Baker Mayfield on Browns' Win over Steelers: 'No One Believed in Us Besides Us'

Jenna CiccotelliCorrespondent IIIJanuary 11, 2021

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) warmups before an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Don Wright)
Don Wright/Associated Press

Heading into Sunday's Wild Card Game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, who were once 11-0, there was doubt about the Cleveland Browns' ability to make it out of their first playoff appearance since 2002 with a victory.

That doubt only grew once it was announced that the team would play without multiple players and several coaches, including head coach Kevin Stefanski, as a COVID-19 outbreak spread through the locker room. The team did not have more than one full practice before traveling to Pittsburgh.

The Browns still came away with a 48-37 win, surprising everyone except, apparently, themselves.  

"No one believed in us besides us," quarterback Baker Mayfield told reporters after earning a ticket to face the Kansas City Chiefs in the next round. 

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QB @bakermayfield meets with the media live: https://t.co/Il6jDVheVt

The quarterback wasn't fazed by the team's lack of physical preparation. He said Thursday the lack of practice "won't have an impact."

Clearly, he was correct. 

Mayfield threw two touchdown passes in the first half as the Browns climbed out to a 35-10 lead at halftime. The Steelers began to crawl back in the second half, but even as Ben Roethlisberger threw for 501 yards and four touchdowns, they were unable to catch up.

Stefanski, who watched his team win its first playoff game in decades from afar, can rejoin the team this week in time to prepare with and coach his team against the Kansas City Chiefs in the divisional round. 

But even as the Browns move on from their COVID-19 issues and after they had an opportunity to highlight their abilities against the Steelers, Mayfield is expecting doubt again as he readies to take on the defending Super Bowl champions. 

"Sounds pretty normal to me," he said (8:00 mark).