Head coach Kevin Stefanski will rest several Cleveland Browns starters against the Cincinnati Bengals today, and that means Joe Flacco’s legendary run goes on hold for a week as Jeff Driskel takes a turn at quarterback.
Sunday’s contest has no bearing on playoff seeds or the AFC North standings.
But, as the OBR’s Jake Burns pointed out on Twitter, Driskel has a chance to help Cleveland tie a franchise record.
Since 1949 the Browns have won 12 games in a regular season once (1986). They have a chance to do that tomorrow. #notfornothing
— Jake Burns (@jake_burns18) January 7, 2024
With their 12th victory, the Browns would match the 1986 team for most regular season wins.
Second-year quarterback Bernie Kosar started all 16 games that season, throwing for 3,854 yards and 17 touchdowns.
With his backfield mates Ernie Byner and Kevin Mack battling injuries, Cleveland’s passing game took off.
Kosar had a pair of 400-yard games along the way to a divisional-round overtime victory against the New York Jets.
Unfortunately, the season ended with the first of three AFC Championship game losses to the Denver Broncos.
Flacco might remind some Browns fans of Kosar in that 1986 season.
And like in 1986, Cleveland’s passing attack has taken precedence over the running game behind Flacco.
Kosar’s defense fielded the best cornerback combo in the league in Frank Minniefield and Hanford Dixon.
Cleveland nose tackle Bob Golic and linebacker Chip Banks, along with tackle Cody Risien, also made the Pro Bowl.
This season’s team also put five players into the Pro Bowl and boasts one of the NFL’s strongest cornerback rooms.
Cleveland fans will prefer to see this version of the Browns make it past the Championship Round this season.
But first, we’ll see if they can match the 1986 Browns’ win total later today.