CLEVELAND — The NFL’s longest energetic postseason drought is formally over because the Cleveland Browns have clinched a spot within the 2020 playoffs.
With their win over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, the Browns formally certified for one of many AFC’s three Wild Card spots. Cleveland will now advance to subsequent week’s AFC Wild Card Spherical, the place it has but to be decided which staff the Browns will face.
Regardless of getting off to a 9-Three begin to the season, Cleveland’s path to the playoffs didn’t show straightforward. After final week’s shorthanded loss to the New York Jets, the Browns fell to 10-5 on the yr, placing them at risk of lacking the postseason for an 18th consecutive season.
With Cleveland’s more than likely playoff-clinching state of affairs being to beat the Steelers on Sunday, the Browns have been solely in a position to observe for one full day within the week main as much as the sport because of a number of coronavirus (COVID-19) circumstances on the staff and training workers. Cleveland entered its regular-season finale with six gamers on the NFL’s reserve/COVID-19 record and three assistant coaches unable to take part on recreation day as a result of virus.
But regardless of lacking a number of starters, together with star cornerback Denzel Ward, the Browns have been in a position to beat the Steelers, who had already clinched the AFC North and rested a number of key gamers, together with beginning quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and star linebacker T.J. Watt. With that, Cleveland ended the NFL’s longest energetic postseason drought (17 years) and can discover itself enjoying within the postseason for the primary time since 2002.