Cleveland Browns seeking first victory against a familiar face

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Browns are going up against a familiar foe this Sunday as Josh McCown leads a New York Jets team in search of a winning record.

Josh McCown‘s time as a member of the Cleveland Browns lasted two seasons in which the team won a total of four games. Yet when everything was a dumpster fire, as it still is, McCown remained the ultimate professional.

What does that mean exactly? He played through injuries and when he was forced out of games he essentially served as an extra coach for Johnny Manziel and Cody Kessler, although the former may not have heeded much of the advice.

Many Browns fans may have thought McCown’s career was over after his time in Cleveland. He took enough hits for anyone his age to call it quits, but he is back on his feet this year as a member of the New York Jets. That is, the 2-2 New York Jets.

The Jets head to Cleveland this Sunday to take on the 0-4 Browns with McCown at quarterback, even though he was dealing with a minor shoulder injury after his team’s overtime victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars last Sunday. His line of 22-31 for 224 yards and no touchdowns wasn’t too impressive, but his team won and that leaves any Browns fan envious of McCown’s current situation.

McCown has already picked up more wins in the past two weeks than he did during his two years in Cleveland, and he will be looking to pick up one more on Sunday. This game was one Browns fans may have circled as a “winnable” game just a few weeks ago, but it is hard to predict the home team pulls through in this one. It can happen, but betting on it may not be a smart move.

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One glimmer of hope comes with the news of Myles Garrett returning to practice and hopefully to the field on Sunday. Yet no one knows what to expect from him as he is returning from an ankle injury.

McCown lighting up the Browns defense on Sunday would be fitting, and perhaps a small reward for the beatings he took in his two years in Cleveland.

Jets fans are likely feeling confident, but Browns fans do know just how wildly inconsistent McCown can be at times.

There is a reason he has been on so many teams throughout his career.

His gunslinger mentality can lead to big plays, but also to a lot of turnovers. With an 0-5 record staring the Browns in the face, fans are hoping Gregg Williams can draw up some plays to confuse McCown and make him throw it deep, right into the waiting arms of Jabrill Peppers.

(Insert “Peppers is playing too deep” joke here.)

McCown has failed to eclipse the 250-yard mark in any of his four starts this season, so it is clear the Jets’ success is due to more than just the legend of Josh McCown. The Jets rank seventh in rushing yards with an average of 130.8 per game. The Browns? 26th overall with just 76.5 per game, thanks in large part to the scrambles of DeShone Kizer.

I have been trying to predict how the games will play out this year, but the steady decline in the past two weeks has made even that simple task quite difficult.

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The Browns’ only hope is that McCown comes back to FirstEnergy Stadium and seeks to help out his former team with some timely interceptions. That, or the Browns receivers catch more passes than they drop.