With the Steelers needing to end a four-game losing streak in order to keep alive their shot at returning to the playoffs and defending their Super Bowl title, they were unable to defeat a downtrodden team that was riding a seven-game losing streak.
Pittsburgh lost to their rivals from Cleveland on Thursday night, 13-6.
The Browns sacked quarterback Ben Roethlisberger eight times, holding the Steelers offense to only two field goals.
The game wasn’t decided until the closing minutes, when defensive lineman David Bowens dropped into coverage and knocked down a fourth-down pass meant for Santonio Holmes.
The lackluster performance likely will increase calls for the Steelers to fire offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, and possibly to clear out other members of the coaching staff.
Though the Steelers aren’t dead yet, they’ll need to win their final three games and get plenty of help.
For the Browns, they’ve moved to 2-11. It likely won’t be enough to save coach Eric Mangini’s job, but if he can lead the team to two or three more wins, maybe he’ll be able to make a case for a second season.