The Cleveland Browns are playoff-bound for the first time since 2002.
The win was met with glee from Browns’ fans on Twitter, who had to suffer through an 0-16 season just three years ago. Whether it is famous fans like LeBron James or average Dawg Pound citizens the moment is certainly being celebrated.
— LeBron James (@KingJames) January 3, 2021
I'm literally grown man crying. The #Browns are going to the Playoffs!
— Mister Em JJ Em (@MR_MJJM) January 3, 2021
— Ron Clements (@Ron_Clements) January 3, 2021
To my fellow #Browns fans who have endured the long suffering years. Enjoy this win, enjoy the playoffs irrespective of the result and just exhale that you're still playing next week. The road is long but oh so worth it. #GoBrowns
— DeeAyeZee (@BoomStiggidy) January 3, 2021
The game itself was pretty wild as the Browns had a difficult time putting away Pittsburgh’s backups down the stretch. The Steelers did score a touchdown with less than two minutes to go in order to make it a two-point game but the Browns were able to deny the attempt.
Things got scarier when Pittsburgh’s onside kick attempt caught Cleveland’s returner off guard, but the Browns managed to recover. Baker Mayfield sealed the Browns’ win by picking up the final first down, allowing Cleveland to run out the clock and advance to the postseason.
There are certainly concerning signs for the Browns, who looked shaky down the stretch by dropping three of their last four games, but that is a conversation to be had as the week goes on. Today is a day worth celebrating for long-suffering Cleveland fans who have dealt with so much terrible football over the past two decades.
The combination of today’s results, including Miami’s loss to Buffalo and Baltimore’s win in Cincinnati, locked the Browns into the No. 6 seed. That guarantees a rematch with the Steelers next weekend in Pittsburgh after Buffalo’s win secured the no. 2 seed in the AFC.
Pittsburgh was also Cleveland’s playoff opponent back in 2002, securing a win on Wild Card weekend at Heinz Field to knock the Browns out after just one postseason game. Cleveland will look to secure a longer postseason stay this time around.