Browns Clinch 2023 Playoff Berth, Defeat Jets, 37-20

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Thursday night the 10-5 Cleveland Browns hosted the 6-9 New York Jets at Cleveland Browns Stadium. Going into the game, the Browns were hoping to clinch the team’s second playoff berth in four years. The Jets were trying to salvage their season by stringing together some late-season wins and hope that can carry over into the 2024 season. Both teams came into the game with injury issues and for that night injuries again were the topic of concern for the Cleveland Browns.

Due to kicker Dustin Hopkins’ hamstring injury and punter Corey Bojorquez’s quad injury at Houston on Christmas Eve, the Browns had to sign kicker Riley Patterson and punter Matt Haack to their practice squad. They both were elevated to the active roster for the game. The Browns were fortunate that the punter and kicker positions were a non-factor in the Houston game the previous week. The need for a competent backup punter and kicker against the Jets had to be filled as a contingency plan.

Browns GM Andrew Berry acted quickly and efficiently in a short week. Hopkins was ruled out for the game and is considered week to week. Back-up quarterback Dorian Thomson-Robinson was placed on season-ending injured reserve due to a hip injury. PJ Walker was elevated from the practice squad to serve as Joe Flacco’s backup. Punter Corey Bojorquez was listed as doubtful for the game. Browns Receiver Amari Cooper was a game-time decision and not to play.

Despite also losing Receiver Elijah Moore to a late second-quarter head injury. Joe Flacco threw for 309 yards while going 19-29, three touchdowns and one interception.

His quarterback rating was 121.2. The Browns’ defense showed up as well for the game. The defense only gave up 13 points and caused three turnovers.

With the playoffs clinched for the Browns, the big question next week against the Cincinnati Bengals is will the Browns rest their starters or potentially play for a division title and the AFC number one playoff seed. Browns fans will have to see the week 17 results to get a better idea. To think that the Cleveland Browns could be playing for a division championship and playoff home-field advantage in the final week of the season. Considering the injuries and adversity this team has gone through, 2023 has already been special.

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