Week 16: at New York Jets
This game is awfully late in the season to be considered a trap game. But once again, timing and location make this a prime candidate. The Browns are in a curious position as they will play back to back road games in the same stadium.
This is not a common occurrence, although the Browns are not the only team assigned with the same exact task this season. The San Francisco 49ers will play back to back games in Metlife Stadium, albeit early in the season. The Cleveland Browns will pull this assignment in weeks 15 and 16.
The game versus the Jets comes sandwiched in between what will be a highly publicized outing with the New York Giants and the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Giants game has so many storylines that it is dizzying, but in all fairness, all of those will take a backseat to the fact that Odell Beckham Jr. returning to play his former team. Then with the Steelers…well, it’s the Steelers in the regular-season finale, not much else needs to be stated.
So, it is the Jets that become the trap game. The plus side for the Browns is that these two teams are well acquainted as this will be the sixth straight season they have met. A rarity for teams not in the same division.
This will be a must-win game for the Browns but coming off a Giants game that will be the talk of the league and with the Steelers waiting on the other side it will be a tough ask. The Browns will need to hope that they are so dialed in by this point in the season that a lack of focus is simply not attainable. But, I have yet to meet anyone who has stubbed their toe on an object that they knew was there.
So, there you have it. Three games the Browns will be favored to win that could potentially be stumbling blocks. Just losing one of those three games could be the difference in the Cleveland Browns taking part in the postseason or sitting at home in their favorite chair watching on television, just like the rest of us.