Week 15 studs and duds: David Njoku, Amari Cooper help Cleveland Browns defy the odds

The Cleveland Browns found a way to come back in Week 15 with Amari Cooper and David Njoku standing out as studs

Cleveland Browns
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Browns dud turned stud: Joe Flacco, QB

As much fun as it’s been to watch Joe Flacco over the past couple of weeks, this one was tough for the first 45 minutes. Flacco is known for his strong arm but he's also had issues with consistency and has turned the ball over at times.

In Week 15, not only did he fail to lead the Browns to a touchdown on the opening drive for the first time but he also misfired on several passes in the first half. He skipped a couple of passes low toward David Njoku and missed Amari Cooper on more than one play — including a crossing pattern early in the third quarter that might have led to a big gain.

Worse than any of those, however, was the turnovers from No. 15. He threw a pick in the first half that led to a short touchdown from Justin Fields to Cole Kmet. He also had a pick-six on his first throw of the second half. Each of those could be attributed to Cedric Tillman, especially the second when the ball was in his hands, but they were also risky throws in traffic.

Flacco also had another pick late in the third, this time being unable to get the ball to David Njoku for a touchdown. Immediately after Mohamoud Diabate recovered a miffed punt, Flacco fired it toward an open Njoku but the ball didn’t get there in time and Tyrique Stevenson picked off the ball with a diving grab.

Then when the fourth quarter began, the Flacco we saw the past couple of weeks returned. He hit Marquise Goodwin on a 57-yard pass to set up a field goal to cut the lead to seven. He then tied it with a 51-yard touchdown pass to Amari Cooper. Finally, he led them down the field with an assist from David Njoku for the game-winning kick. What could have been a rough day for Flacco turned into another 300-yard performance and a win.