Cleveland Browns: Joe Flacco Looks Solid in Browns' Defeat
Joe Flacco looked sharp in his Browns debut, although he'd like to have one throw back.
Passing for 254 yards and two touchdowns, Flacco couldn't keep the Browns from dropping a 36-19 decision to the Rams that left Cleveland (7-5) two games behind Baltimore (9-3) in the AFC North.
Flacco was upset about throwing a fourth-quarter interception, but the 38-year-old former Ravens quarterback seemed comfortable and confident running Cleveland's offense. Considering Flacco hadn't played all season, it was a promising debut for a veteran quarterback who believes he can help the Browns win games down the stretch.
After the game, Head Coach Kevin Stefanski didn't name a starting quarterback for Week 14, as rookie quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson remained in concussion protocol.
However, Flacco expects to perform even better if given another chance. He completed passes to nine different targets and kept the offense moving, even after losing leading receiver Amari Cooper (concussion) in the second quarter.
"Listen, I know I can play," Flacco said via Yahoo Sports. "I think every time you go take the field, you're obviously proving to yourself and proving to other people that you can play the game, but deep down I know I can play the game so that's not my thought process at this point.
"My thought process is just disappointed in myself and these are the games that I honestly love to be in. They come down to the fourth quarter and they're not pretty and they're going to be tight. I think I excel in the games that are played tight and need to have good decisions be made."
Flacco thinks the Browns have enough pieces to make a successful run to the playoffs.
"They're a resilient group and they've got a lot of talent," Flacco said. "It's one of the more talented teams I've been on in awhile and you can tell that right away."
Pittsburgh Steelers: Kenny Pickett Will Miss Time, But Reportedly Won't Be Placed on IR
The Steelers suffered a costly loss to the Cardinals and lost starting quarterback Kenny Pickett to an ankle injury.
Pickett underwent "tightrope" surgery Monday morning on his injured ankle, according to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and the Steelers are hopeful Pickett can return later this month. The Ravens and Steelers play in Week 17 to close out the regular season and the thought is Pickett should be back by then.
Veteran Mitch Trubisky will take over as the starter on Thursday Night Football when the Steelers (7-5) host the Patriots on a short week. Trubisky is 2-3 as a starter during his time with Pittsburgh, but the Steelers' offense struggled again during Sunday's 24-10 loss to the Cardinals. The Steelers haven't reached 20 points in three straight games and reverted to bad habits against Arizona in their second game since former Offensive Coordinator Matt Canada was fired.
Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin was highly upset after the Cardinals (2-10) won their first road game of the season. Arizona running back James Conner rushed for 105 yards and two touchdowns against his former team.
"Horrible day at the office," Tomlin said via Alan Saunders of the Post-Gazette. "We didn't do much right in that game, to be quite honest with you. We've got to own that … starting first and foremost with me. … JV football in a lot of ways."
Trubisky knows the Steelers have plenty to clean up.
"The negative plays really killed us," Trubisky said via the team’s website. "Lack of execution. Lack of detail. There's no excuse. We've got to find a way to score points."
Cincinnati Bengals: Cam Taylor-Britt Ruled Out for 'Monday Night Football'
Injury woes continue for the Bengals (5-6), who will face the Jaguars (8-3) on Monday Night Football without starting cornerback Cam Taylor-Britt (ankle).
Taylor-Britt suffered his injury during Friday's practice and leads Cincinnati with four interceptions. Head Coach Zac Taylor said he wasn't sure how much time Taylor-Britt will miss. The Bengals have lost three straight games, and their defense will try to slow down Jacksonville's receiving trio of Christian Kirk, Calvin Ridley and Zay Jones without Taylor-Britt in the lineup.
"All of their receivers can really go. Those guys can really fly," Bengals Defensive Coordinator Lou Anarumo said via the team’s website.
"There's a reason why they've won all these (eight) games. A big part of it is what they can do on offense."