Welcome To The Postseason, Cleveland. Cleveland? Yep
Welcome to the postseason, Cleveland.
The Browns ended their string of non-playoff seasons on Sunday with a tighter-than-expected 24-22 victory over archrival Pittsburgh, which sat many of its starters. Cleveland returned to the NFL in 1999, made the playoffs in 2002, and then, zilch. Until now.
Its a moment Ill never forget, quarterback Baker Mayfield said. But were not satisfied. We expected to be here.
The NFL’s two longest playoff droughts have been snapped with the advancements of Tampa Bay and Cleveland, both 11-5. The Buccaneers, who downed Atlanta 44-27, already were in and secured the fifth seed in the NFC, setting up a trip to the sub-.500 NFC East winner, either Washington or the Giants. Tampa Bay’s last trip to the postseason was 2007.
The Jets now have the unenviable streak of going home early, beginning in 2011.
Baltimore (11-5) took the top wild-card seed in the AFC with its 38-3 romp at Cincinnati. The Ravens will be at the winner of the AFC South, either Tennessee or Indianapolis. The Titans were at Houston knowing they owned a playoff berth after Miami (10-6) lost at Buffalo 56-26. Indianapolis hosted Jacksonville, the NFL’s worst team, and a victory puts the Colts in, eliminating the Dolphins.
With the win, the Bills (13-3) clinched the AFCs No. 2 playoff seed and matched a single-season record for victories, set in both 1990 and 91, when they made the Super Bowl.
Dallas is done after a 23-19 defeat at the Meadowlands, with the Giants in line to win the awful NFC East with a 6-10 mark. New York, which lost its first five and was once 1-7, needs Philadelphia to knock off Washington (6-9) on Sunday night. Otherwise, Washington advances.
Not making the postseason for the first time since 2008 is New England (7-9). Of course, the main reason for that Patriots streak of success and six Super Bowls, Tom Brady, is now quarterbacking the Bucs and in the playoffs.
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