Week 17 instant reactions: Browns playoff-bound after knocking off Jets

The Cleveland Browns put on a show in their home finale and locked up a playoff spot with a win over the New York Jets

Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns / Nick Cammett/GettyImages

With a chance to clinch the playoffs in front of their home crowd, and on prime time, the Cleveland Browns didn't disappoint. They kicked the night off with Nick Chubb making an appearance as an honorary captain. He got the crowd fired up by smashing a guitar while wearing a Batman mask.

Chubb then watched along with the rest of us as his backup, Jerome Ford, had one of his better games of the season. Ford went into the half with 59 yards on the ground as well as another 57 yards on two receptions. Each of those catches went for a touchdown as well.

His first was a seven-yarder that capped off a seven-play, 71-yard drive. His second, however, went from 50 yards out and was one of the better plays in this game. Joe Flacco evaded pressure from Quinnen Williams and found Ford in the open field. He made four players miss before finding his way into the end zone.

In the second half, both teams slowed down as we started to see the defensive battle we expected when the game kicked off. They each knocked in a field goal and the final score was 37-20. Cleveland is now 11-5 and they finish with a record of 8-1 in Cleveland Browns Stadium.

Joe Flacco and David Njoku went off

The connection between Flacco and David Njoku has been phenomenal over the past five games. Njoku's season-high before Flacco took over was 77 yards against the Seahawks. He's now topped that three times over the past three weeks. This week now goes down as his season-high with Njoku hauling in six passes for 134 yards.

Flacco was also out there making history. By halftime, he had 296 yards and three touchdowns which meant he was the first player in league history to record at least 250 yards and two touchdowns in their first five games with a team.

Browns suffered more injuries

Injuries have been the theme for Cleveland this season and that remained the case in this one. Elijah Moore was having his best game of the season as he and Joe Flacco were sticking it to their previous team. Moore hauled in five receptions for 61 yards with a touchdown but on his fifth reception, his head hit the turf and he went to the blue medical tent.

Moore was ruled out with a concussion which was a blow to the offense since Amari Cooper was already out with a heel injury. The absence of both players was felt as the offense slowed down in the second half but thankfully, they will have a long break before facing the Bengals on Jan. 7.

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