Week 13 instant reactions: Cleveland Browns doomed by late interception

The Cleveland Browns lost to the Los Angeles Rams in Week 13 and a familiar face put the nail in the coffin with a late pick

Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

For the second week in a row, the Cleveland Browns will be trying to get the taste of defeat out of their mouths. After a loss to the Denver Broncos last weekend, they headed to Los Angeles to take on the Rams. Another wrench was thrown in this one since they were turning to 38-year-old Joe Flacco under center.

The fourth starter they've had this year, Flacco started on fire, guiding them down for a quick touchdown pass. He even became the oldest quarterback to throw a touchdown for the Browns, knocking Don Croft out of first place for that distinction. But the Rams' picked it up from there.

While Flacco did throw some dimes on the day, he missed several opportunities, including two deep passes to Elijah Moore. The first wound up being a completion for 42 yards but had Flacco thrown a more accurate pass, it would have gone for a touchdown. Instead, that drive ended with just three points.

That wasn't ideal but it was nowhere near as devastating as the next miss between these two. In the fourth quarter, the Browns scored again as Flacco hit Harrison Bryant from eight yards out to cut the lead to 20-19. The score remained as such when Dustin Hopkins missed the extra point.

The defense got them the ball back in a hurry but Flacco misfired on a deep pass to Moore once again. This time, he had Moore if he got the ball to the outside but he floated it toward the middle of the field. That's where John Johnson III was waiting as he picked off the pass, allowing the Rams to go up 27-19.


Cleveland had another shot at it but was hit with a phantom false start which killed their drive. Instead of facing third-and-inches, it was third-and-five. Flacco again missed Moore, who was open for a first down. Then on fourth, he and David Njoku couldn't connect and the Rams got it back. Another touchdown made it 34-19.

Aaron Donald then sacked Flacco to make it 36-19, which ended up being the final score. It was a frustrating end to a game where the Browns seemed to have a shot for the first 45 minutes. The good news is, they're heading back home in Week 14 for a couple of games with the Jaguars and Bears over the next two weeks.

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