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 running back Kareem Hunt (27) runs the ball against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second quarter of an AFC Wild Card playoff game at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

Stud: Offensive Line

The Browns came into this game without their leader, Joel Bitonio. If things weren’t bad enough, all-pro tackle Jack Conklin left in the first half with a hamstring injury and would not return. Remember folks, the Steelers led the league in sacks and had T.J. Watt and Cam Heyward fresh after not playing in week 17.

Michael Dunn, who also left with an injury late in the game, did a phenomenal job at left guard. He held up against the bull-rush from Heyward and was extremely effective in the run game as well.  Keep in mind, the Browns didn’t have their offensive line coach, or his assistant available for this game. Center, J.C Tretter was the coach for the evening.

Kendall Lamm was also put in a very tough spot replacing Conklin in the second quarter. And while he looked bad in his first snap vs. Watt, he would get his footing and look great the rest of the game. I don’t have time to look up the last time the Steelers didn’t record a sack in a game vs. the Browns.

This group has faced more adversity than any other position for the Browns this year, and boy have they been resilient.  One guy goes down, and it feels like the next man up steps up with no issues at all. The best part of the night, getting the opportunity for Bitonio to play in the playoffs. The man who has been through hell in Cleveland will get his time to shine.