CLEVELAND — That one hurt.
With an opportunity to clinch their first playoff berth in 18 years, the Cleveland Browns couldn't close the deal against the New York Jets and are now facing a virtual must-win scenario this Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers at FirstEnergy Stadium.
Let's put this on the table right away: The Browns were without their entire wide receiver corps and two linebackers in the Meadowlands due to COVID-19 as one player tested positive and five others were deemed close contact and placed on the Reserve list. Plus, you had two starting offensive lineman out due to injury/illness. All of that made the task of beating the Jets many times harder, whether they were 1-13 or not.
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That said, the Browns didn't get the job done. And on Monday's After Further Review, Jay Crawford and I looked back at what went wrong. Here were some of the topics we discussed:
- Why did the NFL not postpone the Browns game as it had done with Baltimore and Tennessee's coronavirus-related issues earlier this season?
- The Browns threw the ball 53 times while playing without Jarvis Landry, Rashard Higgins, Donovan Peoples-Jones, and KhaDarel Hodge. That didn't seem to be a strategy for success.
- Why do the Browns seem to go away from Nick Chubb in key game-deciding situations?
- The NFL continues to have problems defining what is and is not a fumble, featuring the 'inadvertent whistle.'
- Are you concerned about Cody Parkey?
- Will the Steelers rest their key players against the Browns this Sunday?
Make sure you read Jay Crawford's thoughts on the Browns loss to the Jets here
Watch After Further Review with Dino and Jay in the player below:
More Cleveland Browns coverage:
- How can the Cleveland Browns clinch a playoff spot in Week 17?
- JIMMY'S TAKE: 'Desperation time' for Cleveland Browns following upset loss to New York Jets
- Social media reaction: Cleveland Browns fans angry, but still hopeful following loss to New York Jets
- Baker Mayfield takes blame for Browns' loss to Jets: 'I failed this team'