Browns clinch first playoff berth since 2002 with 24-22 win over Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cleveland Browns
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At long last, Cleveland is back in the postseason.

The Browns clinched their first playoff berth since 2002 with a 24-22 victory over the Steelers, ending the league’s longest postseason drought.

Though the Steelers started Mason Rudolph and kept many of their key players on the sideline, they made the Browns work to win.

Cleveland began the fourth quarter with a three-yard touchdown run by Jarvis Landry to go up 24-9. But Rudolph threw a 28-yard TD to Chase Claypool to cut the advantage to eight. And after the Browns failed to convert a fourth-and-7 in Pittsburgh territory, the Steelers took seven plays to get down the field and scored on JuJu Smith-Schuster‘s two-yard touchdown with 1:23 on the clock.

But Rudolph’s pass to Chase Claypool on the two-point conversion attempt was high and incomplete. Cleveland recovered the onside kick and Baker Mayfield ran for three yards on third-and-2 to seal the victory.

Mayfield finished the game 17-of-27 passing for 196 yards with a touchdown. He had 44 yards rushing.

Nick Chubb went over 1,000 yards for the second consecutive season and recorded his 12th rushing touchdowns — the most for a Browns back since Leroy Kelly in 1968. He had 108 yards on 14 carries on Sunday.

Rudolph finished 22-of-39 passing for 315 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Chase Claypool had five catches for 101 yards with a TD.

With the Browns, Ravens, and Bills winning in the 1 p.m. window, Cleveland will have a rematch with Pittsburgh for the wild card round next week. The Steelers are the AFC’s No. 3 seed and the Browns are at No. 6.

But next week’s contest should look a lot different with Pittsburgh playing at home and with all of its starters.

44 responses to “Browns clinch first playoff berth since 2002 with 24-22 win over Steelers

  1. #89 would have never made it out of that stadium alive had he not recovered that onside kick.

  2. So, not only have they decided not to call holding…they’re gonna look the other way on Pass Interference? SMH

  3. The Steelers stink. I can’t believe they went undefeated for so long. Browns are a better team right now.

  4. Congrats Browns fans!! Enjoy the playoffs, you have waited a long time. You deserve it !!

  5. The Browns barely beat a Steelers team largely made up of backups. Congratulations that you’re in the playoffs Cleveland but don’t get too far ahead of yourselves.

  6. Steelers fans will do what they do every year after they get bounced from the playoffs – They’ll make excuse, after excuse, after excuse, after excuse, and then they’ll bring back underachieving head coach Mike Excuse Maker Tomlin… Go Browns

  7. We played like we expected pittsburg to rollover and let us in. We’re going to need to up it big time next week to have any chance and to get Ward back against those Steelers receivers. Good to see Mayfield step up in the 2nd half at least

  8. icouldcareless says:
    January 3, 2021 at 4:34 pm
    Steelers fans will do what they do every year after they get bounced from the playoffs – They’ll make excuse, after excuse, after excuse, after excuse, and then they’ll bring back underachieving head coach Mike Excuse Maker Tomlin… Go Browns


    Congrats on your win over a Mason Rudolph lead Steelers team. You’d think they won the super bowl after Baker made that first down. Anyway, a win is a wi. I guess.

  9. It’s a big accomplishment but the way it finished was troubling with Mayfield taking a sack to take them out of FG range but even more troubling was Stefanski going for 4th &7 instead of punting. I think the analytics might be driving him too much instead of the feel and true flow of the game.

  10. Browns won their super bowl today against Steelers bench players. Steelers starters will demolish the Browns next weekend.

  11. WOW: Browns only win by 2 pts vs the Steelers: let’s see you do it next week vs the VARISTY !!!!

  12. Let’s be realistic, both teams weren’t showing much because they knew they would be playing each other next week. I still feel the Browns are a better team come next week when it really matters. Can’t wait. Go Browns

  13. Congratulations DawgPound from the Ravens Nest. It was a long time comin, and we get to see this rematch next week too. They could really pull an upset.

  14. Playoffs baby! Only 12 teams hahah I see the other 20 posting on here doing the same bit. Crying

  15. Q: What do call it when a defensive player grabs an eligible offensive receiver while the ball is in the air?
    A: Pass Interference.

  16. The Steelers stink. I can’t believe they went undefeated for so long. Browns are a better team right now.

    Funny how a team you say stinks schooled your Covid squad twice. Sometimes be quiet prevents others from seeing how obtuse you truly are. The Steelers played a Qb who never started a game this year and lost by two. Stick to crossword beginner games for second graders.

  17. The Browns in 2002 almost beat the Steelers at home in the playoffs. Then the Steelers rallied back to win 36-33. Crazy game. Butch Davis was the Browns coach.

  18. I do not care how ugly that game was, I do not care how ugly our games were getting there. I am sick and tired of pretty losses. We went 1-15 and 0-16 with pretty losses. I will not apologize for winning games. I have been a Browns fan since 2006. I have never seen a Browns playoff game. Even if we lose triple digits next week. I do not care. We got to the playoffs and I was not expecting that at all this season. I cried tears of joy when Baker picked up that first down. We are not the same ole Browns.

  19. After living through 0-16, it feels great to finally get back to the playoffs. That said, we almost lost the game because we are afraid of our kicker trying about a 46 year FG. We need a reliable kicker.

  20. As a Browns fan, I know we played ugly against the PIT JV, but I’ll take it. After the nonsense we’ve endured since 1999, we finally have a competent staff in place. There’s still a lot of work to do, but they are finally headed in the right direction. GO BROWNS!

  21. And those Browns will be out of the playoffs next week..🤣
    Heck they barely beat a Big Ben less team today

  22. Hats off to the Browns, no worries if you are one done, you earned 3rd place in AFC North, again.

  23. Browns finished 11-5 and whether they made the playoffs or not it was a good season for them. Not bad for an 0-16 team a few years ago.

  24. Should say something about what Pitt thinks of CLE, to want to play them again next week. If CLE plays like they did today, I’ll take Pitt by 14.

  25. You guys do realize the Browns had more starters out due to injury and Covid than the Steelers sat. This was also the Browns JV team

  26. Cleveland came SO close to losing to Rudolph (congrats to the refs, who refused to flag Browns DBs for some egregious pass interference). What a shame.

  27. Yeah love the Browns fans on here saying Ward will make a big difference. No Clowns fans, DPOY frontrunner Watt WILL be the difference next wk. Not to mention Ben bringing his dominating 23-3 record vs you losers.

  28. 4personalitytheories said:

    “Browns looked good against the steeler’s jv team”

    They would have looked even better against the Steelers’ varsity squad and its limp 1-4 finish to an 11-0 start.

    And the Browns have had their usual extra-large slice of the current turd pie that all teams face in various amounts — Covid, injury patterns, high draft picks busting epically, etc.

  29. Browns really impressed me this year. After getting destroyed earlier in the year against the divisional powerhouses, they dominated big games. Tennessee comes to mind. A let down the last two weeks which I’ll attribute to the COVID issues currently plaguing them, but they’ll beat the Steelers next week IMO, and beyond that, I think they’ll give the Chiefs everything they can handle. Dominant DL, dominant run game, dominant OL, ball control. The perfect recipe to upset KC. Will be fun to watch.

    From a Ravens fan.

  30. A kind of meaningless game with the Steelers resting starters but still ….. JuJu Smith-Schuster doing his third grade level touchdown histrionics while the Steelers are trying to set up a 2 point conversion just seems wrong. Wrong for JuJu Smith-Schuster doing it and wrong for Tomlin permitting it.

  31. I am looking forward to facing Rothlisberger next week.. Rudolph is the better QB

    Do you even watch the games?

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