Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield insisted “nobody here is satisfied yet” after they beat the Pittsburgh Steelers to record a first playoff win since 1994.
The Browns jumped to a 28-0 first-quarter lead on Sunday at Heinz Field, where they had been enduring a 17-game losing streak, the third-longest on the road at a single opponent in NFL history.
That first-quarter points tally, a joint record in the playoffs, was followed by some resolute second-half defense as they secured a 48-37 victory.
The triumph was made more remarkable by the fact a coronavirus outbreak meant practice sessions on Wednesday and Thursday were canceled and coach Kevin Stefanski was forced to watch the action from home.
Mayfield, who completed 21 of 34 passes for 263 yards and three touchdowns, is already looking ahead to next Sunday’s showdown with top seeds the Kansas City Chiefs.
“We’re a team, we stick together, and to have those guys there in our celebration was great,” he said. “But the best thing about it was the mentality of everybody saying, we didn’t want to just win this game.
“It’s a stepping stone to where we want to go. Nobody here is satisfied yet.”
Before the game, Mayfield posted a video to Instagram with the caption ‘Browns is the Browns’, referencing comments made by Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, who had proclaimed himself happy to be facing “the same Browns teams I play every year”.
“We believe in the people in this room no matter what is going on,” said Mayfield afterwards. “We knew that everybody was counting us out. We knew what mentality we were going to have, and it’s just to cut it loose, because no one believed in us besides us.”
The result drew astonished reactions from the sporting world on Twitter, including from Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James and five-time NBA champion Magic Johnson.
Browns special teams coordinator Mike Priefer, who stood in as acting head coach in Stefanski’s absence, said: “I want to congratulate our fans – I grew up one of them. I know what this means.”
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