Writer: Chris Markoch
Game: New York Jets (1-1) at Cleveland Browns (0-1-1)
Normally I hate seeing a team I root for play on Thursday night, but this week I’ll make an exception. The Cleveland Browns have to be fired up to play this game. After a tie and then, just for kicks, a loss where we held the Saints to just 21 points … in New Orleans, this team should be ready to break something … like the lock on a beer cooler!
However, emotion will only get the Browns so far, and coming into Cleveland are the New York Jets with their brand, spankin’ new quarterback Sam Darnold. We have one of those two, but we’re choosing to be the strict parents who won’t let him on the field. Ok, that may be an exaggeration, but this won’t be the Baker Mayfield-Sam Darnold showdown many hoped for.
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What it will be is an interesting battle of a rookie quarterback playing in his third NFL game facing a young, athletic defense with an experienced coordinator who I imagine will throw the kitchen sink at Darnold. But in order for that strategy to work, the Browns will have to stop the run, and what do you know, the Jets new bell cow is none other than former Brown, Isaiah Crowell. How ya’ doin’ Crow? Fortunately, he’s no Alvin Kamara and the Browns were fairly effective against the Saints superstar so I think the Browns will keep Crowell in check and put the game on the golden right arm of slingin’ Sammy.
But where this game will be won or lost is with the Browns offense. This offense has looked sloppy the first two games. In the Pittsburgh game, the Browns couldn’t get out of their own way with penalties. Last week, they had a hard time sustaining drives. This is a big game for Tyrod Taylor otherwise it may get late early. I think the Browns use a ground-and-pound attack with the two-headed monster of Hyde and Chubb with just enough from Tyrod to push us over the top.
It’s never easy with the Browns, but this time they get it done. Dilly Dilly!
Final Score: Cleveland 23, New York 16