Cleveland Browns

Longtime Cleveland Browns fans experienced a lot of nostalgia this past week. Former Coach Marty Schottenheimer died at age 77, following a battle with Alzheimer’s. And one of his players, Clay Matthews, was passed over yet again for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Kevin Stefanski took home the top honor for his profession Saturday, the night before the Super Bowl between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, when he was named the Associated Press NFL Coach of the Year.

Stefanski, in his first season as an NFL head coach, led the Browns to the team's first playoff appearance since 2002 and first playoff victory in 26 years.

Vice President Kamala Harris bumps fists with President-elect Joe Biden after she was sworn in during the inauguration, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington.
Jonathan Ernst / Associated Press

In this week's episode of Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast from WOSU, hosts Mike Thompson and Steve Brown discuss how an inauguration ceremony during a pandemic can still feel like a return to normal.

Fresh off of stunning the Pittsburgh Steelers for their first playoff win since 1994, the Browns (11-5) face an even bigger challenge this weekend in Kansas City (14-2). The opening line has the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs as a 9.5-point favorite.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) looks to throw a pass during the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021, in Pittsburgh.
Keith Srakocic / AP

The Browns kept Cleveland's NFL playoff dream alive, defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers 48-37 in Sunday's AFC wild card game.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, left, talks with Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski during the first half of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Cleveland.
Ron Schwane / Associated Press

Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss the team's first playoff game since 2002 on Sunday.

It’s a happy day for sports fans in Cleveland. With a 24-22 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday, the Browns punched their ticket to the NFL playoffs for the first time since 2002.

Long-suffering fans now have at least a week to savor the moment.

“We finally made it back to the playoffs,” said Vanessa Clever, a lifelong Browns fan who’s thrilled after Sunday’s victory. “That’s No. 1 for us. We just want to go all the way.”

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield celebrates after the Browns defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Cleveland.
Ron Schwane / AP

The Cleveland Browns are back in the playoffs. They qualified for the first time since 2002 by surviving a late Pittsburgh rally for a 24-22 win over the Steelers, who rested quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and several other starters for the postseason.

The Cleveland Browns were informed Thursday another player tested positive for COVID-19 and the team’s facility was closed, while their Sunday opponent already had several coaches isolating.

The Browns placed linebacker Sione Takitaki on the COVID-19 list Wednesday, joining four other players: lineman Chris Hubbard, Fullback Andy Janovich, and defensive ends Joe Jackson and Myles Garrett. Stefanski said Hubbard could return before Sunday’s game in Jacksonville.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine stopped in Cleveland late Wednesday morning, answering questions about the new curfew and reiterating that a "bridge" is needed before a coronavirus vaccine distribution begins next month.

On Tuesday, DeWine announced curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. in Ohio starting Thursday night and running for three weeks.

The Cleveland Browns begin the second half of the season Sunday against the Houston Texans. They’re 5-3 and will be playing for a shot at the playoffs for the first time in nearly 20 years. WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto said the team has shown a lot of promise this year.

The difference a year makes

The Cleveland Browns beat the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday to move to 5-2 on the season for the first time since 1994. WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto talks about quarterback Baker Mayfield's progress, Odell Beckham, Jr.'s injury, and what's ahead for the team.

5-2 is 5-2

Pluto says that instead of 5-2, Browns fans are used to the team being 2-5.

The Cleveland Browns are off to their best start in nearly 20 years. First-year head coach Kevin Stefanski has led the team to a 3-1 record, built around a strong running-game and some spectacular catches. WKSU’s sports commentator Terry Pluto says it's been a fun season so far.

An exciting offense

After being bulldozed by the AFC North powerhouse Baltimore Ravens in the season opener, Pluto says the Browns have averaged 39 points per game over the last three games.

The Cleveland Browns will try to re-group on their home field Thursday, as they host the Bengals less than a week after an embarrassing season-opening loss in Baltimore. And they'll have 6,000 fans in the stands cheering for a win. WKSU’s sports commentator Terry Pluto said the team has some work to do. 

The Cleveland Browns begin the NFL season Sunday. The team has had little time to get adjusted under new coach Kevin Stefanski because of the pandemic. WKSU’s sports commentator Terry Pluto said the Browns face a tough opening game against the defending AFC North Champion Baltimore Ravens on the road.

Two teams, two different levels of consistency

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