Amari Cooper breaks Browns’ receiving record with 265 yards

Cleveland Browns’ Amari Cooper makes history with 265-yard game in crucial win

Jake Trotter, ESPN Staff Writer

Dec 24, 2023, 04:33 PM ET

HOUSTON — Wide receiver Amari Cooper made history Sunday. And behind his monster performance in a 36-22 victory over the Houston Texans, the Cleveland Browns are on the precipice of their first playoff appearance since 2020.

Cooper caught 11 passes for 265 yards, surpassing the Browns’ yardage record previously held by Josh Gordon (261 in 2013). After a brief absence, he came back into the game in the fourth quarter following a late Texans rally, catching a 13-yard pass on fourth-and-7 to break the mark.

Cooper now has four 200-yard receiving games in his career — one off the NFL record shared by Calvin Johnson and Lance Alworth — and he became just the second NFL player to reach the milestone with three different franchises. Cooper also achieved the feat for the Raiders and Cowboys, joining Terrell Owens (49ers, Cowboys, and Bengals) as the only other player to do it.

Cooper also passed 1,000 yards on the season, becoming the first Cleveland player to reach that mark in back-to-back years. Cooper finished with 1,160 receiving yards in 2022, his first year with the Browns, and he now has 1,250 this season with two games left.

The Browns (10-6) figure to be playing for playoff seeding in their final two games. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Cleveland now has a better than 99% chance to make the postseason, though the Browns can’t clinch a playoff spot until next week, with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Buffalo Bills both winning Saturday.

Cleveland was alone in the 5-seed in the AFC playoff picture coming into the weekend. The Browns are still alive for the AFC North title as well, trailing the Baltimore Ravens (11-3) by only 1½ games. The Ravens face the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night.

Cooper set the tone early Sunday with a 53-yard reception from quarterback Joe Flacco on the opening drive to set up Cleveland’s first score. In the second quarter, he hauled in a 75-yard touchdown pass down the sideline despite a defensive pass interference call, marking the longest Browns scoring grab since 2020.

Cooper later made a 7-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter and added a two-point reception early in the fourth quarter for a 36-7 lead.

The Browns’ playoff hopes are riding high on the back of Amari Cooper’s historic performance, as they look to secure a place in the postseason for the first time in three years.

Historic background:
– Amari Cooper surpassed the Cleveland Browns’ single-game yardage record previously held by Josh Gordon.
– Cooper became just the second NFL player to have four 200-yard receiving games in his career.
– With this victory, the Browns are looking to make their first playoff appearance since 2020.

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