The start to the Cleveland Browns' first playoff game in 18 years couldn't have gone more perfectly on Sunday night.
On the contest's initial play, Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey snapped the ball over the head of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. After a scramble for the ball, Cleveland's Karl Joseph recovered it in the end zone, giving the Browns a 7-0 lead just 14 seconds into their wild-card playoff game at Heinz Field.
According to ESPN Stats & Information data, the last time the first play from scrimmage resulted in a defensive touchdown in any game came in Week 1 of 2018, when Sam Darnold threw a pick-six on his first career pass with the New York Jets.
It didn't take long for the Browns to add to it. M.J. Stewart Jr. intercepted Roethlisberger on the ensuing drive, and Baker Mayfield made the Steelers pay with a 40-yard touchdown strike to Jarvis Landry. It was the first time the Browns scored 14 points in the first quarter against the Steelers since 2000, a game Cleveland went on to win.
Kareem Hunt extended the lead to 28-0 with a pair of touchdown runs, the latter set up by another interception of Roethlisberger. The Browns are the first team to score 28 points in the first quarter of a playoff game since the Raiders against the Oilers in 1969.
The start shocked a few notable names on social media:
what in the world— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) January 11, 2021
Well when a coach say start fast it don't start no faster than that.— Gerald McCoy (@Geraldini93) January 11, 2021
Wow hahahaha— T.J. Ward (@BossWard43) January 11, 2021
Somebody need to investigate that lol...ain't no way this game could start like that. Pouncey is a ALL PRO...we ain't never seen him do that lol— Jerraud Powers (@JPowers25) January 11, 2021
😂😂😂— Christian Kirksey (@Kirko58) January 11, 2021
80!!!!!!— Odell Beckham Jr (@obj) January 11, 2021
This is a video game wth is going on this is weird I'm speechless pretty sure the whole world is shocked bc I never seen anything like this in my life not in the NFL.! 😳😳😳— King me (@sammywatkins) January 11, 2021
Ok, don't look now, but analytics says the final score will be... #Math— Joe Thomas (@joethomas73) January 11, 2021
Same old Nrowns
That man @Kareemhunt7 is so nice 💪🏽— Patrick Mahomes II (@PatrickMahomes) January 11, 2021
Sheeesh.... Cleveland is sick n tired of being sick n tired— ROBERT MATHIS The1st (@RobertMathis98) January 11, 2021
I have thought all season how hard it would be to be a coach or player at home watching. Certainly a head coach. But this?!? Man. This game would be the way to do it 😂— Jacob Tamme (@JacobTamme) January 11, 2021
Oh my gosh u just now at seeing the game what in the world— Marlon Humphrey (@marlon_humphrey) January 11, 2021
I will not be surprised if the Steelers came back👀— ⚡️Primetime!!!⚡️ (@Joe_MainMixon) January 11, 2021
Yep this one is over 😂— ⚡️Primetime!!!⚡️ (@Joe_MainMixon) January 11, 2021