The Cleveland Browns were riding a huge wave of hope and optimism heading into their Wild Card playoff matchup against the Houston Texans, only to be let down in the worst possible way. The Browns didn't just lose to the Texans in the Wild Card round, they were embarrassed.
It was a really good season for the Browns overall, but ending with that kind of finish after being led to believe that Joe Flacco's resurgence could be legit? Well, it's more than heartbreaking. It really causes a bit of bitterness in the soul.
Now that the season is officially over, who are the Cleveland Browns -- and the fans -- not going to miss when they're gone?
1. Joe Flacco, QB
Sorry, Joe -- this league is very much a "what have you done for me lately?" kind of league.
The harsh reality of the NFL: Joe Flacco was a hero for five games as the quarterback of the Browns, and now he's the primary reason they got bounced from the playoffs. Flacco did well playing with house money over the final month of the season, but after earning the trust of Cleveland Browns fans everywhere, Flacco betrayed the trust in the playoffs and reverted to his interception-throwing form.
Flacco's back-to-back pick-sixes in the loss to the Texans turned everyone from hopeful believers into tomato-throwing critics.
And what's worse? Browns fans had to sit and watch as Baker Mayfield led the Buccaneers to a Wild Card win over the reigning NFC Champion Philadelphia Eagles. You really don't know what you've got until it's gone...