Sunday, April 11

Cleveland Browns overcome background and adversity to win initial playoff sport for 25 several years

Cleveland Browns overcome background and adversity to win initial playoff sport for 25 several years

So the weekend clash with division rivals Pittsburgh Steelers experienced all the earmarks of another unpleasant evening for the lengthy-struggling Browns admirers.

On the other hand, led by superstars Baker Mayfield and Myles Garrett — and aided by typical Steelers glitches — the Browns raced into a 28- initially quarter direct, sooner or later winning 48-37 in the 1st spherical of the NFL playoffs. Now it can be the Browns’ flip to dish out the difficult knocks.

It was the franchise’s to start with postseason victory because 1994, and following a week the place the staff could only exercise after for the reason that of Covid-19 protocols, performing head coach Mike Priefer praised the team’s resilience.
“I advised them right after the sport … I admire them so significantly and I respect them,” exclusive groups coordinator Priefer mentioned.

“They have experienced so a lot adversity in terms of timetable variations — I know all people has had adversity and I am not attempting to say we had any extra adversity than anybody else — but at the conclusion of the day, this was a complicated week and a playoff week, but they by no means batted an eye.”

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‘The Browns is the Browns’

Browns enthusiasts and players alike have been understandably elated when the workforce secured their initial playoff delivery due to the fact 2002 past Sunday.

Nonetheless, for a fanbase so accustomed to the most heartbreaking situations — with unpleasant losses and devasting accidents — it was probably unsurprising when head coach Kevin Stefanski and All-Professional guard Joel Bitonio tested beneficial for Covid-19 on Tuesday, this means they were being ineligible to participate in Sunday’s recreation.

And in his pre-sport press meeting, Steelers huge receiver Juju Smith-Schuster referenced the Browns’ agonizing historical past and that this year’s crew is no unique than preceding editions, stating: “The Browns is the Browns.”

But the Browns emphatically set those demons to bed and soon after scoring a touchdown on the initial snap of the activity following an errant snap sailed about Ben Roethlisberger’s head, they raced into a 28-place guide, the most important initial-quarter direct in NFL playoff heritage.

Roethlisberger throws a pass during the second half against the  Browns.

The Browns protection intercepted Roethlisberger four instances, including two times in the first quarter, as the Steelers’ battled a double-digit direct for the entirety of the evening. In truth, Roethlisberger turned the 1st quarterback ever to toss 4 touchdowns and 4 interceptions in a playoff recreation.

Mayfield concluded with 263 yards and 3 touchdowns in the 1st playoff match of his profession as, despite the Steelers mounting a second-50 % comeback, the 25-12 months-old quarterback managed to steer the Browns to their historic get.

As Browns gamers ran off the subject in Pittsburgh, they mocked Juju Smith-Schuster’s pre-video game responses, with Mayfield yelling “The Browns likely to be the Browns!” on his way to the locker-place.

Although Stefanski couldn’t be there to celebrate in human being, he — and other missing gamers — ended up involved in the celebrations just about by using Zoom.

“To have people guys there in our celebration was good,” Mayfield explained. “The best matter about it was the mentality of everybody declaring: ‘Hey, we did not just want to just acquire this recreation.’
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Eric Ebron of the Steelers is pursued by Garrett.

“Like I stated final 7 days, it is just the stepping stone to the place we ultimately want to go. For a ton of fellas, it was a big gain — my very first playoff gain, for starters — but nobody below is satisfied but.”

The Browns will now vacation to Kansas City to deal with the No. 1 seed and defending Super Bowl champions Kansas Metropolis Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in the AFC Divisional Round next Sunday.

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