April 14, 2024

“Joe Flacco, Browns take care of Jets for playoff spot”

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CLEVELAND— Joe FlaccoThe unlikely revival season reached new heights on “Thursday Night Football” when he took over Cleveland Browns to a playoff spot with a 37-20 victory over the New York Jets.

Flacco is the first player in NFL history to rush for 250 yards and multiple touchdowns in each of his first five games with a franchise. The Browns signed Flacco on November 20th Deshaun Watson suffered a season-ending shoulder injury on November 12.

The Browns led 34-17 at halftime, marking their highest first-half score since 2019, when the 49ers and Saints combined for 55 points in Week 14 (the 49ers won 48-46), according to ESPN Stats & Information.


Cleveland Browns

The Cleveland Browns are playoff bound.

The Browns destroyed that New York Jets to secure their first AFC playoff berth since 2020.

Cleveland is headed to the postseason at just the right time with four straight wins.

QB collapse: Flacco was fabulous once again. For the fourth time in his five starts, he led the Browns down the field for a touchdown on their first drive. He then capped Cleveland’s 34-point first-half scoring drive by scrambling out of the pocket to his left to find Jerome Ford wide open for a 50-yard touchdown throw. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Flacco threw three touchdowns and passed for 296 yards in the first half alone, the most in his entire career. He has now totaled more than 300 yards in each win of this four-game winning streak.

Buy on breakthrough performance: Close ending David Njoku plays the best ball of his career. With star receiver Amari Cooper (Heel) out, Njoku increased with 113 receiving yards in the first quarter. That alone was the second-best receiving game of his career. Njoku has four touchdown catches in his last four games and is proving to be one of the best tight ends in the league.

Decisive game: Rookie safety Ronnie Hickman intercepted Trevor Siemian for a 30-yard pick-six in the first quarter. That gave the Browns a 20-7 lead that kept the Jets on their heels for the rest of the game. – Jake Trotter

Next game: at Bengals (TBD, Sunday, January 7)


New York Jets

The idea that Aaron Rodgers“The expected return in 2024 will magically fix the New York Jets – the company’s statement – is completely misguided. They have too many problems for one player to solve, and many of them were shown in prime time in an embarrassing defeat.

In addition to the usual sins – sloppy penalties, questionable play-calling, shaky game management, etc. – the Jets were weakened by the team’s perceived strength. Their third-place defense appeared ill-prepared and was torched by Flacco.

The Jets had no answers for a Cleveland offense that was using its fourth quarterback and lacked its top wide receiver (Cooper) and top running back (Nick Chubb). And yet the 38-year-old Flacco played like it was 2012, the year he led the team Baltimore Ravens to the Super Bowl title. The Jets allowed five touchdowns and 367 total yards – in the first half!

And the Jets entered the season thinking they could repeat the 1985 Bears. Specify the laugh track.

Robert Saleh’s record fell to 17-34 as the Jets (6-10) suffered double-digit losses for the fourth straight year.

Worrying trend: The Jets’ QB4 (Siemian) was significantly outclassed by the Browns’ QB4, underscoring a question that will haunt the Jets into the offseason: Why didn’t they re-sign Flacco when Rodgers was injured in Week 1? Flacco is enjoying a career revival and showing the Jets firsthand what they could have had. The Jets’ quarterback play is now one of the worst in the league.

Biggest hole in the game plan: OK, we’re being nitpicky given the mass incompetence, but the Jets’ coverage plan for tight end David Njoku was terrible. Linebackers CJ Mosley He covered him on some big plays in the first quarter, setting the tone for the game. Mosley is a great player, but pass coverage is not his strength. According to Next Gen Stats, he was the next defender to allow three completions for 76 yards. Njoku finished the game with 134 yards on six catches.

Silver linings: Breece Hall was the best player on the field for the Jets. He rushed for 84 yards and scored on a 21-yard reception, continuing his late-season surge. Defensive end Jermaine Johnson made the play of the night by returning an interception 37 yards for a touchdown, and Garrett Wilson became the first Jets player since Keyshawn Johnson (1998–1999) to reach 1,000 receiving yards in two consecutive seasons.

Bold prediction: Siemian – not Zach Wilson — will end the season against them New England Patriots. Even if Wilson approves the concussion protocol, why would he want to return because of this mess? — Rich Cimini

Next game: at Patriots (TBD, Sunday, January 7)

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