Browns make playoffs for 1st time since 2002 season, most wins since 1994

The Cleveland Browns are back in the playoffs after an 18-year hiatus.

The Browns defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday to clinch a wildcard spot, 24-22.

Cleveland will also finish the 2020 season with 11 wins – the most victories since 1994, when Bill Belichick was coaching the team. The Browns reached 10 wins in 2007, but failed to make the playoffs.

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Cleveland barely got by the Steelers and Mason Rudolph. Cleveland was up 24-9 in the fourth quarter before Rudolph’s two touchdown passes brought the game very close. A Pittsburgh two-point conversion after a touchdown pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster would have tied the game, but it failed.

Browns running back Nick Chubb ran for 108 yards, including a 47-yard touchdown in the first quarter, to help Cleveland to the win. Baker Mayfield was 17-for-27 with 196 passing yards and a touchdown. Rashad Higgins and Jarvis Landry led the Browns in receiving. Higgins had two catches for 55 yards and Landry had five catches for 51 yards. Austin Hooper had the lone touchdown catch.

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Pittsburgh still leaves Cleveland with the AFC North title. It’s the Steelers’ seventh division title under Mike Tomlin.

Rudolph finished the game with 315 passing yards and two touchdown passes. The other touchdown pass was to Chase Claypool, who had five catches for 101 yards.

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The last time the Browns were in the playoffs was in the 2002 season when Butch Davis was leading the team. Cleveland lost to Pittsburgh by three points in the wild card came. Kelly Holcomb and Dennis Northcutt were leading the offense while Daylon McCutcheon had two interceptions in that game.