With the Cleveland Browns already securing a spot in the Wild Card round, they just wanted to get through the regular season finale as swiftly and safely as possible.
Kevin Stefanski’s team barely even tried against the Cincinnati Bengals, and that’s perfectly fine.
The Bengals craved a win.
Otherwise, they would have gone winless in the division, and the Browns were fine either way.
But now that the playoffs are officially on, it’s all business for Cleveland.
Fortunately for them, history seem to be on their side this time, which isn’t something that happens very often.
As pointed out by Browns insider Brad Stainbrook on Twitter, Joe Flacco is actually 5-0 in his career in the Wild Card round.
#Browns QB Joe Flacco is 5-0 in his career in wild card weekend.
— Brad Stainbrook (@StainbrookNFL) January 8, 2024
Needless to say, this won’t be an easy game by any means.
The Browns will travel to Texas for a date with the up-and-coming Houston Texans, a team that beat the odds to win the AFC South Division after winning just three games last season.
Notably, the storyline would be even more interesting if the Browns had Deshaun Watson under center, but they’ll take that 5-0 record any day of the week.
This is going to be a tough matchup between the two leading Coach of the Year candidates and a promising QB walking his first steps in the league against a seasoned veteran, most likely on his way out already.
And while anything can happen at this point, this Browns team deserves all the credit in the world for making it this far.