CLEVELAND, OH - JANUARY 01: Safety Troy Polamalu #43 of the Pittsburgh Steelers tackles quarterback Seneca Wallace #6 of the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium on January 1, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Polamalu, the reigning defensive player of the year, was rarely accounted for by Cleveland's offense, and started the game with a tackle-for-loss by shooting between the tackle and center at the snap to blow up a running play.
In true Polamalu fashion, it wasn't his stats, but it was a few individual plays that stood out.
He read the snap count perfectly on another play, and managed to hit Browns QB Seneca Wallace before he managed to hand the ball off. His suffocating defensive performance led the Browns to just 240 yards, and a 4-for-14 effort on third down.
The interception of Wallace gives him picks off both Browns quarterbacks this season. He intercepted Colt McCoy in Pittsburgh's 14-3 win in Week 14.
Polamalu has won the award five other times in his career, and this is his first in 2011.
His outstanding play the last three weeks makes the Steelers one of the hottest post-season teams entering their Wild Card round game at Denver Sunday. Allowing less than double-digit points in their last five victories, the Steelers look to continue the Broncos offensive futility.