The Cleveland Browns are advancing to the AFC divisional playoff round. Yes, you read that correctly. The Browns are exceeding the expectations of both fans and critics alike.

The Browns started off the season with low expectations, but they managed to finish the season with 11 wins and five losses, just enough to make the playoffs as a wild card team. By clinching the wild card spot, they essentially ended their 17-year-playoff drought. The last time Cleveland was in the playoffs was in 2002. So, this by itself was shocking and exciting as they have done the impossible, making the playoffs again.

Cleveland faced their rivals the Pittsburgh Steelers in the wild card round Sunday night. Their matchup was viewed as difficult with the Steelers being the favorites to win. So, to NFL fans it became a surprise when the Browns were leading after the first quarter. Cleveland scored 28 while Pittsburgh had null after the first quarter. It was surprising to see Cleveland play so well against their foes.

The Browns were able to build a nice lead during the first quarter because of how poorly Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was playing. Roethlisberger had four interceptions in the game with two interceptions coming in the first quarter alone. His first interception led a 40-yard passing touchdown from Browns’ QB, Baker Mayfield, to wide receiver Jarvis Landry. The second interception allowed Kareem Hunt to score a second touchdown and for the Browns’ fourth touchdown.

Although Cleveland held a 28 point lead, the Steelers gained momentum in the second and third quarters as they trimmed the lead. As the fourth quarter began, the Browns held a 12 point lead. The Browns were seeking to hold off Pittsburgh, and they did just that.

The Browns scored first as Mayfield threw a short pass to running back Nick Chubb for a 40-yard touchdown. Pittsburgh swiftly responded with a touchdown of their own, a 29-yard touchdown. However, the Browns responded with two unanswered field goals to go up 48-29. The lead proved too much as the Steelers struggled to score again. The Steelers scored one final touchdown as the game ended for a Cleveland win 48-37.

The shocking upset meant that the Browns won their first playoff game since 1994 as they advance to the divisional round. They will be looking to pull off another upset as they will be facing the defending Super Bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs.

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