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Cincy Jungle staff picks for Thursday Night Football and open thread

Who wins Jets vs. Browns in primetime?

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Houston Texans Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday Night Football this week has a match between a team that has practically clinched its spot in the playoffs and a team that has already been eliminated from contention.

In the year of the backup quarterback, it makes sense that the Cleveland Browns have been able to rally around quarterback Joe Flacco, who didn’t even start the season on an NFL roster. They have won their last three games behind some great defense led by Myles Garrett. He has been living in the backfield constantly pressuring opposing quarterbacks.

The Browns have an outside shot at getting the No. 1 seed and/or winning the division. They have to win their last two games and get some help to reach that, though. A win tonight or next week against the Cincinnati Bengals clinches their first playoff berth since 2020, when they defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers before being eliminated by the Kansas City Chiefs when Chad Henne converted a fourth-down play to end the game without Baker Mayfield and the offense getting a chance for a game-winning drive.

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The New York Jets have had a roller-coaster season. They had all the hype of Hard Knocks during the preseason. They then had all that dashed when Aaron Rodgers went down on the first offensive drive with an ankle injury. They then had hope that Rodgers could possibly return for a playoff run only to find Rodgers’ progress was pretty drastically embellished, and now they have to keep him on the active roster after designating him to return.

The way last week went took them out of contention for a playoff spot despite winning, but now they get to play spoiler. This team has some pretty impressive wins for a (6-9) team as well. They were the first team to defeat the Philadelphia Eagles and beat the Bills in Week 1. Their usual formula for winning revolves around their defense stepping up and the offense doing enough to get by. We will have to see how that works this week.

Here is who the staff is taking.

This will also be tonight’s open thread, so come join the discussion!