- How Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah and Cowboys’ Micah Parsons compared in their rookie seasons (cleveland.com) - Last week, Browns rookie cornerback Greg Newsome II made a bold declaration about fellow Cleveland rookie, linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. “I think he played tremendous,” Newsome said. “Honestly, if he does not get that injury, I think we are having a debate of who is going to win Defensive Rookie of the Year between him and (Cowboys LB) Micah Parsons. He was playing unbelievable before the injury, and he was playing great after the injury, as well.”
- When should you break up with a quarterback? Asking for the Cleveland Browns (fivethirtyeight.com) - When is the right time to break up with someone if you’re fairly sure they just aren’t for you? Some might argue it’s best to act quickly and decisively when you suspect there’s no long-term future for the relationship. Others might look past the red flags and preach patience: Things may not have been perfect up to now, but perhaps your partner can change.
- Odds in Browns QB Baker Mayfield’s favor to get back to same level after shoulder surgery (Beacon Journal) - If the return of Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence from February surgery to repair a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder isn’t encouraging enough, Baker Mayfield has the medical odds on his side.
- David Njoku closes productive season with strong urge to be even better for Browns (clevelandbrowns.com) - David Njoku felt he improved in several areas in his fifth NFL season, but the growth didn’t extinguish the disappointment he felt after playing in the final game of the year.
- Bills (and especially Josh Allen) must keep emotions in check, take care of business (wgrz.com) - Saturday night should not be viewed as the be-all, end-all for the Buffalo Bills. At home, the Bills – and especially Josh Allen – have a nasty habit of getting overly hyped when they allow their emotions to plug into the energy emanating from the stands. They can’t allow that to happen this time.
- How the Cincinnati Bengals can beat the Las Vegas Raiders in playoffs (cincinnati.com) - The Cincinnati Bengals host the Las Vegas Raiders in the wild-card round of the NFL playoffs on Saturday. It will be the second matchup between these two teams as the Bengals traveled to Las Vegas to beat the Raiders in Week 11 following their bye week. Here’s how Cincinnati can beat Las Vegas to secure its first playoff win since 1991.
- Can Raiders slow Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase again? (Las Vegas Review-Journal) - For more than three quarters on Nov. 21 at Allegiant Stadium, the Raiders avoided the inevitable. Their pass rush helped prevent Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow from torching their secondary the way he’s torched so many others this season. Their secondary prevented Ja’Marr Chase from streaking free down the field the way he streaked all throughout his record-setting rookie campaign. But in the fourth quarter on that Sunday afternoon, Burrow and Chase finally connected.
- Mac Jones isn’t the typical rookie quarterback tossed into the playoff cauldron (Boston Globe) - The chew-’em-up, spit-’em-out grind of an NFL season has always reserved a special level of punishment for its newest invitees, a combination of intensity, physicality, endurance, and exhaustion that by the time it is all over can reduce a rookie to dust. From the end of a college career to the start of a professional one, from the first day of training camp to the final game of the regular season, the nonstop hamster wheel can leave a rookie’s body and mind drained in ways he never imagined possible. And then, if said rookie is lucky, the playoffs begin and ask for more.