Trevor Siemian, overconfidence threaten Cleveland Browns on Monday Night Football
The Cleveland Browns need to be wary of overconfidence on Monday Night Football as they take on Trevor Siemian and the New York Jets
Is the Dawg Pound feeling overconfident because of the news that Trevor Siemian is starting in place of Sam Darnold? Hopefully, not, because Trevor Siemian may be the better quarterback right now. Plus, the Cleveland Browns should never never never feel overconfident about anything, and certainly not just one week after turning in an epically pathetic performance in Week 1 versus the Tennessee Titans.
This game needs to be about how good the Browns can play as a team, and not about hoping for a gimme from the other team. The Jets seem supremely confident in Sam Darnold but the cruel reality is that he has yet to tap his great potential as prophesied by the Fox Oracle, Colin Cowherd.
In 2018, he threw for an underwhelming 2,865 yards in 13 games, with a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 17-to-15. With Darnold as the starter, the team went 4-9, last year, and 0-1 this year. His 2018 passer rating of 77.6 was actually a few ticks lower than Johnny Manziel’s 2015 season, in which his rating was 79.4.
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He was a little better in the Jets’ debacle against the Buffalo Bills in which they blew a 16-0 lead, with Darnold contributing a modest 175 yards and one TD pass. By contrast, Siemian has a 13-11 won-lost record as a starter, with a 30-to-24 touchdown-to-interception ratio and a passer rating of 77.9.
Long term, Darnold will probably become a very good quarterback and win more games the Siemian. But right now, in September 2019, Siemian has better lifetime stats, and is significantly more experienced. He’s not likely to fall apart and start heaving the ball all over the ballyard.
Jets Nation believes that Darnold can throw a much better deep ball than Siemian. This is laughable, because with Myles Garrett and Olivier Vernon anchoring the pass rush, Siemian will not have a seven step drop all game long, and may not even have a five step drop.
Siemian’s more compact delivery may be an advantage in the short passing game, which is all they can realistically aspire to. You may call Siemian a game manager if you wish to, but recognize that it is not an insult. The quarterback needs to manage the game in order to win.
Siemian is probably better equipped to deliver a short range pass quickly than the young bazooka armed 22-year-old. Two years from now, Darnold might be much more formidable, but at this point in his development he is unlikely to be better than a fifth year pro with a winning record.
The Browns deserve to be favored in this game because they are more talented than the homestanding Jets. The idea that the spread should shift by as many as four points due to non-availablity of Sam Darnold is cuckoo.
Perhaps it was set too low initially as an over-reaction to the Browns’ terrible performance versus Tennessee, and the quarterback change is more or less an excuse to reset the spread at a more realistic level.