Michael Cohen

Michael Cohen

Michael Cohen

CLEVELAND, OHIO - DECEMBER 28: Joe Flacco #15 of the Cleveland Browns drops back to pass against the New York Jets at Cleveland Browns Stadium on December 28, 2023 in Cleveland, Ohio.

The Cleveland Browns became the third team in the AFC to clinch a playoff berth after they battered the slumping New York Jets 37-20 on Thursday night. Ironic that leading the Browns into the postseason is Joe Flacco, a Super Bowl winner with the Baltimore Ravens, and a former Jet whom the brain trust of Joe Douglas and Robert Saleh deemed was not suitable to return as a back-up this season.

Flacco who was on the couch at the start of the season, has resurrected the late stages of his career, and has helped carry the Browns to the postseason.

As for his former team in the Jets, well, they are 6-10, starring at a future where everything seems dependent on a healthy Aaron Rodgers in 2024 if they want any shot at ending the franchise’s long postseason-less streak.

In the meantime here are some big games of the week!

  • LA Rams (8-7) @ NY Giants (5-10) - Sunday 1 p.m.

    The Tommy Devito Era is over faster than you can say chicken cutlets. DeVito was benched by head coach Brian Daboll, who will roll with Tyrod Taylor this week vs. the desperate LA Rams. The Rams have really flown under the radar this year with their 8-7 record, and Matthew Stafford (23 touchdowns vs. nine interceptions) is having one of his best seasons. The Rams need this win or they could be on the outside looking in come playoff time in two weeks. Can Sean McVay get his team to focus in on this one having flown all the way east for a 1 p.m. kick-off with everything on the line? Should be interesting. Look for Big Blue to play loose.
    PICK: GIANTS 23 – RAMS 20

  • Detroit (11-4) @ Dallas (10-5) - Saturday 8:30 p,m.

    Could be a potential playoff preview down the road here in Big D.  While Detroit has the NFC North locked up, they still have something to play for, namely a higher seed in the playoffs. With the recent struggles of the 49ers and Eagles, the number 1 seed is still a possibility. On the flip side, the Cowboys have lost two straight and are in dire need of a victory. Expect Dak Prescott and company to rack up another solid performance at home, they are 7-0 in Jerry World this year.

    PICK: COWBOYS 35 – LIONS 26 

  • Las Vegas (7-8) @ Indianapolis (8-7)

    This is a game that will determine a lot in the playoff race. The Raiders need to win out and get some help in order to sneak in as a seventh seed. They could win the AFC West if Kanas City loses out (not likely). The Colts need to keep winning and hope Jacksonville slips up again in order to win the AFC South. If not, the wins would help for a wild card spot. In sum, neither team can afford a loss. Should be interesting to see how the Raiders perform on the road for the second straight week after an emotional win in Kansas City on Christmas. The Colts are looking to put last week’s loss to Atlanta far behind them.

    PICK: COLTS 20 – RAIDERS 19 

  • Green Bay (7-8) @ Minnesota (7-8) - Sunday night

    Both the Vikings and Packers are 7-8. The winner of this one will likely finish the 2023 season in second place and still have a shot at the postseason. The loser is done.

    The Vikings are on their fourth quarterback, which usually (unless that team is the Cleveland Browns) spells disaster. The Packers have seen solid results from quarterback Jordan Love on a consistent basis.

    This game also impacts the Jets and Giants. The loser of this game will likely wind up on the 2024 schedule for both teams.  If the Packers lose, it could mean we have an Aaron Rodgers-Green Bay reunion in 2024!


  • Miami (11-4) @ Baltimore (12-3) Sunday 1 p.m.

    The best game of the week is slotted into the early afternoon window for some reason. The Ravens made a HUGE statement on Monday night when the blitzed the San Francisco 49ers 33-19. Lamar Jackson dominated the game, and the Ravens defense forced four turnovers of Brock Purdy.

    A win this week against the Miami Dolphins locks up the number 1 seed and the Ravens will have a shot at hosting the AFC Championship game next month if they should go that far.

    Great test for Miami, who is also vying for the top seed. Tua Tagovailoa is rolling right now, and the Dolphins have been playing fairly week the past two weeks in wins over the Jets and Cowboys. The question is how will the Dolphins do on the road where they are 4-3? They don’t travel well, and head to chilly Baltimore this weekend.


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