Browns Take Aim At Wounded Jets On Monday Night
New York will be playing without some important starters in Week 2
Heading Into Monday Night
Both the Cleveland Browns and the New York Jets are coming off Week 1 losses, but their mindsets heading into the Monday Night Football clash is very different.
Throughout the offseason, the Browns were the NFL’s most talked about team and many projected them to snap their streak of 17-season playoff drought.
They fell flat on their faces in Week 1, as the Tennessee Titans trounced them in Cleveland by the score of 43-13. Their offensive line struggled and Baker Mayfield had trouble reading the defense, which led to three interceptions. They were penalized 18 times and lined up three different players at left tackle, as starter Greg Robinson was ejected.
Some have argued last week’s loss was the wakeup call the Browns needed, which is why Cleveland will come into this game hungry to get their first win of the 2019 season.
The Jets also dropped their opener at home, 17-16 to the Buffalo Bills, in a game they led 16-0 and 16-3 heading into the fourth quarter. Gang Green lost despite creating four turnovers and winning the turnover battle four to one, which doesn’t bode well for them moving forward. The offensive line had a tough time with Buffalo’s front and that led to a conservative game plan.
Sam Darnold completed 28-of-41 passes (68.3 percent) but for only racked up 175 passing yards and an unacceptably-low 4.3 yards per pass. While the offense found the sledding tough all game, the defense appeared to be in control until linebacker C.J. Mosley (interception for touchdown, fumble recovery) went out with an injury.
The Jets go into Monday night without Mosley, Darnold and rookie Quinnen Williams, which is why the line has moved from Browns -2.5 to -6.5. It feels as if New York’s season is over before it began.
Sam Darnold told me last night he feels much, much better and says he hopes docs let him rejoin his team this week. Says doc told him he has to take 21 days to recover and as a result hoping he comes back after the bye Week 4. Says he hasn’t lost much weight at all— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) September 15, 2019
As of Monday afternoon, 62% of public bets have been placed on the Browns. Find out the percentage of the money that was wagered on them on the "Games" tab!
Mayfield made his debut against the Jets on primetime last year when he led the Browns back from a 14-0 deficit for their first win of the season in Week 3 and he’s been the starter ever since. Before last week, Mayfield had thrown more interceptions than touchdowns in a game twice and both times he responded with no picks the following week.
Expect Mayfield to bounce back again this week with a much cleaner effort. He also has a couple of factors playing in his favor. Their names are Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry. The former LSU teammates have been reunited and in his Cleveland debut, Beckham Jr. caught seven passes for 71 yards to lead the team. In his return to New York on Monday night you know Beckham Jr. is highly motivated to put on a show.
Odell Beckham Jr. says current and former #Browns players told him that #Jets DC Gregg Williams would tell them to take him out of the game when possible with hits.— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) September 12, 2019
Flashback to this hit he took in 2017 preseason. Odell says it "changed his life."pic.twitter.com/EpVykGiblj
If you’re looking for more motivation you don’t have to dig too deep. Beckham Jr. accused Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams of telling his players to take him out during a 2017 preseason game. The bad blood between Cleveland receivers and Jets coaches doesn’t end there, as Landry revealed that then Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase used to threaten to trade his players to the Browns if they weren’t performing well.
Don’t be surprised to see both Beckham Jr. and Landry go for 100 yards as the offense takes flight against the Jets.
The Cleveland defense will have a big edge along the line of scrimmage against an offensive line that is still figuring things out. Defensive end Myles Garrett had his fifth career game with two-plus sacks in Week 1, with two of his other multi-sack games coming against the Jets.
Coming off the opposite end is Olivier Vernon who has 51.5 career sacks and should enjoy life as his team’s secondary pass rusher. The former Giant is another Brown making his return to New York, as is defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, who began his career with the Jets. Expect this trio to win the battle in the trenches and set the tone for the Cleveland defense, which will be tough to score on.
The Browns are clearly the better team, so the key to victory is simply to not beat themselves, as they did last week. If they can cut down on turnovers and penalties, Cleveland should win big.
Before they announced the severity of Enunwa’s injury, New York traded for Demaryius Thomas, who became expendable when the New England Patriots signed Antonio Brown. On a positive note, Thomas is familiar with Siemian and Gase. Thomas was Siemian’s go-to receiver for two seasons with the Broncos (2016-17), while Gase was the receivers coach in Denver when Thomas was drafted and eventually became the offensive coordinator.
The Jets offense will rely heavily on newcomers, as wide receiver Jamison Crowder had 14 receptions in his New York debut and LBell should become an even bigger focal point without Darnold. That’s a lot of new pieces trying to come together in a short period of time, which could spell T-R-O-U-B-L-E.
The Jets injury woes don’t end on offense, as they will be without a pair of key defenders as well. In addition to Mosley, first-round pick Quinnen Williams (ankle) is out for Monday night. But make no mistake, losing Mosely (groin) is just as big to the defense, as Darnold is to the offense. The Jets held the Bills to three points through three quarters, then without Mosley gave up touchdown drives of 80 and 85 yards.
Safety Jamal Adams is the face of the defense, but the spotlight will be on their cornerbacks, who have a propensity of getting beat deep and missing tackles in space. Oh, did I mention the Jets also replaced their kicker after Week 1? New York appears headed to an 0-2 start.