PITTSBURGH (AP)– So much for the weight of history. Or practicing. Or having your head train on the sideline. Or your emotional leader on the field.
The Cleveland Browns conquered all of it, taking apart the Pittsburgh Steelers 48-37 in the wild-card round Sunday evening.
It’s the franchise’s initial postseason triumph in greater than a quarter century and also earned Cleveland a trip to Kansas City following Sunday to encounter the safeguarding Super Bowl champ Chiefs.
Having fun with first-year head train Kevin Stefanski, Pro Dish guard Joel Bitonio and leading cornerback Denzel Ward back in Cleveland nevertheless examined favorable for COVID-19, Cleveland (12-5) competed to the most significant very first half by a road team in NFL playoff history after that held on.
“Our teamed believe,” quarterback Baker Mayfield claimed. “Individuals on the exterior don’t matter to us. It’s on the inside and also we believed during, as well as that’s all that matters.”
Mayfield tossed for 263 yards and also 3 goals, consisting of a screen pass that Nick Chubb turned right into a 40-yard score that halted Pittsburgh’s momentum after the Steelers had actually drawn within 12. Kareem Search added 48 yards as well as 2 goals on the ground while Cleveland’s protection forced 5 turn overs to hand the Steelers (12-5) a shocking loss.
The success was the Browns’ first postseason triumph of any type of kind given that defeating New England on New Year’s Day 1995– 3 months before Mayfield was born– and also their initial playoff win when driving because Dec. 28, 1969.
They did it despite exercising just once over the last two weeks as well as having lost 17 directly at Heinz Area. They did it with efficiency and also a little bit of swagger. And they did it with special groups coordinator Mike Priefer– a Cleveland native– substituting Stefanski and also with offending planner Alex Van Pelt– that played collegiately at Pitt– taking over the play-calling obligations.
“We have a resistant group,” Mayfield said. “Defense played wonderful in the very first fifty percent as well as we kind of stalled out and also let them climb back in the video game, yet that’s a terrific team win right there– people tipping up all over the board. I take pride in these men.”
The Steelers (12-5) certainly assisted, finishing a season in which they began 11-0 with a thud that can resound for several years. Ben Roethlisberger ended his comeback season by tossing for 501 lawns on an NFL-record 47 completions with 4 touchdowns as well as four interceptions.
The 48 points were one of the most the Steelers have actually given up in the playoffs, exceeding the 45 they offered up to Jacksonville in the 2017 playoffs.
Pittsburgh’s troubles began on the initial play from scrimmage when facility Maurkice Pouncey’s snap sailed by Roethlisberger all the means to the end area. Cleveland’s Karl Joseph fell on it for a touchdown. The mistakes were just starting. Roethlisberger tossed three first-half interceptions, 2 of which led straight to Browns scores.
By the time the Steelers found their footing, they were down 28-0. Also when they did get it taking place a 1-yard touchdown run by James Conner with 1:44 to go in the half, the Browns stormed right back. Mayfield topped a cathartic opening fifty percent with a masterful 64-yard drive that ended with a 7-yard throw to Austin Hooper that placed Cleveland up 35-7 at the break.
Pittsburgh– much as it performed in its last playoff look three years back, an upset loss in the house to Jacksonville– attempted to claw back in it. The Steelers drew within 35-23 at the end of the 3rd quarter. Facing fourth-and-1 at the Pittsburgh 46, Steelers train Mike Tomlin opted to punt.Related Articles Rams ‘injury issues contribute to challenge of dealing with Packers Drew Brees, Saints pull
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Washington It really did not exercise. The kick jumped into the end area for a touchback and also Mayfield calmly took
Cleveland 80 yards in 6 plays. The sideline appeared as Chubb spotted into the
end line. So a lot for the Browns being the Browns, a winking assessment Steelers broad receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster made concerning Cleveland in the center of the week.
No matter the intent– Smith-Schuster’s colleagues insisted he was kidding– Mayfield and All-Pro protective end Myles Garrett took it to heart. Then, before a mainly empty arena and also a nationwide target market so accustomed to seeing them stumble, the Browns secured their stress. INJURIES Browns: All-Pro deal with Jake Conklin was
gotten rid of to play after being noted as suspicious with an”illness”on Friday. His return didn’t last lengthy. He left in the initial fifty percent with a hamstring
injury. Guard Michael Dunn
, actioning in for Bitonio, left in the fourth quarter with a calf bone concern. Steelers: Novice linebacker Alex Highsmith as well as defensive back Mike Hilton both continual injuries in the 2nd half and did not return. UP NEXT Browns: Will certainly make their very first divisional-round appearance considering that the 1994 playoffs when they encounter the
Chiefs. Steelers: Head right into what will certainly be a busy offseason. Numerous prominent gamers, consisting of Smith-Schuster and also outside linebacker Bud Dupree, will come to be freelances
. The 38-year-old Roethlisberger will also need to determine whether he wishes to return for an 18th season.