Joe Flacco handed for 309 yards and three touchdowns and the Cleveland Browns clinched an unlikely playoff berth – simply their second since 2002 – regardless of quite a few accidents this season with a 37-20 win over the New York Jets on Thursday night time.
The Browns (11-5) are assured of a wild-card spot and nonetheless have an opportunity to win the AFC North and perhaps the convention’s No. 1 total seed, one thing that appeared unfathomable simply weeks in the past as main accidents piled up.
However issues have modified since Flacco arrived.
Cleveland has been charmed.
The 38-year-old quarterback improved to 4-1 as a starter with the Browns, who plucked the Tremendous Bowl 47 MVP off his sofa in New Jersey final month to hopefully rescue their season. He is carried out that and extra.
Flacco threw two TD passes to Jerome Ford within the first half because the Browns constructed a 20-point lead over the Jets (6-10), who selected to not re-sign the 15-year veteran after he spent three seasons with them – and after Aaron Rodgers tore his Achilles tendon in Week 1.
Flacco torched New York for 296 yards within the first half and have become the primary QB in 34 video games to go over 300 yards towards the Jets. He is additionally the primary Cleveland quarterback to move for greater than 300 in 4 straight.
The Jets have been compelled to begin Trevor Siemian for the second week in a row with Zach Wilson sidelined by a concussion.
Siemian had some good moments, however an overthrow late in first quarter was returned 30 yards for a TD by security Ronnie Hickman to place the Browns up 20-7.
New York’s Jermaine Johnson had a pick-6 within the second quarter when he fantastically deflected Flacco’s move to himself and returned it 37 yards.
Nothing has been straightforward this season for the Browns, who’ve continued to win regardless of being overrun by accidents because the opener. Flacco is their fourth beginning quarterback, they’re lacking each first-team offensive tackles and 12 gamers – together with QB Deshaun Watson and working again Nick Chubb – are on injured reserve.
So, it was becoming they went into their greatest recreation this season lacking their beginning kicker, punter and broad receiver Amari Cooper, who was coming off a franchise record-setting 265-yard efficiency on Sunday in Houston.
The Browns obtained their first seems at kicker Riley Patterson and punter Matt Haack, each signed earlier this week.
Patterson, filling in for an injured Dustin Hopkins, went 4 of 5 on additional factors and made a 33-yard area objective with 2:54 left.
Haack averaged 51.7 yards on three punts.
Garrett & Garrett
Browns star defensive finish Myles Garrett ended a five-game streak and not using a sack by taking down Siemian within the first half.
New York’s Garrett Wilson went over 1,000 yards receiving for the second straight season. He additionally did it as a rookie in 2022 and is one in all 10 energetic gamers with two 1,000-yard seasons to begin their profession.
Browns broad receiver Elijah Moore suffered a head harm within the second quarter.
After catching a 22-yard move from Flacco, Moore‘s helmet was pushed into the turf as he went down. He rolled onto his again and appeared to twitch as teammates shortly known as for medical personnel.
Moore, who spent the previous two seasons with the Jets, was helped off the sphere and escorted to Cleveland’s locker room.
Jets: WR Allen Lazard (sickness) was among the many workforce’s inactives. … OL Jacob Hanson suffered a concussion. … OT Xavier Newman was helped off within the fourth quarter with an unspecified harm.
Browns: Cooper got here in listed questionable, however was anticipated to play. Nevertheless, after he examined a heel harm throughout an on-field exercise, the Browns opted to have him sit moderately than danger extra injury. … CB Mike Ford Jr. (calf) obtained harm protecting a kick within the first quarter.
Jets: At New England on Jan. 7.
Browns: At Cincinnati on Jan. 7.