The Cleveland Browns don’t have anything to play for in the regular-season finale.
They’ve already secured a postseason berth, and they cannot take down the Baltimore Ravens for the top spot in the division.
Likewise, the Cincinnati Bengals are already eliminated from playoff contention after losing to the Kansas City Chiefs, and it’s not like they can knock out the Browns from the playoffs.
Nonetheless, these two teams don’t like each other, and bragging rights also matter in the National Football League.
That’s why Bengals HC Zac Taylor has made it loud and clear that he doesn’t plan to rest any of his players or take it lightly, going as far as to say that they want to win this game by any means necessary (via ProFootballTalk).
“Our No. 1 objective is to win this game by any means necessary. However that looks is however it looks,” Taylor said, via the team’s website. “The fans that have continued to support us and cheer for this team and put their heart and soul into supporting us get a chance to watch us play hard in a home game and find a way to win.”
Bengals want to win this week "by any means necessary." https://t.co/8MaRwGQSI5
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) January 3, 2024
The Bengals haven’t won a single divisional game this season, and a loss to the Browns would see them go winless in the AFC North for the first time in more than two decades.
Also, a win over the Browns would give the team a winning record for the season,
Kevin Stefanski has had the Bengals’ number for quite a while now, even when Joe Burrow has been out there.
This Browns team has worked so hard all season long, so you know they’re not going to just go through the motions and cave in.
Nonetheless, the Browns also need to focus on the playoffs.
They’ve been quite banged up and cannot afford any other major setback, which is why perhaps they would be better off rolling with PJ Walker and keeping Joe Flacco safe and sound for the playoffs.