On a cold Sunday night in Pittsburgh, the Cleveland Browns showed no mercy.
Facing off against the hometown Steelers, the Browns jumped out to a 28-0 lead in the first quarter and never looked back.
48 points and four Ben Roethlisberger interceptions later, Cleveland walked away victorious.
Here in Portland, Trail Blazers star CJ McCollum, an Ohio Native, wears his Browns fandom on his sleeve. Following the Blazers’ victory over the Raptors on Monday, McCollum was asked about his Browns and when he was he couldn’t stop smiling.
“One of the things about being used to losing is you gotta figure out how to handle success when it comes,” said McCollum. “As a Browns fan, you aren’t used to success”
To say the city of Cleveland waited a long time for the win would be an understatement.
McCollum is right, success for the Browns doesn’t come often. Prior to Sunday’s game it had been 18 years since the Browns last made the playoffs, and 26 years since the Browns last won a playoff game (a 20-13 victory over the Patriots in the 1995 Wild Card round). In fact, the Browns had never even beaten the Steelers in the playoffs.
All those droughts ended this past weekend. As graceful as McCollum wanted to be, he couldn’t help but get a jab in.
I’m not gonna rub it in because I know what it’s like for your team to lose games. Big Ben didn’t play well and it might be the end for him. He gifted us that game and we truly appreciate it.
CJ McCollum on the Browns win over the Steelers
In Friday’s Trail Blazers game, it was a CJ McCollum jumper in the final seconds that sealed the deal for Portland. So what was moment felt greater: Hitting the game-winner or watching the Browns win? Easy. Watching the Browns.
“The shot is my livelihood. It’s how I provide, so that was more important. But historically, where I come from… you don’t understand how happy people are right now, across the world, because we waited for this moment for so long.”
Now the Browns head to Kansas City to take on the defending Super Bowl champs, the Kansas City Chiefs (14-2). A victory this weekend and the Browns will be just one win away from a trip to the Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history.
McCollum, he likes the Browns’ chances and if they win Sunday he’s penciling them in to go all the way.
“What the Browns did, being the underdog, 28 points in the first quarter, Baker’s rolling – hasn’t thrown a pick since Tupac died – everything is just lining up for us to win a Super Bowl.”