Cleveland Browns: 5 Studs and duds in playoff win

Browns, Baker Mayfield. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports
Browns, Baker Mayfield. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports /
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Cleveland Browns
Jan 10, 2021; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) runs off the field after the AFC Wild Card playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports /

The Cleveland Brown’s break the curse

17 straight losses in Pittsburgh was the task at hand for the Cleveland Browns on Sunday Night Football, and somehow, they blew the Steelers out of the stadium. The Browns came out on fire and took a commanding 28-0 lead. They tried to open the door for the Steelers but would eventually slam the door forcing five huge turnovers.

Expectations were low because of missing a head coach, four-position coaches, and four total starters because of COVID-19. I’m the first to admit that I was just hoping for a close game.

The performance on Sunday night just goes to show how tremendous Kevin Stefanski is.

Dud: Robert Jackson, Cornerback

No one was dealt a worse hand than Robert Jackson, who was picked on heavily by Mason Rudolph in week 17. Well, shocker, things weren’t any better vs. the Steelers starters on Sunday. Any time Ben Roethlisberger needed yards, he knew right where to go, and that always included Jackson in coverage (used loosely).

In the third quarter drive after the long Nick Chubb screen pass, the Steelers targets Jackson multiple times and ended up narrowing the lead back to 12 in only one minute and some change of game time. The Browns didn’t have to necessarily keep the Steelers out of the endzone on that drive, but wow, they certainly couldn’t give up a touchdown that quickly.

The Browns were in a terrible situation with Denzel Ward and Kevin Johnson out who is their number one and three cornerbacks, but Jackson didn’t even look like a practice squad player. On multiple occasions, Jackson wasn’t within five yards of the receiver on simple route concepts.

I hate to put a dud after a huge win, but I couldn’t resist this one.