Writer: Elliott Kennel
Game: New York Jets (1-1) at Cleveland Browns (0-1-1)
Summary: Heck yes the Browns deserve to be favored! Browns fans may be in shock, but the Jets are not exactly holding a strong hand either. The Jets are placing their hopes on 21-year old rookie Sam Darnold at quarterback, which is a recipe for disaster. Since 1960, there have been about 21 players whose first start occurred before their 22nd birthday and they are almost always disastrously bad for a year or two.
Darnold is going to struggle to complete passes to the likes of old friend Terrelle Pryor, Jermaine Kearse and Quincy Enunwa. You probably did not draft any of these guys for your fantasy team, and there is good reason for that. Perhaps their biggest offensive star it is a guy by the name of Isaiah Crowell, who starred for the Browns without being very appreciated, and who now shares the tailback position with Bilal Powell. That is simply not enough firepower to overcome Gregg Williams and his Shaggy Brown Horde. They will that Mr. Darnold receives a proper welcome by sacking him unmercifully and taking his passes in the opposite direction.
However, the Browns lack of offense will prevent this from being a runaway. So far the Browns have not shown much penchant for run blocking (3.2 yards per carry when someone other than Tyrod Taylor carries the ball), and they’ve given up 10 sacks in two games. Taylor is famous for holding the ball too long and getting sacked, but even so, this is an incredible sack rate.
Likewise, special teams are a mess as the Browns are trying a new kicker in Greg Joseph, a fellow who put up rather bland numbers in college (69.5% field goal percentage). It will be hard for him to match Zane Gonzales’ record for inconsistency, but he has a shot at it. Hint to Coach: Go for it on 4th down this week. In fact, go for two after a touchdown. Do not give the kicker a chance to lose the game again.
Final score: Cleveland 20, New York Jets 17