Grateful would be the word used to sum up Joe Flacco's sentiments shortly after his storybook run as the Cleveland Browns' starting quarterback came to an end in Saturday's Super Wild Card playoff loss to the Houston Texans

"I think I was so fortunate to become a part of this team," Flacco said, via the team's website. "It's a special group. And I know a lot of people can say that, but it really is. To be given a chance to do this with those guys, I'm super grateful for it."

Flacco has been on the winning side of many playoff games, including a Super Bowl with the Ravens that saw him take home the game's MVP trophy. But it wasn't meant to be on Saturday for Flacco and the Browns, who made the playoffs despite starting five different quarterbacks during the regular season. 

"They played with a little more confidence, a little more speed, a little more hunger," Flacco said of the Texans, via The Athletic

The Browns led briefly in the first half but were unable to stop the runaway train that was the Texans, who scored 35 unanswered points after the Browns had taken a 14-10 lead on a Kareem Hunt touchdown. 

Down 24-14 at halftime, a pair of Flacco pick-sixes in a two minute span in the third quarter essentially ended the game. Flacco said he was trying to throw the ball away on the first pick-six that was recorded by Texans veteran cornerback Steven Nelson

"Today, you're trying to throw the ball away, you're not trying to make a bad decision, but at the end of the day, you have to be able to live with sacks," Flacco said. "And I think on that drive, we had overcome a second-and-long from a holding, and in the back of your head, you're like, 'OK, we got over that one, let's not get back in that position.' And you almost let your guard down a little bit. And like I said, I think you have to realize that sometimes sacks aren't bad things."

No one should be surprised that Flacco turned the ball over on Saturday. He threw picks eight during his first five starts for the Browns, who signed him shortly after Deshaun Watson suffered a season-ending injury in Week 14. But Flacco and the Browns were mostly able to overcome his picks during their 4-1 run with him under center during the regular season. 

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That wasn't the case on Saturday, as the Texans turned Flacco's miscues into instant points. But the mistakes weren't all Flacco's fault. 

Cleveland didn't give him any run support, as the Browns ran for just 56 yards on 20 carries. Houston's pass rush sacked Flacco five times. Adding to the Browns' issues on offense was that fact that they were forced to try to keep pace with a Texans offense that was running Cleveland's defense ragged. 

Specifically, the Browns' defense had no answer for C.J. Stroud, who enjoyed one of the greatest performance by a rookie quarterback in postseason history. Stroud threw three touchdowns in the first half alone that included his 76-yard completion to Brevin Jordan that gave Houston the lead for good. 

"We didn't show up today," said Browns cornerback Denzel Ward

Saturday's game was certainly not how the Browns envisioned their season ending. But despite the loss, the Browns' temporary starting quarterback appreciated simply being in that position for perhaps the last time. 

"Listen, I love it here and we're dealing with so much right now, just going through the emotions of this game and being so excited to be in this position and now to come up empty," he said, via ESPN. "That's where my head is. Trying to soak it all in and let this digest a little bit."