CLEVELAND (WJW) — The Cleveland Browns are heading to Cincinnati on Sunday to take on the Bengals.
The Browns (6-9) close out the year by playing the Bengals who have only won one game this season.
Everything that the Browns needed to happen to keep their playoff hopes alive happened two weeks in a row, however, Cleveland was not able to take care of their own business and have since been eliminated from the playoffs.
Sunday’s loss to the Ravens guaranteed Cleveland a losing season for a 12th straight year.
Cincinnati will end the season with the year’s worst record, even if they beat the Browns on Sunday. They have already claimed the top pick in next year’s draft. There’s speculation the Bengals might pick Heisman winner Joe Burrow of LSU.
Meanwhile, Browns running back Nick Chubb is looking to secure the NFL rushing championship Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium while he faces off against AFC North rival Joe Mixon.
Chubb, a second-round pick in 2018, is leading the NFL in rushing yards with 1,453. He only needs 92 yards to have the best season by a Cleveland back since Jim Brown in 1965. His rushing total currently ranks as the fourth-most in team history. He has added eight rushing touchdowns and seven 100-yard rushing games this season and ranks second in the NFL in scrimmage yards with 1,730.
And, as the Browns prepare to wrap up their season, speculation continues on head coach Freddie Kitchens’ future with the team moving forward.
“I am not speaking for Freddie, but I can tell you that I know he is not paying attention to the outside noise,” Defensive coordinator Steve Wilks said in a press conference Thursday. “He is doing a great job as I mentioned before of trying to keep this team focused. Our task is to be 1-0 this last game. There is always speculation. Hell, I dealt with it probably the last five weeks [of last season], but you have to make sure you stayed focused because everyone is going to react off your demeanor and your personality. I think Freddie is doing a great job.”
Kitchens says he and the team have learned a lot over the course of the year.
Game management has been a big issue with Kitchens all season long, which was echoed in last Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens. Kitchens said if he could have something back from that game it would be the end of the first half. He feels like he put the team behind the eight ball by running three straight pass plays, which burned just 16 seconds off the game clock against a team with no timeouts.
Kitchens said he has not asked for assurance that he will be back for a second season, saying he got assurance when he got hired. He says his total focus right now is on the present and the game coming up on Sunday.
You can watch the final Cleveland Browns game of the season Sunday at 1 p.m. on FOX 8.