Week 15 instant reactions: Browns hang onto postseason hope
The Cleveland Browns improved to 6-8 with a win over the Baltimore Ravens and still cling to life in the race for the AFC Playoffs
It was the first home start for Deshaun Watson and he did what he needed to in order to get the Cleveland Browns the win. Watson was 18-of-28 with 161 yards and a touchdown, but it was the ground game and the defense that stood out.
Defensively, the Browns held the Baltimore Ravens to just three points and Nick Chubb took over once there was a lead. He ended up running it 21 times for 99 yards and while he never crossed the goal line, he kept the clock running during the cold and snowy night.
Watson’s lone touchdown came on a third-and-goal in the third quarter. He hit Donovan Peoples-Jones who walked in from three yards out.
He could have had another touchdown earlier when he targeted Mike Woods while scrambling but Woods didn’t take off toward the goal line as Watson expected.
Still, he had a solid game and looked more comfortable in this offense than he had in his first two starts.
Browns still have playoff hopes
At 6-8, they’re going to need a lot to go right in order to make the playoffs. It’s more likely that this hurts the Ravens’ shot at making the playoffs but there’s still a chance and their remaining schedule isn’t too daunting.
A complete game for the Browns
Most of the frustration for fans this season has been the inability to get all three units on the same page this year. When the offense is clicking, the defense can’t make a stop. When the defense is being gashed, the offense struggles.
We saw in this one just how dangerous they can be when they play well on both sides. The defense made life hard on the Ravens and while the offense wasn’t explosive, they moved the ball well all night and should have had six more points had it not been for Cade York’s struggles.
Browns have a major problem with their kicker
Coming into the game, Cade York was just 20-of-26 on the season — which is an unimpressive 76.9 percent. He started out with two field goals and was outplaying Justin Tucker who was 1-of-3.
Then, he missed his next two kicks. The first was a 38-yarder that he shanked to the right. That was followed up by another ugly miss from 46.
It’s clear at this point that York is struggling with the mental side of the game. Yes, he’s a rookie, but these misses are concerning.