Needing an unlikely four-team parlay to make the playoffs, the Steelers covered their end by doing what they do quite often, beating the Cleveland Browns in the regular-season finale.

At Heinz Field, they methodically whipped the Browns 20-7 for the fifth time in the past six season-enders. They then awaited word to see if the moon and the stars could align in the other three resultss they needed to make the playoffs as a wildcard team with an 8-8 record.

By the end of the Steelers game, scores in two other 1 p.m. kickoffs were going their way as the New York Jets were beating the Miami Dolphins and the Cincinnati Bengals were ahead of the Baltimore Ravens. If those leads stand, the Steelers would need the Kansas City Chiefs to upset the Chargers in San Diego in order to make the playoffs as the sixth and final seed in the AFC.

Cleveland, which started 3-2, ended with seven straight losses to go 4-12.