Browns clinch playoff berth as Joe Flacco’s dominance continues vs. Jets

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 Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns rolled nan New York Jets 37-20 connected Thursday nighttime to clinch their first playoff berth since 2020.

Quarterback Joe Flacco, who was starting his 5th crippled for Cleveland aft playing successful 12 games for New York complete nan 3 erstwhile seasons, shined successful nan first half pinch 3 touchdown passes. He vanished nan title 19-of-29 passing for 309 yards.

Flacco racked up complete 300 yards passing for nan 4th consecutive crippled contempt playing Thursday without apical targets Amari Cooper and Elijah Moore. Cooper — who was precocious named AFC Offensive Player of nan Week for his record-setting capacity Sunday — was ruled retired soon earlier kickoff pinch a bottommost injury, and Moore suffered a concussion successful nan 2nd quarter.

The 38-year-old Flacco led nan Browns connected back-to-back seven-play, 75-yard touchdown drives to commencement nan game. Without Cooper, Flacco dispersed nan shot to 8 different receivers and heavy targeted tight extremity David Njoku for 134 yards connected six catches. Moore caught 5 passes for 61 yards and a touchdown earlier exiting, and Jerome Ford caught 2 touchdowns successful nan first half.

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Neither nan Browns nor nan Jets reached nan extremity area successful nan 2nd half, pinch each broadside notching a fourth-quarter section goal. New York saw a agelong thrust to commencement nan 3rd 4th extremity pinch a blocked section goal. From there, some defenses held strong, forcing six punts successful nan last 2 frames.

After nan Jets’ discourtesy opened nan crippled pinch a scoring consequence successful nan first quarter, their adjacent 2 drives ended pinch turnovers. The first came connected typical teams erstwhile footwear returner Israel Abanikanda mislaid nan shot connected a footwear return, and nan 2nd was a back-breaking pick-six.

Jets moving backmost Breece Hall was nan lone agleam spot for New York’s offense, totaling 126 yards from scrimmage and scoring connected a 21-yard relationship pinch QB Trevor Siemian. Siemian, making his 2nd commencement of nan season, vanished 32-of-45 passing pinch 261 yards to spell pinch 1 touchdown and 1 interception.

With nan win, nan Browns improved to 11-5, matching their highest triumph full since 1994. The Jets, who had already been eliminated from playoff contention, autumn to 6-10.

Browns person go dangerous

The Browns person clinched a playoff spot, and they started nan nighttime by scoring 20 first-quarter points. Flacco threw immoderate lasers successful nan first half, and nan Browns sewage capable separator that they were capable to safely limp to nan finish. Going backmost to October, this defense has been bully capable to resistance nan Browns to nan playoffs.

Now that Flacco is flinging it and Njoku is apparently uncoverable, this is simply a vulnerable offense, excessively — and a vulnerable team. They’ve now won 4 straight, and their operation of vertical walk game, walk unreserved and nan league’s champion cornerback trio makes them a difficult tie successful a one-and-done setting. — Zac Jackson, Browns hit writer

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Browns springiness their location crowd nan playoff-clinching triumph it came to see

Cleveland’s defense delivers contempt sloppy finish

The Browns were sloppy. They’re each sorts of banged up, too, and they were down their 2 starting wide receivers successful nan 2nd half. The Jets yet decided to screen Nkjou, which slowed nan walk offense. It wasn’t particularly pretty, but nan defense delivered again — and aft nan Browns built a large lead successful nan first half, conscionable hanging connected successful nan 2nd half was OK.

The playoffs await, and now nan Browns await Sunday’s Baltimore Ravens–Miami Dolphins consequence to spot if they’re still live successful nan AFC North race. If nan Ravens win, they triumph nan section and nan Browns will beryllium nan AFC’s No. 5 seed. — Jackson

New York done successful by disorganization

The Jets did not travel fresh to play Thursday nighttime and a unspeakable first half yet did them in. Flacco threw for astir 300 yards successful nan first half arsenic nan Browns built a 27-7 lead, and nan Jets simply didn’t person capable violative juice to complete a morganatic comeback.

Ultimately, overmuch of nan Jets’ capacity was a mediocre reflection connected nan coaching staff. Some moments passim nan crippled reflected poorly connected coach Robert Saleh, particularly nan penalties. The Jets were already nan astir penalized squad successful nan NFL and had 12 much (for 75 yards) against nan Browns. The Jets’ playoff hopes ended a mates of weeks ago, but it’s still not a awesome reflection connected Saleh that his squad has not looked up to nan task successful caller weeks, starting pinch a 30-0 blowout against nan Dolphins, astir blowing a 27-7 lead against nan Commanders past week and past Thursday night’s performance. — Zack Rosenblatt, Jets hit writer

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Jets' penalties heap up successful nonaccomplishment to Browns, arsenic Robert Saleh struggles to 'figure it out'

Required reading

  • Browns’ Amari Cooper nabs astir receiving yards of subordinate this season, sets squad grounds vs. Texans
  • Joe Flacco and Amari Cooper’s increasing enslaved a bully motion for playoff-seeking Browns

(Photo: Scott Galvin / USA Today)

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