Following the sudden rise of quarterback Baker Mayfield last season and the acquisition of wide receiver Odell Beckham, many believed during the preseason that the Cleveland Browns will finally make a return to the National Football League playoffs and even clinch a division title.

But 10 weeks -- nine games in the case of Cleveland since the team already took a bye -- into the current season, the club is playing underwhelmingly.

The Browns were having a topsy-turvy season, going 3-6 ahead of a Thursday night showdown at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers to start Week 11.

While the scheduling of which teams will play primetime football every Sunday, Monday, and Thursday is pre-determined, seeing a team below .500 in a nationally televised action behind the floodlights is not that pleasing to see.

But the Browns will take it.

The Cleveland Cavaliers gave way, adjusting their scheduled home game against the Miami Heat at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse an hour earlier so that the fans can still rush to the nearby FirstEnergy Stadium for the Steelers-Browns game afterward.

But what the fans witnessed, in the end, was the last thing they would want to see.

Cleveland won the game, 21-7, but the final play somehow summarized what the team's season has been.

In hopes of making the final deficit more respectable but facing a 3rd and 29 at his team's 17-year line, Pittsburgh quarterback Mason Rudolph made a short pass before defensive end Myles Garrett tackled him down.

Garrett, however, fumed at Rudolph, grabbed his helmet, and hit him in his head with it, triggering a commotion.

It did not sit well with the fans.

 

     

However, there were claims that it was Rudolph, apparently disgusted with Garrett's sack attempt, who went at him and tried to take his helmet off. 

Regardless of who first charged who, a sanction is now expected for Myles Garrett following his brawl with Mason Rudolph.

"The reality is he's gonna get suspended... It hurts our team. We can't do that... That's inexcusable," Mayfield told Fox Sports' Erin Andrews after the game. 

In a separate post-game interview with reporters, Garrett said, "I lost my cool and I regret it... It never should have gotten to that point. It’s on me."

With the win, though, the Browns are back in the playoff race. Who would have thought that they're surviving?

Pittsburgh Steelers Antonio Brown celebrates a first down against the New England Patriots in 2011. Image Reuters