Flacco turn out to be the primary participant in NFL historical past to have 250 passing yards and a number of passing touchdowns in every of his first 5 video games with a franchise. The Browns signed Flacco on Nov. 20 after Deshaun Watson suffered a season-ending shoulder harm on Nov. 12.
The Browns led 34-17 on the half, marking the highest-scoring first half since 2019, when the 49ers and Saints mixed for 55 factors in Week 14 (the 49ers gained 48-46), based on ESPN Stats & Data.
The Cleveland Browns are playoff certain.
The Browns destroyed the New York Jets to clinch their first spot within the AFC playoffs since 2020.
Cleveland, with 4 straight wins, is surging at simply the proper time heading into the postseason.
QB breakdown: Flacco as soon as once more was fabulous. For the fourth time in his 5 begins, he led the Browns down the sector on the opening drive for a landing. He then capped Cleveland’s 34-point first half scoring barrage by scrambling exterior the pocket to his left to seek out Jerome Ford extensive open for a 50-yard landing throw. Within the first half alone, Flacco tossed three touchdowns and handed for 296 yards, probably the most in any half in his profession, based on ESPN Stats & Data. He now has greater than 300 passing yards in each victory of this four-game successful streak.
Purchase on a breakout performance: Tight finish David Njoku is taking part in one of the best ball of his profession. With star receiver Amari Cooper (heel) out, Njoku stepped up with 113 receiving yards within the first quarter. That alone was the second-best receiving recreation of his profession. Njoku has 4 landing catches over his final 4 video games and is proving to be one of many league’s high tight finish receiving threats.
Pivotal play: Rookie security Ronnie Hickman intercepted Trevor Siemian for a 30-yard pick-six within the first quarter. That gave the Browns a 20-7 lead that put the Jets on their heels the remainder of the best way. — Jake Trotter
Subsequent recreation: at Bengals (TBD, Sunday, Jan. 7)
New York Jets
The concept that Aaron Rodgers‘ anticipated return in 2024 will magically repair the New York Jets — the corporate line — is woefully misguided. They’ve too many points for one participant to unravel, and lots of of them have been on show in an embarrassing loss in prime time.
Along with the same old sins — sloppy penalties, questionable playcalling, shaky recreation administration, and many others. — the Jets have been undermined by the supposed energy of the crew. Their third-ranked protection seemed ill-prepared and bought torched by Flacco.
That they had no solutions for a Cleveland offense that was on its fourth quarterback and did not have its high extensive receiver (Cooper) and high operating again (Nick Chubb). And but the 38-year-old Flacco performed prefer it was 2012, the 12 months he led the Baltimore Ravens to the Tremendous Bowl title. The Jets allowed 5 touchdowns and 367 complete yards — within the first half!
And the Jets went into the season considering they might re-create the 1985 Bears. Cue the chortle monitor.
Robert Saleh’s document dropped to 17-34 because the Jets (6-10) hit double-digit losses for the fourth straight 12 months.
Troubling development: The Jets’ QB4 (Siemian) was badly outplayed by the Browns’ QB4, underscoring a query that can hang-out the Jets into the offseason: Why did not they re-sign Flacco when Rodgers was injured in Week 1? Flacco is having fun with a profession revival, making the Jets see firsthand what they might’ve had. In the meantime, the Jets’ quarterback play was among the many worst within the league.
Greatest gap within the recreation plan: OK, we’re nit-picking, contemplating the mass ineptitude, however the Jets’ protection plan for tight finish David Njoku was horrible. Linebacker C.J. Mosley lined him on a few the large performs within the first quarter, setting the tone for the sport. Mosley is a terrific participant, however move protection is not his energy. He allowed three completions for 76 yards as the closest defender, based on Subsequent Gen Stats. Njoku completed with 134 yards on six catches.
Silver linings: Breece Hall was one of the best participant on the sector for the Jets. He rushed for 84 yards and scored on a 21-yard reception, persevering with his late-season surge. Defensive finish Jermaine Johnson made the play of the night time, returning an interception 37 yards for a landing, and Garrett Wilson turned the primary Jets participant since Keyshawn Johnson (1998-1999) to succeed in 1,000 receiving yards in back-to-back seasons.
Daring prediction: Siemian — not Zach Wilson — will shut out the season in opposition to the New England Patriots. Even when Wilson clears concussion protocol, why would he need to return for this mess? — Wealthy Cimini
Subsequent recreation: at Patriots (TBD, Sunday, Jan. 7)