Halftime

The Pittsburgh Steelers are visiting the Cleveland Browns in the final game of the regular season. Through the first half of play, the game has been a low-scoring affair.

The Browns managed to make it deep into the end zone with just under 7:00 left in the half, thanks to a long run by quarterback Seneca Wallace. The powerful Steelers defense pushed the Browns back from the goal line, however, forcing Cleveland to settle for a short field goal to get on the board first. Phil Dawson nailed the 26-yard FG.

Dawson would later add another field goal, this one from 45 yards with 1:11 remaining in the half, to put Cleveland up 6-0.

Ben Roethlisberger led the Steelers on a last-minute drive, getting Pittsburgh inside the red zone with 0:30 left. The Steelers ended up at 1st and goal from the 2-yard line with 0:11 left in the half. Roethlisberger threw two incomplete passes, however, forcing the Steelers to bring in their field goal team. The short field goal attempt was good, sending the game to halftime with Pittsburgh trailing, 6-3.

The Steelers, much like Steelers fans, are certainly engaged in a bit of scoreboard-watching during this game. They know they'll receive a first-round bye in the playoffs if they win and the Baltimore Ravens lose their game against the Bengals. Entering halftime in Cincinnati, the Ravens are ahead by a score of 17-3.

For more on the Steelers stay tuned to this stream and please visit Behind the Steel Curtain, SB Nation's Steelers blog. For the perspective from the other side, please visit SB Nation Cleveland and Dawgs by Nature, SB Nation's Browns blog.

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Steelers Vs. Browns: Shaun Suisham Misses Field Goal In Wind, Still No Score

The game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns is still scoreless about halfway through the second quarter, as the Steelers’ latest drive was stopped by a key sack by former Pitt Panther Jabaal Sheard. Shaun Suisham then came on to kick a long field goal, but the wind in Ohio is brutal right now, and he missed.

Rashard Mendenhall left the game with a knee injury, and it’s not yet clear whether he’ll return.

The Steelers have out-gained the Browns so far, 82 total yards to 50.

Meanwhile, the Bengals hit a field goal to cut the Baltimore Ravens’ lead to 10-3. If the Bengals and Steelers can pull out wins, the Steelers will get the second AFC playoff seed and a first-round bye. If not, the Ravens will get that seed, and the Steelers will get the No. 5 seed.

For more on the Steelers, check out Behind The Steel Curtain.

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Steelers Vs. Browns Score Update: Game Tied, But If Ravens Defeat Bengals, Outcome Won't Matter

The Steelers and Browns have traded punts throughout the first quarter in a game that might not turn out to matter if the Steelers can’t get the Cincinnati Bengals to cooperate.

As we near the end of the first quarter of both games, the Baltimore Ravens lead the Bengals 10-0. If the Ravens win, the Steelers would get the No. 5 seed in the AFC in the NFL playoffs, regardless of the outcome of their game against the Browns.

The Steelers have out-gained the Browns so far, 57 total yards to 16, but so far that hasn’t mattered much. The Steelers appeared to be targeting veteran receiver Hines Ward early on, probably in part in order to get him to 1,000 catches for his career. Unfortunately, he began the game with a drop and only has one catch so far. This season is likely to be Ward’s last in Pittsburgh.

For more on the Steelers, check out Behind The Steel Curtain.

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Steelers Vs. Browns: Full List of Inactives For Week 17

The Pittsburgh Steelers are visiting the Cleveland Browns for the final game of the NFL season. The Steelers are heavy favorites in Week 17 and are playoff-bound, but they're still hoping to clinch a first-round bye, which they would get if they win and the Ravens lose to the Bengals. The Steelers currently hold a record of 11-4 and are 4-3 on the road.

The full list of inactive players for both teams was released on Sunday prior to kickoff.

Pittsburgh Steelers Inactive Players:

RB Mewelde Moore
WR Arnaz Battle
T Jamon Meredith
G Doug Legursky
DE Al Woods
LB LaMarr Woodley
LB Chris Carter

Cleveland Browns Inactive Players:

QB Colt McCoy
WR Rod Windsor
WR Jordan Norwood
T Tony Pashos
C/G Steve Vallos
DT Kiante Tripp
CB James Dockery

For more on the Steelers stay tuned to this stream and please visit Behind the Steel Curtain, SB Nation's Steelers blog. For the perspective from the other side, please visit SB Nation Cleveland and Dawgs by Nature, SB Nation's Browns blog.

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NFL Playoff Picture: Patriots Clinch No. 1 Seed In AFC

By defeating the Buffalo Bills Sunday afternoon, the New England Patriots wrapped up the regular season with a 13-3 record and clinched home-field advantage throughout the playoffs in the AFC. This means that the outcomes of the Steelers vs. Browns and Ravens vs. Bengals matchups will determine whether the Ravens or Steelers get the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye. The other team will take the No. 5 seed.

The Jets were eliminated from playoff contention Sunday with a 19-17 loss to the Miami Dolphins that dropped them to 8-8. That helps the Bengals, who are fighting for the No. 6 seed (which they would clinch by beating the Ravens). The current playoff seeding looks like this.

1. Patriots
2. Ravens

3. Texans vs. 6. Bengals
4. Broncos vs. 5. Steelers

The Titans, who finished their regular-season at 9-7 with a win over the Texans Sunday, and Oakland Raiders are also in the playoff hunt.

SB Nation has a blog for every team.

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Week 17 NFL Scores: Bills Beating Patriots In Big Matchup For Steelers Fans

Here’s a look at scores from around the NFL in Week 17 as 1:00 games reach the half.

From the perspective of Steelers fans, the only significant game is the Bills and Patriots, and the Bills have a halftime lead there, 21-14. That’s good for the Steelers, because Point One of the Steelers’ three-point plan to get the first overall playoff seed is to have the Patriots lose. Then the Steelers will need to need to beat the Browns and have the Bengals beat the Ravens in the late-afternoon games.

Elsewhere, the 49ers are up 20-7 on the Rams, the Jets are beating the Dolphins 10-6, the Bears are up 14-13 on the Vikings, the Saints are up 24-17 on the Panthers, the Eagles are up 10-0 on the Redskins, the Jaguars have a 10-6 lead on the Colts, the Titans are beating the Texans 13-10, and the Packers are up 24-19 on the Lions.

SB Nation has a blog for every team.

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Week 17 NFL Schedule: Steelers Vs. Browns, Ravens Vs. Bengals And More

Here's a look at the NFL schedule and TV info for Week 17. Three games will be critical for the Steelers, who don't yet know whether they'll get a first-round bye. The first of those - chronologically, anyway - is Bills vs. Patriots, which is at 1:00 Sunday on CBS. Other 1:00 games are Titans vs. Texans, Jets vs. Dolphins, and Colts vs. Jaguars (all CBS), and Lions vs. Packers, Panthers vs. Saints, 49ers vs. Rams, Bears vs. Vikings, and Redskins vs Eagles (all on FOX).

The other two games that will both be crucial for the Steelers are at 4:15, when the Steelers take on the Browns, and the Ravens take on the Bengals (both on CBS). CBS also has the Chiefs and Broncos and the Chargers and Raiders. FOX, meanwhile, has Seahawks vs. Cardinals and Bucs vs. Falcons.

The Sunday-night game (8:20, NBC) pits the Cowboys and Giants.

SB Nation has a blog for every team.

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Steelers Vs. Browns: Time, TV Schedule, Radio Streaming And More

The Pittsburgh Steelers will face off against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday hoping to secure a win and a first-round bye for the AFC playoffs, which begin next week. A Cincinnati Bengals win against the Baltimore Ravens would lock up another AFC North championship for Pittsburgh and likely a top seed. See below for details on when and where to see the game.

The New Year's Day game will be the regular season finale for both teams. The Browns, 4-11, have been eliminated from playoff contention.

Game Date and Time: Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012, 4:15 p.m.

Location: Cleveland Browns Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio.

TV: CBS

Radio: 102.5 WDVE and Steelers Radio Network affiliates.

For more on the Steelers stay tuned to this stream and please visit Behind the Steel Curtain, SB Nation's Steelers blog. For the perspective from the other side, please visit SB Nation Cleveland and Dawgs by Nature, SB Nation's Browns blog.

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Cleveland Browns Injury Report, Week 17: Colt McCoy, Jordan Norwood Out Vs. Steelers

The Cleveland Browns will be without at least a trio of players when they face the Steelers on Sunday according to Dave Bryan of Steelers Depot.

The Browns have ruled out quarterback Colt McCoy (concussion) wide receiver Jordan Norwood (concussion) and tackle Tony Pashos (illness), according to Bryan.

Linebacker Kaluka Maiava (hand) and defensive lineman Scott Paxon (hand and calf) are questionable, while wide receivers Mohamed Massaquoi (foot) and Josh Cribbs (groin), fullback Owen Marecic (ankle), guard Shawn Lauvao (ankle) and cornerback Dimitri Patterson (hand), running back Peyton Hillis (elbow), and linebacker Quinton Spears (head) are probably after spending parts of the week either limited in practice, or off the field completely.

For more on the Steelers stay tuned to this stream and please visit Behind the Steel Curtain, SB Nation's Steelers blog. For the perspective from the other side, please visit SB Nation Cleveland and Dawgs by Nature, SB Nation's Browns blog.

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Week 17 NFL Predictions: ESPN Picks Steelers, Ravens To Win

Jamison Hensley lists his AFC North picks for Week 17, and his forecast isn’t necessarily one Steelers fans will be happy to see. He picks the Steelers to defeat the Cleveland Browns 20-10, which seems pretty straightforward:

Pittsburgh will control the game with its running attack against the NFL’s 30th-ranked run defense. Expect another 100-yard rushing day for Rashard Mendenhall.

Hensley also picks the Baltimore Ravens over the Cincinnati Bengals, which would mean the Steelers would be stuck with a Wild Card berth. (Victories by the Steelers and Bengals would give the Steelers a first-round playoff bye, and would also put three AFC North teams, the Steelers, Ravens and Bengals, in the playoffs.)

The biggest weakness of the Cincinnati defense all season has been stopping teams inside the 20-yard line. The Bengals rank 26th in red zone defense, while the Ravens are second. Baltimore running back Ray Rice will be a factor around the goal line.

A Baltimore victory would be unfortunate. But it’s far from inevitable – the Bengals are a good young team and will be highly motivated, since they would clinch the last Wild Card berth with a victory.

Here are SB Nation Pittsburgh’s picks for the Steelers, Ravens and Patriots games. These three games will determine the Steelers’ playoff seed.

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Steelers Injuries: Ben Roethlisberger, Maurkice Pouncey, Troy Polamalu All Likely In Against Browns

Mark Kaboly of the Trib tweets that Ben Roethlisberger appears likely to play this weekend as the Steelers take on the Cleveland Browns.

A little gamesmanship going on when I asked Ben if he was ready to go. "Go ask Mike." This just in, he's starting.

The idea here, I think, is that this isn't something Roethlisberger would say if he weren't going to play. Anyway, this is no real shock. Roethlisberger also practiced Wednesday and Thursday. He's tough as nails about these things, and with a first-round bye potentially on the line, the Steelers have a lot to play for.

Kaboly also notes that Maurkice Pouncey will be making the start for the Steelers, which is good news, but is also no surprise. Pouncey was a full participant in practice Thursday. Troy Polamalu also returned to practice and will probably start as well.

For more on the Steelers, check out Behind The Steel Curtain.

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Week 17 NFL Lines And Odds: Steelers Vs. Browns And The Steelers' Playoff Scenarios

Here's a look at the odds and lines (via OddsShark) for the Steelers vs. Browns matchup, as well as other Week 17 games that will determine the Steelers' playoff seeding.

The Steelers are listed as about seven-point favorites against the Browns. I'd probably take the over, given that the Browns have little left to play for and they'll be starting Seneca Wallace at quarterback. Ben Roethlisberger's role in this one could turn out to be crucial. He was a full participant in practice Thursday.

The Ravens, meanwhile, are listed as anything from even money to three-point favorites against the Bengals. I can't disagree that Baltimore should be the favorite, but this will be a key game for Steelers fans - the Bengals are a talented team with a lot on the line. If the Steelers win and the Ravens lose, the Steelers would get a first-round bye.

The Patriots are between 10- and 13-point favorites against the Bills. If the Patriots and Ravens both lose and the Steelers win, the Steelers would receive a bye and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

For more on the Steelers, check out Behind The Steel Curtain.

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Cleveland Browns Injury Report, Week 17: Peyton Hillis Limited In Practice

As the Cleveland Browns prepare for their regular season finale against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, they're still hoping to get a few players healthy.

Wide receivers Mohamed Massaquoi (foot) and Josh Cribbs (groin) returned to full participation in practice on Thursday, joining fullback Owen Marecic (ankle), guard Shawn Lauvao (ankle) and cornerback Dimitri Patterson (hand), who returned to full participation on Wednesday according to Dave Bryan of Steelers Depot.

Bryan also said that defensive lineman Scott Paxon (hand, calf), running back Peyton Hillis (elbow), linebacker Kaluka Maiava (hand) and linebacker Quinton Spears (head) were limited in practice while quarterback Colt McCoy (concussion), wide receiver Jordan Norwood (concussion) and tackle Tony Pashos illness were all held out of practice.

For more on the Steelers, please visit Behind the Steel Curtain, SB Nation's Steelers blog. For the perspective from the other side, please visit SB Nation Cleveland and Dawgs by Nature, SB Nation's Browns blog.

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Steelers Vs. Browns: Ben Roethlisberger Among Full Participants In Practice

After missing last week's game against the Rams, the Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger looks to be on track to play against the Browns on Sunday as Scott Brown of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review tweets that the quarterback fully participated in in practice on Thursday.

Roethlisberger talked about his injured ankle after practice, tweets the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Mark Kaboly.

"It’s a little sore today because I worked out on it yesterday. We will see how tomorrow goes and keep plugging away."

Brown also said center Maurkice Pouncey, wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders and linebacker Chris Carter were full participants as well, so it's likely they'll play against Cleveland, while noting linebacker LaMarr Woodley was limited for a second straight day.

In a separate tweet, Brown said safety Troy Polamalu (knee), running back Mewelde Moore (knee) and guard Doug Legursky (shoulder) we all held out of practice by the team.

For all the latest news leading up to Steelers vs. Browns, stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh.

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Steelers Vs. Browns: Browns Won't Make James Harrison A Key Issue

One of the key storylines surrounding the Steelers vs. Browns matchup this weekend (secondary to the Steelers’ hunt for a first-round playoff bye, certainly, but a key storyline nonetheless) is the aftereffects of James Harrison’s helmet-to-helmet hit on Browns quarterback Colt McCoy in Week 14. Harrison has since returned from a one-game suspension for the hit, but McCoy is still out. Harrison hits also led to concussions for the Browns’ Mohamed Massaquoi and Josh Cribbs last year. The Browns, however, say they aren’t concerned about all that.

“We haven’t even thought twice about [the Harrison hit] after that week,” said Browns linebacker D’Qwell Jackson. “He’s back playing. We’re going to show up, just as usual. That Harrison situation is not a focus of ours, by any stretch.”

“We’re not going into this game thinking about getting even with him,” said Josh Cribbs. “We’re going in thinking to win it.”

What follows in the article is a pretty hilarious Q+A in which Mike Tomlin answers questions about Harrison like “At which point in his career do you think he made the conscious decision to be a headhunter?” It certainly seems like members of the Cleveland media want this to be a huge story. I don’t agree with them, but I don’t blame them, either. It appears, however, that neither the Steelers nor the Browns are indulging them.

Via Jamison Hensley.

For more on the Steelers, check out Behind The Steel Curtain.

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Week 17 NFL Predictions And Picks: Playoff Picture For Steelers Will Clear Up Sunday

The 2011 NFL playoff picture for the Pittsburgh Steelers and the rest of the AFC North is still a bit murky, but the waters will clear up this Sunday depending on the outcomes of some key matchups.

Pittsburgh Steelers 23, Cleveland Browns 3 - The Steelers will end their regular season against the team that took out Ben Roethlisberger a few weeks ago. Against the Browns, Big Ben injured his ankle which caused him to play essentially on one leg against the San Francisco 49ers and miss last weeks win over the St. Louis Rams. The Steelers defense was able to handle the Browns relatively easily last time, especially once a concussed Colt McCoy re-entered the game. The Browns will be without McCoy on Sunday, however, so their stagnant offense will likely once again be stifled by the Steelers defense.

Cincinnati Bengals 20, Baltimore Ravens 17 - The Ravens were able to knock off the Bengals back in November in the their first match up, but the Bengals are now fighting for a playoff position. In the first match up, the Ravens offense was able to put up nearly 400 yards of offense while Andy Dalton turned the ball over three times. A repeat of both of those instances is unlikely and the Bengals are going to want to game more, winning on a late field goal.

New England Patriots 30, Buffalo Bills 23 - The match up between the Patriots and the Bills has no bearing on the AFC North, but if the Steelers are able to win the division it could have an effect on the seeding in the playoffs. After the Bills were able to knock off Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos, they'll have a much tougher go of it against Tom Brady and the Patriots. Brady isn't likely to throw four interceptions, including some returned for touchdowns. The Patriots can close out the season avenging one of their three losses and seal the number one seed in the AFC.

For more on the Steelers, please visit Behind the Steel Curtain, SB Nation's Steelers blog. Also stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh.

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Browns Injuries, Week 17: Colt McCoy Probably Out Vs. Steelers

Jamison Hensley notices that, with quarterback Colt McCoy likely out in the Browns' Week 17 matchup against the Steelers, McCoy might have made his last start with Cleveland.

Everyone in the Cleveland front office -- from team president Mike Holmgren to general manager Tom Heckert to coach Pat Shurmur -- has remained noncommittal on McCoy's future. They refuse to evaluate his season, saying that will happen after the season.

If you're McCoy, it's not a good sign when Holmgren gives Shurmur a strong vote of confidence during the season but doesn't do the same for the quarterback.

The Browns could look around for a quarterback this offseason, Hensley notes.

McCoy's absence was triggered, obviously, by a helmet-to-helmet hit by the Steelers' James Harrison in Week 14. McCoy had a concussion on the play, and he hasn't yet been able to return to the field. Harrison was suspended for a game for the hit.

McCoy is still only 25 and in his second season, but the Browns are restless after what has a 4-11 season so far, and they might have a chance to grab a good young quarterback in the draft.

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Pittsburgh Steelers Injury Report, Week 17: Ben Roethlisberger Returns To Practice

The Pittsburgh Steelers got back onto the practice field today in preparation to take on the Cleveland Browns in their final game of the 2011 regular season. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger practiced in full today, after missing last week with an ankle injury. It is expected that Roethlisberger will start on Sunday, as the Steelers still have a chance to clinch the AFC North and the No. 2 seed in the AFC playoffs with a win and a Baltimore Ravens loss.

Offensive lineman Maurkice Pouncey also returned to practice and practiced in full, telling reporters after practice that he will play on Sunday against the Browns. Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders also returned to practice in full. There were four Steelers who did not practice, however.

For more on the Steelers, please visit Behind the Steel Curtain, SB Nation's Steelers blog. For the perspective from the other side, please visit SB Nation Cleveland and Dawgs by Nature, SB Nation's Browns blog.

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Week 17 NFL Playoff Scenarios: Steelers In Hunt For First-Round Bye

Here's a look at the NFL playoff picture as we head into the last week of the NFL regular season. To clinch a first-round bye, the Steelers basically need a win against the Browns, and they'll also have their eyes on the Ravens and Bengals. Via the NFL, here's what other AFC teams will need in Week 17 (leaving out some arcane stuff about ties, which happen so rarely in the NFL that there's really not much need to worry about them until they happen).

PATRIOTS clinch top AFC seed with a win or a loss by both the Ravens and Steelers.

RAVENS clinch the AFC North and a first-round bye with a win or a Steelers loss. They would get the top overall seed if they win and the Patriots lose.

STEELERS have clinched at least the No. 5 seed. They can win the AFC North and the No. 2 seed if they win and the Ravens lose. They can clinch the top seed if they win and both the Patriots and Ravens lose.

TEXANS have clinched the AFC South and the No. 3 seed.

BRONCOS clinch the AFC West and the No. 4 seed if they win or the Raiders lose.

RAIDERS clinch the AFC West and the No. 4 seed if they win and the Broncos lose. They could also win a Wild Card spot if they win and the Bengals and Titans both lose, or if they win, the Bengals lose and the Jets win.

BENGALS clinch the last Wild Card spot and the No. 6 seed with a win, or with losses by the Jets and Raiders, or with losses by the Jets and Broncos.

JETS clinch the last Wild Card spot and the No. 6 seed with either a win and losses by the Bengals, Titans and Raiders, or with a win and losses by the Bengals, Titans and Broncos.

TITANS clinch the last Wild Card spot and the No. 6 seed under one of three scenarios. First, the Titans and Jets win while the Bengals and Raiders lose. Second, the Titans and Jets win and the Bengals and Broncos lose. Third, the Titans and Raiders win and the Begnals and Jets lose.

We're not really an NFC site, but here's what the NFL sent out regarding the NFC.

CLINCHED:
Green Bay - NFC North and home-field advantage
San Francisco - NFC West
New Orleans - NFC South
Detroit - playoff spot
Atlanta - playoff spot

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS San Francisco clinches a first-round bye with: 1) SF win OR 2) SF tie + NO loss or tie OR 3) NO loss

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS New Orleans clinches a first-round bye with: 1) NO win + SF loss or tie OR 2) NO tie + SF loss

NEW YORK GIANTS New York clinches NFC East division with: 1) NYG win or tie

DALLAS COWBOYS Dallas clinches NFC East division with: 1) DAL win

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Steelers Vs. Browns: Pittsburgh Visits Cleveland In Week 17

Pittsburgh wraps up its regular season Sunday with a trip to Cleveland. Will Ben Roethlisberger be healthy enough to play?

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