- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 3, 2021

It wouldn’t be the Cleveland Browns if drama wasn’t involved. Needing a win against the Pittsburgh Steelers — a team sitting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger with a playoff spot already secured — the Browns nearly squandered their lead.

But they didn’t, making the playoffs for the first time since the 2002 season.

With Mason Rudolph under center, the Steelers scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Pittsburgh had the chance to tie the game with 1:23 remaining, but the two-point conversion attempt failed, sealing Cleveland’s 24-22 win.

Baker Mayfield threw for 196 yards while completing 17-of -27 passes. He also rushed for 44 yards. Running back Nick Chubb averaged over seven yards a carry, rumbling for 108 yards — including a 47-yard touchdown scamper in the first quarter.

Cleveland has dealt with coronavirus cases within the organization all week. The team shut down its training facility Wednesday and Thursday, then again on Saturday. In last week’s contest, the Browns were without many of their receivers. This week, they were without linebackers B.J. Goodson and Malcolm Smith and safety Andrew Sendejo, among others.

The Browns will face the Steelers again in the wild card round, that time with Roethlisberger likely back in action. It’s been a long time coming, but Cleveland is back in the playoffs.

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