3 Reasons the Cleveland Browns will win their playoff game

Cleveland Browns. Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports
Cleveland Browns. Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports /
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Cleveland Browns
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The Cleveland Browns have everything stacked against them

The Cleveland Browns enter the NFL playoffs for the first time since 2002, and in pure Cleveland fashion, the opportunity appears to be crippling in front of our eyes. It was announced on Monday that head coach, Kevin Stefanski, tested positive for COVID-19 and will not be able to coach.

On top of that, longest-tenured and most impactful offensive lineman Joel Bitonio has also tested positive for the virus and will miss the game as well. There are others on the exemption list, and at this moment it is unclear who all will be available for their Sunday night matchup with division rival Pittsburgh.

And although several players and coaches may not be available, it doesn’t mean the Browns can’t come away with the biggest win of the franchise since the return in 1999.

3. The underdog mentality

Although the Browns will likely be down multiple starters on offense and defense, the underdog mentality can be a huge factor in any game.

Rather the Steelers decide they might not need to play as hard because guys or out, or everyone on the Browns roster steps it up a notch to account for missing pieces, the combination of the two could allow the Browns to jump to an early lead.

Although early leads aren’t always great, as most remember squandering a 17-point lead in a wildcard game in Pittsburgh 18 years ago, it could help get the confidence of the entire team elevated.

One thing is for certain, Baker Mayfield thrives on being the underdog. As a past college walk-on to Heisman Trophy winner, he has learned to play with a chip on his shoulder and now has his chance to shine in the biggest game of the millennium for this organization.

Things may be frustrating at times, as the Steelers are going to score, but look for this offense to find ways to put drives together and keep this game close. It could easily come down to a kick at the end where Cody Parkey can redeem a lackluster back half of the season.