The Cleveland Browns punched their ticket to the NFL playoffs as they defeated the New York Jets 37-20 on Thursday night.
With the victory, the Browns move to 11-5 on the season with a final regular season game remaining against their AFC North rival, the Cincinnati Bengals.
After the game, Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski talked about the influence of the Cleveland Browns fans on the team's performance.
“Pretty special night for the fans out there. They were ready to roll from the jump. They were huge tonight. Huge all season long,” said Stefanski.
"We feed off of their energy and it was electric tonight. That was an electric building from the jump.”
"This is a special city. They love their Brownies, as I’m reminded often. So, to be able for them to savor in this and enjoy this, I think it’s a big deal.”
And as Stefanski said, the energy from Browns fans was electric right from the start.
Almost immediately, the Browns offense gave Browns fans a reason to keep the energy up at a high level. The Browns took an early 7-0 lead on a touchdown pass from Joe Flacco to Jerome Ford with 11:10 left in the first quarter.
After the Jets tied the game at 7-7, the Browns took a 13-7 lead on a Kareem Hunt 7-yard touchdown run with 4:43 left in the first quarter.
The Browns took a 20-7 lead on a pick 6 by former Ohio State University Buckeye, Ronnie Hickman, to close out the first quarter scoring.
The Browns added two touchdowns in the second quarter on two Joe Flacco touchdown passes, one to Jerome Ford and the other to Elijah Moore. With the touchdowns the Browns took a 34-17 lead into halftime.
After 51 points were scored in the first half, it appeared that the game would be extremely high scoring. However, zero points were scored in the third quarter.
Both teams added a field goal in the second half to make the final score 37-20.
For the game, Flacco was 19/29 for 309 yards and 3 touchdowns with a 121.2 passer rating.
“Flacco’s been doing a heck of a job leading us, being that coach leader out there on the field for us, making every pass on the field,” said Kareem Hunt.
“He’s calm, cool, and collected, that’s a great quarterback.”
Leading the Browns receivers was David Njoku who caught 6 passes for 134 yards and Elijah Moore who caught five passes for 61 yards and a touchdown.
On the ground, the Browns were led by Jerome Ford who had 12 carries for 64 yards (5.3 yards per carry average).
The Browns complete the regular season on Sunday, January 7th against Cincinnati before heading to the playoffs the following week.