(AP/WJW) – The weather was frightful for the Saints and Browns. And with a loss to the New Orleans Saints, the Cleveland team’s playoff hopes are dashed. The final score 17-10, moving the Browns to 6-9 on the season.
With a forecast for temperatures in single digits and wind gusts up to 50 mph, both teams leaned heavily on their running games.
3:51 p.m. The Browns could not get it done and the fall to the Saints at home on Christmas Eve.
3:43 p.m. Despite trying to make something happen, the Cleveland Browns have not been able to score anymore. And the score stays the same at the 2-minute warning.
3:04 p.m. The Saints have taken the lead for the first time in the game, the score is now 17-10 with the Browns trailing.
2:20 p.m. The Browns keep the lead at halftime with a score of 10-3.
1:45 p.m. The Browns take the lead 7-0 at the start of the 2nd quarter.
1:05 p.m. The temperature at kick off was 6° – the coldest kick off temp since Jan. 4 1981 when it was 1°, according to a tweet.
The conditions would figure to hurt New Orleans, which plays in a dome. The Saints still have a path to the postseason, but they can’t afford any more losses. The Browns have a 1% chance of making the playoffs and could be eliminated even with a win. This will be quarterback Deshaun Watson’s fourth game back since returning from his 11-game NFL suspension.
NEW ORLEANS (5-9) at CLEVELAND (6-8)
Saturday, 1 p.m. EST
FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK NFL LINE: Browns by 3.
AGAINST THE SPREAD: Saints 5-9; Browns 7-7.
SERIES RECORD: Browns lead 13-5.
LAST MEETING: Saints beat Browns 21-18 on Sept. 16, 2018, in New Orleans.
LAST WEEK: Saints beat Falcons 21-18; Browns beat Ravens 13-3.
SAINTS OFFENSE: OVERALL (17), RUSH (21), PASS (12), SCORING (21)
SAINTS DEFENSE: OVERALL (11), RUSH (21), PASS (12), SCORING (16)
BROWNS OFFENSE: OVERALL (8), RUSH (5), PASS (20), SCORING (13)
BROWNS DEFENSE: OVERALL (17), RUSH (24), PASS (12), SCORING (20)
TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Saints minus-12; Browns minus-3.
SAINTS PLAYER TO WATCH: TE Juwan Johnson, a converted receiver who was undrafted out of Oregon in 2020, had his third career game with two TDs receiving in Week 15 and leads the Saints in TD catches this season with seven.
BROWNS PLAYER TO WATCH: RB Nick Chubb. With snow and heavy winds in the forecast, the Browns’ offensive game plan likely will revolve around Chubb, who has 1,252 yards and 12 rushing TDs. Chubb ran for 99 on 21 carries last week against Baltimore’s solid front. The Saints are allowing 132.6 per game and gave up 231 last week.
KEY MATCHUP: Saints TE/backup QB Taysom Hill vs. Cleveland’s defense. Hill’s versatility as a runner could come into play with the inclement, cold weather supposed to be a major factor. Hill has run for 449 yards and he’s capable of delivering a big pass play.
KEY INJURIES: Saints RG Cesar Ruiz (foot) was placed on injured reserve. … Saints rookie Chris Olave (hamstring) was on the injury report but is expected to play. … Saints WR and former Brown Jarvis Landry (ankle) missed practice time this week, as did LB Peter Werner (hamstring). … Reserve RB Dwayne Washington (illness) remained on the injury report after missing last weekend’s game. … Saints top CB and Cleveland native Marshon Lattimore (abdomen) was limited in practice this week. It was not clear if his extended absence from the lineup would finally end after nine games. … DE Myles Garrett missed two practice days with an unspecified illness. … Browns DE Jadeveon Clowney missed practice time this week after sustaining a concussion against the Ravens. … Chubb (foot) was rested after getting hurt in the win over Baltimore but is expected to play. … Starting Browns C Ethan Pocic (knee) will return after missing four games.