The Pittsburgh Steelers didn't get the help they needed elsewhere. They barely helped themselves.
Isaac Redman replaced injured starting running back Rashard Mendenhall and scored a touchdown as Pittsburgh limped into the AFC playoffs with a wind-whipped 13-9 win Sunday over Cleveland, the Steelers' 16th victory in 17 games against the Browns.
Redman scored on a 7-yard run in the third quarter for the Steelers (12-4), who finished tied with Baltimore for first in the AFC North but lost the tiebreaker because the Ravens beat them twice.
Pittsburgh needed to win and hope Cincinnati could knock off the Ravens, who beat the Bengals 24-16.
The Steelers survived two fumbles by Redman in the second half and then held their breath on the final play when Browns quarterback Seneca Wallace floated a pass into a crowd in the back of the end zone. But Pittsburgh safety Troy Polamalu came over the top and got his hand on the ball before rookie wide receiver Greg Little could grab it, allowing the Steelers to escape.
The Browns (4-12) lost their last six games and nine of 10 under first-year coach Pat Shurmur.
With quarterback Ben Roethlisberger already hobbled by a severely sprained ankle, the Steelers lost Mendenhall with an injured right knee in the first quarter.
Mendenhall's status for the postseason is unknown, although Steelers coach Mike Tomlin told other reporters he is pessimistic. Tomlin indicated to other reporters that Mendenhall may have an injured anterior cruciate ligament.
Redman rushed for 92 yards on 19 carries.
Roethlisberger, moving around better than he did two weeks ago in San Francisco, went 23 of 40 for 221 yards and made enough big throws to help him improve to 14-1 in his career against the Browns.
Shaun Suisham made two field goals for the Steelers, who won 12 games for the second year in a row, something they haven't done since 1978-79. They won the Super Bowl both those years.
Phil Dawson kicked three field goals that accounted for all of Cleveland points.
Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison was well-behaved. But, really, so was the Cleveland media, which had embarrassed itself earlier in the week by intentionally attempting to rile up Tomlin with outrageous questions.