Browns clinch playoff berth by thumping Jets

Joe Flacco eclipsed 300 passing yards for the fourth straight game, Jerome Ford made two touchdown catches and the Cleveland Browns clinched their second playoff berth in 21 years by beating the visiting New York Jets 37-20 on Thursday night.Cleveland (11-5) won its fourth straight game and improved to 4-1 with Flacco starting at quarterback. The 38-year-old former Jet, a midseason signing, finished 19-of-29 passing for 309 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.The Browns used a high-octane first half to take control. Flacco piled up 296 of his 309 passing yards in the first half, and tight end David Njoku had 113 of his team-high 134 receiving yards in the first quarter.Browns receiver Amari Cooper (heel) did not play four days after his 11-catch, 265-yard, two-touchdown performance in a win over Houston.Another former Jet, receiver Elijah Moore, had an 8-yard touchdown catch Thursday to make it 27-7 Cleveland before suffering a head injury late in the first half. He did not return.Trevor Siemian completed 32 of 45 passes for 262 yards, one touchdown and one pick for the Jets (6-10). Breece Hall had 84 rushing yards on 13 attempts, and 42 yards and a touchdown on nine receptions.Flacco engineered a quick seven-play drive to open the game, culminating in a 7-yard scoring pass to Ford. The Jets responded when Hall caught a pass and sprinted in for a 21-yard tying score.Njoku’s 43-yard reception brought the Browns to New York’s 7-yard line, and Kareem Hunt rushed to paydirt on the next play. With new kicker Riley Patterson missing the extra point, it was 13-7 Cleveland.