3 Cleveland Browns to watch in Week 17 against Jets

These 3 Cleveland Browns are looking to bring their team to 11-5 on the year while locking up a playoff spot

Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns / Nick Cammett/GettyImages

The Cleveland Browns are gearing up for their primetime matchup against the New York Jets on Thursday night at Cleveland Browns Stadium. The Browns, who beat the Houston Texans on Christmas Eve, are currently 10-5 and have a 99 percent chance of making the playoffs.

New York comes into the week with a record of 6-9 on the year. They sit in third place in the AFC East following a 30-28 final seconds victory over the Washinton Commanders last Sunday and were eliminated from contention in Week 15.  

As Cleveland looks to secure their playoff berth, here are three players to keep an eye on as they try and advance to 11-5 for the second time in four years: 

3.  Sione Takitaki, LB 

Sione Takitaki is having quite the year for the Cleveland Browns, racking up 50 total tackles through 14 games, the fourth most on the roster. The fourth-year linebacker is also on a six-game streak of four or more tackles. Takitaki has the opportunity to finish the season with at least 60 tackles for the third time in his career.

  • 14 Games 
  • 50 Total Tackles (34 Solo - 16 Assisted - 3 For Loss)  
  • 2 Sacks 
  • 3 Quarterback Hits
  • 2 Passes Defended 
  • 1 Interception

Look for Takitaki to continue his streak of four or more tackles with at least five tackles this Thursday against the Jets. 

2. Za’Darius Smith, DE

Za’Darius Smith has been a difference-maker for the Cleveland Browns since landing with the team in the offseason. Smith has 26 total tackles and 5.5 sacks on the year, the second most behind Myles Garrett, who has 13. He recorded two sacks and four quarterback hits against the Texans on Christmas Eve. 

  • 15 Games 
  • 26 Total Tackles (17 Solo - 9 Assisted - 8 For Loss) 
  • 5.5 Sacks 
  • 20 Quarterback Hits 
  • 3 Passes Defended 
  • 1 Forced Fumble 

Look for Za’Darius Smith to have another big game against the Jets, who average 4.1 sacks allowed per game this season and recorded at least two tackles and one sack. 

1. Amari Cooper, WR  

Amari Cooper had a record-breaking day on Sunday, catching 11 passes for 265 receiving yards and two touchdowns, which broke the Browns single-game receiving yard record. Amari Cooper is also the first Browns wide receiver to have consecutive 1,000-yard seasons in franchise history. Cooper and Joe Flacco have developed great chemistry in the short time they have played together, connecting on 25 passes for 485 yards and three touchdowns through 3 games.

  • 15 Games 
  • 72 Receptions 
  • 1,250 Receiving Yards (83.3 Yards Per Game Average)
  • 50 First Downs
  • 5 Touchdowns

While Amari Cooper may not break the Browns single-game receiving record again, he should have another big game, catching at least four passes for 80 yards against the Jets secondary. 

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