3 bold predictions: Browns defense has explosive night in Week 17

Za'Darius Smith continues his hot streak as the Cleveland Browns defense dominates in our Week 17 bold predictions

Cleveland Browns
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It's a short week for the Cleveland Browns as they host the New York Jets on Thursday Night Football in Week 17. This was supposed to be a battle between Deshaun Watson and Aaron Rodgers, with potential playoff seeding on the line. That's not how things went down with both Rodgers and Watson on the IR.

That means it will be Joe Flacco vs. Trevor Siemian and the Jets are out of the postseason picture. For the Browns, they can lock up a spot with a win and they come in as the favorite. With a record of 7-1 at home, that's understandable. Their offense has been on fire as of late but Cleveland's defense has led the way at home and the Week 17 bold predictions have them dominating once again.

3. Jerome Ford carries the ball 20 times

Ever since Joe Flacco took over, the Browns have been throwing the ball all over the field. He has 1,307 yards through four games which is more than any other quarterback during that same span. While they've been thriving in this area, the running game continues to fall behind.

Over the past four games, Jerome Ford has 115 yards on 44 attempts, which is an average of just 2.61 yards per rush. Kareem Hunt has an identical average with 94 yards on 36 attempts. Part of the issue has been the injuries on the offensive line but the backs have also been facing off against stellar run defense.

This week, their fortune could change. Over the past few weeks, the Browns have faced elite run defenses and suspect pass defenses. That flips in Week 17 with New York coming in second against the pass and 24th against the run. That's why this bold prediction has Ford getting the ball 20 times as Cleveland controls the clock and lets the defense do its thing.