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Ben Roethlisberger throws for 3 touchdowns, Steelers beat Browns 24-10

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    Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Leonard Pope (45) makes a catch for a touchdown in front of Cleveland Browns outside linebacker L.J. Fort (58) in the second quarter of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Don Wright)The Associated Press

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    Cleveland Browns tight end Benjamin Watson (82) gets past Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker James Harrison (92) after maiking a catch in the first quarter of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Don Wright)The Associated Press

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    Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Leonard Pope (45) celebrates with guard Ramon Foster (73) after making a touchdown catch in the second quarter of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Don Wright)The Associated Press

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    Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons (94) hits Cleveland Browns quarterback Thad Lewis as Lewis passes in the first quarter an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Don Wright)The Associated Press

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    Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) makes a catch past Cleveland Browns free safety Tashaun Gipson (39) in the first quarter of an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)The Associated Press

Ben Roethlisberger threw three short touchdown passes, and the Pittsburgh Steelers avoided their first losing season in nearly a decade with a 24-10 victory over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

Antonio Brown, Leonard Pope and Plaxico Burress scored for the Steelers (8-8), who mustered enough energy to end a disappointing season on a positive note. Pittsburgh's top-ranked defense forced four turnovers as the Steelers won for just the second time in the last six weeks, a slide that knocked them out of the playoffs for the first time since 2009.

Cleveland's third-string quarterback, Thaddeus Lewis, passed for 204 yards with a touchdown and an interception in his first NFL start. But the Browns (5-11) dropped their third straight in what is likely coach Pat Shurmur's final game on the sideline.

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