When was the last time the Browns made the playoffs? Cleveland clinches postseason berth with win over Jets

The Browns are heading back to the NFL Playoffs.

Cleveland dismantled the Jets on “Thursday Night Football” to clinch a postseason berth as Joe Flacco’s storybook comeback continues.

Flacco picked up his fourth consecutive game with at least 300 yards and multiple touchdowns, while tight end David Njoku starred with six receptions for 134 yards and running back Jerome Ford picked up a pair of receiving touchdowns to go with 121 all-purpose yards.

The Browns were anchored by their defense as they have been all season, forcing two turnovers with a pick-six and a blocked field goal.

The win secures Cleveland a baseline of an AFC wild card spot with an 11-5 record. It still holds on to an outside chance to win the AFC North and earn a first-round bye as the No. 1 overall seed.

MORE: Updated Browns playoff picture after ‘TNF’ win over Jets

While it might seem like this level of success is unprecedented for the Browns, it hasn’t been all that long since the last time they qualified for the playoffs. The Sporting News takes a quick trip down memory lane below.

When was the last time the Browns made the playoffs?

The last time the Browns made the playoffs was the 2020 NFL season, just three years ago.

In that season, Cleveland finished 11-5 to claim an AFC wild card spot. The postseason berth snapped a 17-year drought, which was tied for the third-longest in NFL history.

The 2020 Browns were led by starting quarterback Baker Mayfield, star pass rusher Myles Garrett and stud running back Nick Chubb.

2021 AFC Wild Card Round: Browns 48, Steelers 37

The Browns’ first playoff game in almost two decades was a matchup against their AFC North division rival Steelers and star quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

It had been 22 years since Cleveland had won a playoff game, going all the way back to the days when Bill Belichick was its head coach.

The Browns marched into Heinz Field and came away with a victory in an absolute shootout. Cleveland opened the game with a defensive touchdown and never looked back, jumping out to a 28-0 lead.

Mayfield threw for 263 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions, finding a different receiver on the end of each score. Roethlisberger threw for a ridiculous 501 yards and four touchdowns, but his four interceptions proved costly in the outcome.

The win set up a matchup against Patrick Mahomes and the defending champion Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.

2021 AFC Divisional Round: Chiefs 22, Browns 17

The Browns nearly pulled off a miracle, coming up one score shy of advancing to their first AFC Championship Game since 1988.

The Chiefs got out to a 19-3 lead by halftime but Mahomes suffered a head injury in the third quarter and was later ruled out for the game with a concussion. He was replaced by backup quarterback Chad Henne.

Cleveland started to mount a comeback when Mayfield found Jarvis Landry on a touchdown pass in the third quarter. Kareem Hunt punched in a rushing touchdown early in the fourth quarter but the Browns couldn’t find the end zone again.

They had a drive stall out with four minutes left in the game and the defense couldn’t get the ball back as Kansas City ran out the clock.

Cleveland would be eliminated by the eventual AFC champions, who would go on to lose to Tom Brady and the Buccaneers in the Super Bowl.

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