The Browns spent plenty of time in Pittsburgh territory Sunday but not enough in the end zone.
Cleveland's offense moved the chains and benefitted from three turnovers forced by the defense, but an inability to muster more than field goals resulted in a 28-12 loss to cap the 2015 season.
The loss dropped Cleveland to 3-13 on the season. Pittsburgh moved to 10-6 and clinched a playoff berth thanks to the New York Jets' loss at Buffalo.
Austin Davis, in his second start of the season, completed 24-of-46 passes for 240 yards and two interceptions. He was at his best early in drives but struggled along with the rest of Cleveland's offense as it got closer to the end zone. He was sacked seven times.
All of Cleveland's points came off the leg of Travis Coons, who finished his rookie season 28-of-32 after going 4-for-4 on Sunday.
Gary Barnidge led all Browns receivers with eight catches for 66 yards. He finishes the year with 79 receptions for 1,043 and nine touchdowns to notch one of the best seasons by a Browns tight end in franchise history.
Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger wasn't at his best through most of Sunday's game, but he was the catalyst for a Steelers offense that was without running back DeAngelo Williams for most of the game. He threw for 349 yards and three touchdowns with most of his passes going in the direction of Antonio Brown, who caught 13 for 187 yards and a touchdown.
The Browns hung within a touchdown deficit through most of the second half but saw the game unravel with 10:43 to play in the fourth quarter. With the Browns trailing 17-12, Davis took his fifth sack of the game, fumbled inside the 10-yard line and Pittsburgh scored on the next play, as Roethlisberger hit Markus Wheaton on an 8-yard touchdown pass. Raheem Mostert fumbled on the ensuing kickoff to set up a field goal.
The Browns couldn't stop Brown in Sunday's first half, but they stayed within striking distance because of two turnovers. Karlos Dansby forced a fumble on Pittsburgh's first possession and Jordan Poyer intercepted Roethlisberger at the end of the first quarter. Cleveland turned one of the turnovers into a Coons field goal. Craig Robertson returned an interception to Pittsburgh's 8-yard line in the third quarter, but the Browns came away with nothing because of a Davis interception.
The Cleveland offense made its biggest play of the first half near the end of it, as Davis connected with Terrelle Pryor down the left sidelines on a 42-yard pass, the first reception of the season for the former quarterback. The Browns capped the possession with Coons' third field goal to make it 14-9 at the half.
Brown caught 10 passes for 150 yards in the first half, five coming on the Steelers' first scoring drive. After Brown hauled in five catches for 75 yards, Roethlisberger capped the possession with a 2-yard touchdown pass to Heath Miller.
The Steelers extended their lead shortly after the 2-minute warning when Roethlisberger threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Brown with 58 seconds left in the first half.