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Browns and Joe Flacco strike first with TD pass to Jerome Ford

CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Browns wasted no time in attacking the New York Jets on Thursday night.

Quarterback Joe Flacco found running back Jerome Ford for a seven-yard touchdown pass on the opening drive, giving the Browns a 7-0 lead, but that was just the beginning.

With 6:15 left in the second quarter, Flacco threw his second TD pass, an eight-yard pass to Elijah Moore for a 27-7 lead.

On the first drive, Flacco also completed two passes to tight end David Njoku totaling 64 yards, including a 36-yard strike on third-and-15.

Flacco now has 12 touchdown passes since joining the Browns in Week 13. Before that, Cleveland had just nine touchdown passes.

The Browns have scored a touchdown on the first drive in four of Flacco’s five starts this season.

After the Jets tied the game 7-7 on a Breece Hall touchdown run, the Browns again drove down the field in a drive ending with a seven-yard touchdown run by Kareem Hunt. Cleveland missed the next point to keep the score at 13-7.

The Browns defense also got in on the action in the first quarter. Ronnie Hickman, an undrafted rookie from Ohio State, intercepted Trevor Siemian and returned the turnover 30 yards for a touchdown.

The Browns scored 20 points in the first quarter of the regular season for the first time since 2016.

Flacco capped Cleveland’s first-half scoring barrage by coming out of the pocket to his left before finding Ford wide open for a 50-yard touchdown. The Browns led 34-17 at halftime.

Cleveland (10-5) can clinch an AFC playoff spot with a win.

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