Cleveland (WJW) — The drought is over, the Cleveland Browns are headed to the playoffs ending an 18 year drought by beating the Pittsburgh Steelers 24-22 at FirstEnergy Stadium.
“I’m very happy for Northeast Ohio and Browns fans all over the world,” said head coach Kevin Stefanski.
It was nervous times all afternoon for the Browns who had a 24-9 lead in the fourth quarter when the Steelers made things interesting, Chase Claypool hauled in a 28-yard pass on fourth down to cut the Browns lead to 24-16 with over 10 minutes to play in the game.
The Browns scored early on in the fourth quarter on a touchdown run by Jarvis Landry, but the fourth quarter belonged to the Steelers who added a second touchdown with 1:23 to play when Mason Rudolph found JuJu Smith-Schuster on the two-yard TD pass to make it a 24-22 game.
The Steelers could not complete the pass on the two-point conversion and that gave the Browns and Baker Mayfield the opportunity to run out the clock with a first down and clinch the game and a playoff berth.
“He called it and I was like, okay, let’s go do it, whatever it takes, and obviously a great call and all of our guys made good blocks but Kareem right in front of me, I could hear it, he smacked that guy right in front of me and he gave me enough room to get a first down,” said Baker Mayfield.
The Browns will go into the playoffs as a wildcard and the sixth seed, meaning the Steelers and Browns will meet again next week in Pittsburgh with the winner moving on.
“The weight isn’t off our shoulders just by making it to the playoffs, we’ve got a ticket to the dance, but if you want to dance with the pretty girl, you’ve got to make it to the end,” said Browns defensive end Myles Garrett.
“It’s going to be quite the challenge. We are going to have to play our best to beat them,” added Stefanski.
Three of the four teams from the AFC North all made the playoffs, the Steelers, Ravens and the Browns.
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