Winners and Losers from the Steelers' Week 17 win over the Cleveland Browns

Karl Walter

Some decent individual performances somewhat mask a fairly"blah" all-around performance, but those individuals did enough for recognition.

A win is a win, even if it's only against the lowly Browns, and meaningless for the playoffs.

Gotta love a good cliche early in the morning.

Winners

CB Cortez Allen - Did a lightbulb go off in his head over the last two weeks? Not that he was playing poorly before that, but he caused five takeaways in the Steelers' last two games. That streak vaulted him to the lead in picks among cornerbacks (two) and the team lead on forced fumbles (three). He had two forced fumbles and a recovery Sunday.

RB Isaac Redman - No one put more effort out on the field Sunday, and while we tend to stay away from soft stats like that for the sake of this column, Redman fought hard enough in an otherwise physical and chippy game to merit consideration.

OLB James Harrison - If it was his last game on the Steelers, he went out a winner. Leading the team in tackles, and racking up a sack, Harrison had 28 tackles, three sacks and two forced fumbles in December.

ILB Lawrence Timmons - Timmons capped what was absolutely the best game of his career with a multi-sack day, tying him for the team lead with six (Harrison) and a forced fumble. He hit Browns QB Thad Lewis multiple times, and showed why the future of this defense rests on his shoulders.

QB Ben Roethlisberger - His overall scope of work was efficient, albeit unspectacular. He carved up Cleveland's secondary in the red zone, throwing three touchdown passes to Leonard Pope, Antonio Brown and Plaxico Burress. He also completed 15-of-23 passes, and did not turn the ball over once - the first time the Steelers hadn't committed a turnover since he returned from injury in Week 14.

Losers

S Robert Golden - he identified the Browns' fake punt as it happened and filled in the hole, but did little more than appear to wait for help to collapse on Ray Ventrone - who ran past all of them for 35 yards, setting up Cleveland's only touchdown.

ILB Larry Foote - While not a complete detriment to the defense, he had multiple opportunities in run support to make plays but missed by taking poor angles. While Foote can't be expected to cover Greg Little in the back of the end zone for very long, his struggled in coverage with Cleveland tight end Ben Watson too, as did other Steelers defenders.

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