Browns almost score upset over Steelers but fall in overtime
The Pittsburgh Steelers backups assured the Cleveland Browns of the top pick in the 2017 draft.
Landry Jones hit Cobi Hamilton with a 26-yard touchdown with 2:57 left in overtime and the Steelers edged the Browns 27-24 on Sunday.
The Browns took a lead on Cody Parkey’s 34-yard field goal with 7:17 remaining in the extra session.
Jones, who started while the playoff-bound Steelers rested Ben Roethlisberger, took the Steelers 75 yards in nine plays, the last a pretty lob to the end zone that Hamilton hauled in to give Pittsburgh (11-5) its seventh straight victory after a 4-5 start.
Jones finished with 277 yards passing and three touchdowns and one interception.
The Steelers will host Miami in the wild-card round next weekend. The Dolphins thumped Pittsburgh 30-15 on Oct. 16.
Isaiah Crowell ran for a career-high 152 yards for the Browns (1-15), who finished with the worst record in franchise history.
Robert Griffin III passed for 232 yards with two touchdowns and an interception, but Cleveland missed a chance to beat the Steelers on the road for the first time since 2003 when it squandered a couple of golden opportunities late.
The Browns fumbled with the ball inside the Pittsburgh 5 with a minute to go in regulation and had a first-and-goal at the Pittsburgh 2 turn into a field goal by Parkey, extending the game.
The AFC North champion Steelers sat most of their big names with the third seed in the playoffs already sewn up after a thrilling comeback win over Baltimore last week.
It gave Heinz Field a decidedly preseason-like feel, at least for the guys wearing black and gold.
Cleveland, coming off its first victory in more than a calendar year, looked far more engaged early. Griffin, cleared to play after sustaining a concussion against San Diego, showed small flashes of competence during his best half of football of the season.