Cleveland Browns Week 2 predictions in historical Monday Night Football game vs. Jets
Writer: Zach Bush
Game: Cleveland Browns vs. New York Jets
Summary: Let’s be real: heading into Week 1, many of us Browns fans—myself included — got a little ahead of ourselves. For months leading up to last Sunday’s game against the Titans at FirstEnergy Stadium, we’d been placing Super Bowl-sized pressure on a team that hadn’t even achieved a winning record together, let alone made the playoffs. Especially following the acquisition of Odell Beckham Jr., the hype surrounding the Browns had been building and building until it burst through the roof.
While it’s great that Browns fans finally had a group of guys on the gridiron about whom they could truly get excited, it was probably a slight miscalculation to expect them to mesh together perfectly and put up 70 points right out of the gate. And as we all saw on Sunday against Tennessee, the Browns’ performance in Week 1 was about as far away from what we thought we’d see as possible.
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But it’s now a new week, and a new opponent is set to line up across from the Browns on Monday Night Football in the New York Jets. After this past week’s horrid performance, far be it from me to predict a blowout victory for the boys in brown and orange. Yes, I am aware that Jets starting quarterback Sam Darnold is out for the game against Cleveland with mononucleosis, along with questionable statuses from running back Le’Veon Bell, linebacker C.J. Mosley and wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, who was recently brought in from New England after the Patriots traded him following their signing of Antonio Brown. I understand that all of the best players on a pretty subpar roster could miss this game.
I get all of that. However, why should I assume that in eight days’ time, Freddie Kitchens and his staff will have been able to correct the blatantly undisciplined behavior that caused the Browns to suffer 18 penalties for 182 yards, the most given up in one game in team history? In no world is something as toxic as that cured in just over a week. Sam Darnold is likely to recover from his bout with mono sooner than Cleveland completely gets over this severe case of yellow flag syndrome.
Even had our expectations for this team not been so high, a penalty line like they put up on Sunday, with two players striking members of the opponent after the whistle blew, one of whom getting ejected, in no circumstances would a performance like this ever be tolerated by any fanbase of any caliber of football team anywhere. So while I still do think the Browns will win this week, I expect the game to be moderately close.
Just like in that Thursday Night game in Cleveland last year, the Jets will show up to play on Monday. Surely, many of the holdover New York players from last year will be itching to exact some revenge upon the Browns in their primetime rematch this season. On a night when Baker Mayfield came into the game to make his NFL debut and promptly led a heroic comeback over the Jets on national television, New York was ultimately forced to bow to the Browns after putting up a very nice first half.
This time, they’ll be on their home turf, ready to prove to everyone watching that what happened last year was a fluke. And although some members of the Jets will undoubtedly have that chip on their shoulder, and despite the fact that New York nearly won in their one-point loss to Buffalo in Week 1, in the end, the injuries to Darnold, Bell, and Mosley will be too great to overcome.
Even if Bell and Mosley play, they will not be at 100 percent. And with so few bonafide stars and reliable veterans, the Jets simply will not be able to stop a Browns team loaded with weapons, on a warpath to show the world that the Tennessee game will not define it moving forward.
Prediction: Cleveland 31, New York 20