On Thursday night, the Cleveland Browns defeated the New York Jets 37-20.
With the victory, the Browns clinched a playoff berth for the first time since 2020.
It’s also just the third time since Cleveland returned to the NFL as an expansion team in 1999 that the franchise has made the postseason.
What makes this year so special is the adversity the team overcame in 2023 after losing several key starters to season-ending injuries while many others spent time on IR.
Instead of giving up, the team persevered even after being written off by some in the media.
Tight end David Njoku addressed the doubters after Thursday’s contest, per WEWS reporter Camryn Justice on Twitter.
“I’m sure when everyone got hurt, everybody doubted us. Everybody said we weren’t going to do whatever. There’s a guy, Adam Rank, that guy sucks. We hold our own fate. We push through, we earned that.”
David Njoku after the #Browns clinched the playoffs on Thursday Night Football:
"I'm sure when everybody got hurt, everybody doubted us. Everybody said we weren't going to do whatever. There's a guy, Adam Rank, that guy sucks." pic.twitter.com/eYWd3nfTYN
— Camryn Justice (@camijustice) December 29, 2023
Rank is a member of the NFL Network who did not give the Browns much love back in August.
— Adam Rank (@adamrank) August 8, 2023
Before a regular-season snap was played, Rank predicted Cleveland would end the year with a 6-11 record.
Furthermore, Rank speculated the Browns would lose to Cincinnati in Week 1 as well as to Tennessee, San Francisco, Indianapolis, Baltimore in Week 10, Jacksonville, Chicago, Houston, and the Jets.
As everyone now knows, Cleveland won each of those games.
Rank also prophesied that the Browns would beat Pittsburgh twice and defeat Baltimore in Week 4 and the Rams in Week 13.
In total, Rank was incorrect on 12 of his game predictions for the team this season.
Cleveland has one final contest to play in Cincinnati in Week 18, although Rank had them beating the Bengals.