Who could’ve seen this coming?
The Browns took advantage of some sloppy play by the Steelers in the first half to go up 28-0 and lead 35-10 at halftime.
It got started from the first snap, which went over the head of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and into the end zone. Browns safety Karl Joseph recovered the loose ball for a touchdown, giving Cleveland an early 7-0 lead.
Then the Browns got their first interception, turning that into seven points with a 40-yard touchdown reception by Jarvis Landry. Kareem Hunt then got a pair of rushing touchdowns to give his team a 28-0 lead in the first quarter.
Cleveland’s 28 points were the most by any team in the first quarter of a playoff game since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger.
Though the Steelers scored on James Conner‘s one-yard rushing touchdown late in the second quarter, the Browns put together a two-minute drill in response. Tight end Austin Hooper caught a seven-yard touchdown to get Cleveland’s advantage back to 28.
Chris Boswell‘s 49-yard field goal as time expired in the second quarter made the score 35-10.
On the other side, Roethlisberger threw three interceptions during the opening 30 minutes. He is 20-of-30 passing for 177 yards with no touchdowns.
James Conner has 10 carries for 32 yards with a TD. James Washington leads Pittsburgh with five catches for 72 yards.
The Browns will get the ball first to start the second half, looking for their first playoff victory since the 1994 season. If Cleveland pulls it off, the club will head to Kansas City for the divisional round.