Browns in first playoff game since 2002: Then and now

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CLEVELAND (WJW)– The Cleveland Browns will play in their first playoff game in 18 years when they face the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday night. On Jan. 5, 2002, the Browns fell to the Steelers 33-36 in the Wild Card round.

Over nearly two decades, a lot has changed, including the rivalry between these two AFC North foes. So let’s take a look back at life during the first week of 2002.

The opponent:

Then: Pittsburgh Steelers led by head coach Bill Cowher and journeyman quarterback Tommy Maddox, who took the starting job from the struggling Kordell Stewart.

Now: Pittsburgh Steelers with head coach Mike Tomlin and veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who made his first NFL start in 2004.

Tommy Maddox #8 of the Pittsburgh Steelers scrambles ahead of Kenard Lang #96 of the Cleveland Browns during the AFC Wild Card game on January 5, 2002 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Steelers defeated the Browns 36-33. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Browns head coach:

Then: Butch Davis, who was head coach from 2001 to 2004. He is now the coach at Florida International University.

Now: Kevin Stefanski in his first year head coaching. (Though he is out with COVID-19 so special teams coordinator Mike Priefer will be acting head coach)

Tyrone Rogers #78 of the Cleveland Browns talks to head coach Butch Davis during the AFC Wild Card game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on January 5, 2002 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Steelers defeated the Browns 36-33. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Browns starting quarterback:

Then: Kelly Holcomb. After being a backup for Peyton Manning, Holcomb joined the Browns and started in place of No. 1 draft pick Tim Couch. He retired in 2008.

Now: Baker Mayfield. Heisman Trophy winner. No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Star of Progressive Insurance commercials.

Kelly Holcomb #10 of the Cleveland Browns rolls out as he looks downfield against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the AFC Wild Card game on January 5, 2002 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Steelers defeated the Browns 36-33. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Billboard’s No. 1 song:

Then: “How You Remind Me” by Nickleback.

Now: “Mood” by 24KGoldn featuring iann dior.

Nickelback perform on the V stage at the V2002, Fun In The Park Festival on Ausgust 17, 2002 in Chelmsford, Essex. (Photo by Dan Regan/Getty Images)

No. 1 movie in America:

Then: “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.”

Now: “Wonder Woman 1984.”

(L to R) The producers and actors of “Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring” Sean Astin, Robert Shaye, Barrie Osborne, Elijah Wood and Mark Ordesky pose backstage during the American Film Institutes AFI Awards 2001 at the Beverly Hills Hotel January 5, 2002 in Beverly Hills, CA. “Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring” won Movie of the Year. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)

Gas prices:

Then: $1.112 per gallon

Now: $2.289 per gallon

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