What significance does the luxury car brand have to the Cleveland Browns? It’s the play call that sent the Browns to the playoffs for the first time in 18 years.
In this week’s edition of Monday Morning Quarterback, Albert Breer talked with Browns left guard Joel Bitonio, who dished the information on the play that sealed a victory for the Browns in their 24-22 victory over the Steelers. Bitonio says that while head coach Kevin Stefanski has had the play in his back pocket all year, he didn’t include it in a gameplan until this week — and he pulled it out on the final offensive play (prior to the kneeldown), with QB Baker Mayfield running and RB Kareem Hunt as the lead blocker.
This was the call that put the Browns in the playoffs for the first time since 2002: Maserati. That’s right, a simple, one-word call signifying a quarterback sweep. As it turns out, Cleveland has had the play in its back pocket. But not only had Kevin Stefanski not called it this year, it actually wasn’t even in any of the Browns’ 15 previous game plans.
“It was for short yardage this week, and we called it,” said guard Joel Bitonio, the longest-tenured Brown, in his seventh season in Cleveland. “I was kinda giving Baker [Mayfield] a little bit of crap earlier in the week about his speed, having him run the ball. It was a good play getting the extra blocker with Kareem [Hunt] leading the way there. I was on the backside so I just kinda cut my guy off. I saw him get the first down and get down in bounds, and I knew we had the game sealed.”
Making the moment oh-so-funnier was discovering that the play call might have been used as one final dig from Mayfield to Colin Cowherd, who once compared Mayfield to a Mazda while noting that Sam Darnold was more of the Maserati.
To celebrate the Browns’ memorable play, we have a brand new t-shirt. The shirts are priced at $28. Get your t-shirt here, and let us know if you order one! We also have the other shirt/hoodie design out from the other day below.