Watson rusty in return but Browns get 27-14 win over Texans
Deshaun Watson struggled in a sloppy performance in his first game in 700 days, but a punt return for a touchdown by Donovan Peoples-Jones and two defensive TDs were plenty enough to give the Cleveland Browns a 27-14 win over the lowly Houston Texans Sunday.
After losing Mahomes, Chiefs and Henne hold off Browns 22-17
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Chad Henne celebrates after a run during the second half of an NFL divisional round football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021, in Kansas City. – The Kansas City Chiefs had lost Patrick Mahomes to a concussion and were in danger of losing the game. With their star quarterback reduced to a spectator, the oft-forgotten bunch opposite Mahomes' high-powered offense forced the Browns to punt in the waning minutes. After the teams swapped field goals, with Butker breaking the Chiefs playoff record with a 50-yarder into the wind, the Browns marched for what could have been a momentum-swinging score heading into halftime. First, the Browns held the Chiefs when Mayfield threw an interception and Butker missed a field goal.
Top cornerbacks standing out on NFL's Super Bowl hopefuls
Nearly every team still vying for the Super Bowl has an elite cornerback often capable of shutting down an opponent's top receiver all by himself. The NFC playoff bracket has three of the conference's four Pro Bowl cornerbacks: Green Bay's Jaire Alexander, Los Angeles' Jalen Ramsey and New Orleans' Marshon Lattimore. Staley's scheme has employed Ramsey in multiple roles throughout the season, and his job often changes from play to play. Oddly enough, the remaining playoff team perceived to have the least dominant cornerbacks is defending champion Kansas City, the favorite to make it back to the Super Bowl. “Some of the best cornerbacks happen to play on the best teams, that’s all I can say,” Bills safety Micah Hyde said.
Browns Pro Bowl guard Bitiono back for playoffs after COVID
FILE - Cleveland Browns offensive guard Joel Bitonio (75) blocks in the third quarter an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Cleveland, in this Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, file photo. Browns Pro Bowl left guard Joel Bitonio will be activated from the COVID-19 list Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, after missing last weeks playoff win over Pittsburgh. The Pro Bowl left guard has was activated from the COVID-19 list Friday after missing last week’s wild-card win over Pittsburgh. It was a devastating development for Bitiono, who had endured so much losing with the Browns before this turnaround season. On Wednesday, coach Kevin Stefanski returned in person to the team after also missing last week's game with COVID-19.
Stefanski out of basement, back with Browns after COVID-19
Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski looks on from the sidelines during an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, in Pittsburgh. Positive COVID-19 tests have knocked Stefanski out of Cleveland's wild-card game at Pittsburgh on Sunday night the Browns' first playoff appearance since the 2002 season. (AP Photo/Justin Berl, File)CLEVELAND – Browns coach Kevin Stefanski doesn't plan a trip downstairs to his basement any time soon. Stefanski returned to the team's facility Thursday, 10 days after the first-year coach tested positive for COVID-19 and he was forced to miss Cleveland's playoff win over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. Stefanski will make his playoff debut on the sideline this week when the Browns play the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.
The Latest: ACC postpones women's top-five matchup
Also, Thursday night’s Southeastern Conference women’s basketball game featuring No. 12 Kentucky at Auburn has been postponed because of positive tests, contact tracing and quarantining within the Tigers’ program. ___Georgetown has canceled its men’s basketball game against DePaul on Wednesday night, citing a COVID-19-related issue with the program. Also, offensive line coach Bill Callahan returned to the team after being one of four assistants sidelined by the virus. He missed last week’s game as well with coronavirus, along with Ward, Johnson, wide receiver KhaDarel Hodge and four assistant coaches.
Same old Browns? Hardly. Cleveland drills Steelers 48-37
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) celebrates as he walks off the field following a win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in an NFL wild-card playoff football game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021. The Cleveland Browns overcame all of it. The Browns dismantled the Pittsburgh Steelers 48-37 in the wild-card round Sunday night, picking up the franchise’s first postseason victory in more than a quarter-century and earning a trip to Kansas City next Sunday to face the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs. The kick bounced into the end zone for a touchback and Mayfield calmly took Cleveland 80 yards in six plays. So much for the Browns being the Browns, a winking assessment Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster made about Cleveland in the middle of the week.
The Latest: Rutgers women's basketball at Ohio State shelved
(AP Photo/Justin Berl, File)The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___The women’s Big Ten basketball game on Sunday between Rutgers and Ohio State in Columbus has been postponed due to an increase in positive COVID-19 tests within the Rutgers program. The Creighton women have paused team activities and postponed three games because of a recent positive COVID-19 test result. ___The Tulsa-Central Florida men’s basketball game scheduled for Saturday at Tulsa has been postponed because of positive COVID-19 tests and subsequent contact tracing among UCF athletes. ___The Georgia State women’s basketball team has postposed two more Sun Belt Conference games after additional positive tests for COVID-19. 5 South Carolina has paused team activities and postponed its women’s basketball game with Georgia on Thursday night.
Browns end long playoff drought, survive late Steelers rally
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield celebrates after the Browns defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Cleveland. The Browns, winless just three seasons ago and so bad for so long, are in the playoffs. The Browns and their passionate fan base endured 197 losses, 14 double-digit-loss seasons and seven coaches since the last playoff appearance. For the moment he got to Cleveland in 2018, Landry's goal was to get the Browns back to the postseason. Steelers: Will be back at full strength for their first playoff appearance since the 2017 season.
The Latest: Steelers place Haden, Ebron, Marsh on COVID list
Seattle coach Pete Carroll said Friday that Shell had a close contact with someone who tested positive but that Shell had tested negative. Carroll said on Friday the team was still trying to determine if Shell would need to go on the COVID list. ___A second Cleveland Browns coach has tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of the team's big game with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Wide receivers coach Chad O’Shea previously tested positive and will be replaced by team chief of staff Callie Brownson. Goodson and Malcolm Smith, safety Andrew Sendejo and tight end Harrison Bryant will miss the Steelers game after testing positive.
The Latest: 2nd Browns coach tests positive for virus
Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski keeps watch before an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)The Cleveland Browns have had a second coach test positive for COVID-19 ahead of their big game with the Pittsburgh Steelers. They have had seven players and two coaches test positive in the past week. ___The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___The Cleveland Browns have had a second coach test positive for COVID-19 ahead of their big game with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Wide receivers coach Chad O’Shea previously tested positive and will be replaced by team chief of staff Callie Brownson.
The Latest: Duke-Florida State basketball game postponed
18 Florida State on Saturday after coming into close contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19. ___Marquette women’s basketball has paused activities because of a positive COVID-19 test. The Browns did not have any new positive COVID-19 tests on Friday, and after getting league approval, practiced indoors. It’s the second straight postponement for the Sun Devils after their game scheduled for Thursday at Washington State was also called off. Every player on the active roster practiced Thursday and Friday, an indication none was identified as a high-risk close contact with Fitzpatrick.
Browns lose CB Ward for Steelers game after positive test
If they win, the Browns (10-5) will make the playoffs for the first time since 2002 and end the NFL's longest current playoff drought. But the Browns will now be missing their best defensive back and at least two other defensive starters. While Ward is lost for at least this week, the Browns did get back star Jarvis Landry and three other receivers who missed last week's game. Not only will he miss the Steelers game, but he could also be out of Cleveland's first-round playoff matchup — assuming the Browns get there. The Browns were getting ready to leave for the New York area on Saturday when Goodson's test came back positive.
Jackson returns to save Ravens with 47-42 win over Browns
Tucker, who made 70 straight field goals inside 40 yards before he missed last week, had plenty of distance on his kick to give the Ravens (8-5) a much-needed win. It was a gut punch for the Browns (9-4), who had rallied from a 14-point deficit to take the lead while Jackson was out. He drove the Browns 75 yards, hitting running back Kareem Hunt for a 22-yard TD pass with 1:04 left. Cleveland was counting on Williams to handle the starting cornerback spot opposite Denzel Ward, who missed his third straight game with a calf injury. Browns: Make the first of two straight weekend visits to the New York area and play the Giants on Dec. 20.
QB Jones inactive for Giants; McCoy to start at Seattle
(AP Photo/Aaron Doster)The New York Giants will be without starting quarterback Daniel Jones for Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks. Jones was not expected to play because of a hamstring injury suffered last week against Cincinnati. Colt McCoy will make his first start of the season at QB for the Giants. Seattle was without both starting right tackle Brandon Shell (ankle) and backup Cedric Ogbuehi (calf) leaving a major question on the offensive line. ___CLEVELAND-TENNESSEEBrowns: WR Taywan Taylor, WR KhaDarel Hodge, CB Denzel Ward, RB Dontrell Hilliard, S Tedric Thompson, DE Joe Jackson.
Lions WR Golladay makes 2020 debut; Bucs' Godwin also active
Jeudy is active for the Bucs game as Denver quarterback Jeff Driskel makes his first start while Drew Lock recovers from a shoulder injury. Cardinals: QB Brett Hundley, WR Christian Kirk, RB Eno Benjamin, OL Mason Cole, OL Josh Miles, DL Leki Fotu. ___CHICAGO AT ATLANTABears: CB Duke Shelley, OG Arlington Hambright, NT Daniel McCullers, WR RIley Ridley, OLB Trevis GipsonFalcons: WR Julio Jones, CB A.J. Browns: WR Donovan Peoples-Jones, CB Greedy Williams, LB Jacob Phillips, Olivier Vernon, Evan Brown and WR Rashard Higgins. Brown, CB Chris Jackson OLB Derick Roberson, C Aaron Brewer, TE Geoff Swaim, DT Matt DickersonVikings: WR Tajaé Sharpe, WR K.J.