The Cleveland Browns held on to defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers in a tight finish and clinch their first playoff berth since 2002. The Browns, who entered Week 17 with a 10-5 record and needing a win to clinch a postseason spot, defeated the Steelers 24-22 in front of their home fans to finally end their playoff drought.
The Browns took a 24-9 lead early on in the fourth quarter but even that wasn't enough for them to calmly close out the game as the Steelers forced their way back into the game with two touchdowns. After their touchdown that came with just over a minute left in the game, the Steelers tried a two-point conversion but failed as the Browns held on for a 24-22 win.
"I'm really just happy for our fans," Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said, per ESPN. "They deserve this. And we're happy to deliver this to them."
The Browns now want more
Baker Mayfield, who was selected at No.
1 in the 2018 NFL draft by the Browns, went 17-of-27 for 196 yards, one touchdown and zero interceptions in a win over the Steelers. "It's a moment I'll definitely never forget," Mayfield said. "The feeling of walking off the field, the energy in the stadium, they're playing 'Cleveland Rocks' ...
for it to be that loud with a limited amount of fans, it was a special moment for us." The Browns now want to make some noise in their first playoff appearance in almost two decades. "We're not satisfied," Mayfield said.
"We expected to be here. We worked extremely hard to get here and we're excited to have the chance to be in the playoffs." Browns defensive end Myles Garrett was happy for himself, his teammates and the team fans.
"There are so many Browns [fans] all over the world who were so happy to see us get this win," Garrett said. "Finally get into the dance." Last season, Garrett hit Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph with his helmet and spent the rest of the season suspended.
A year later, Garrett and Rudolph had a friendly exchange after the game. "I just told him good game, told him he played a hell of a game and we'll see y'all in a week," Garrett said of the exchange, which Rudolph confirmed afterward, as well. "He did well and was able to make some big plays for them."