Things were looking bleak for the Cleveland Browns, who faced a 10-point deficit heading into the fourth quarter.
But when Justin Fields’ Hail Mary pass bounced away from Darnell Mooney, the Dawg Pound erupted in joy.
Three fourth-quarter scoring drives and a riled-up defense gave Cleveland the 20-17 victory.
BROWNIES ON TOP!!! pic.twitter.com/3DRh1v2Y4m
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) December 17, 2023
Here are some of the studs (and duds) who kept the Browns atop the AFC Wild Card race.
STUD: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah
Owusu-Koramoah tried to fill the roles of the Browns injured defensive players all by himself.
He ended up with 6 tackles, 2 TFL, a sack and QB hit, along with 2 passes defended and an interception.
JOK showed the combination of speed and power that led analysts to call him a 2nd-round steal in the 2021 Draft.
And his stat line should earn him Defensive Player of the Week consideration.
STUD: Joe Flacco
At one point in this game, Joe Flacco threw his third interception and appeared unable to spark the offense.
But it wasn’t the fourth quarter yet, and Flacco knew what he had to do to keep the Dawg Pound happy.
He hit several big-time throws on the way to 374 passing yards before running the clock down for Dustin Hopkins.
STUD: David Njoku
David Njoku didn’t just catch a few key passes during the fourth-quarter comeback.
He did it with flare and power, helping to spark the rest of the offense and defense along with him.
But his best catch was probably the first-half leap and toe-tap along the back line of the end zone.
None of the Browns running backs could create any semblance of a running threat.
Losing Joel Bitonio early in the game didn’t help, but Flacco could have used a little more effort from somebody.
Jerome Ford, Kareem Hunt, and Pierre Strong combined for 30 yards on 17 carries, breaking 3 yards only once.