Everyone was expecting the Cleveland Browns to take a step forward and win some games this season.
Everyone expected the New York Jets to tank the season and not be very competitive.
So far through four games this season, it seems like both teams have done the opposite of their expectations.
The Cleveland Browns are 0-4 this season and if things don’t improve quickly, it could be another season of changes for the franchise.
The New York Jets however are 2-2 and have been a surprise in the first four weeks of the season with their fight to win games and prove they aren’t tanking.
This game looked like a game the Browns should easily win heading into the regular season, now many fans wonder if this is the only win they could possibly get this season.
Team Stats (League Rank)
Passing: CLE-219.5 YPG (17th) NYJ-192.3 YPG (26th)
Rushing: CLE-76.5 YPG (27th) NYJ-130.8 YPG (7th)
Scoring: CLE-15.8 PPG (28th) NYJ-18.8 PPG (21st)
Passing: CLE-240.8 (23rd) NYJ-194.8 YPG (T-7th)
Rushing: CLE-87.3 YPG (T-7th) NYJ-143.8 YPG (29th)
Scoring: CLE-26.8 PPG (29th) NYJ-23.0 (T-21st)
Doubtful: WR Kenny Britt (knee/groin), LB Jamie Collins (concussion)
Out: RB Matt Forte (Knee/Toe), DL Kony Ealy (shoulder). LB Josh Martin (ankle). DB Darryl Roberts (hamstring)
Questionable: DL Muhammad Wilkerson (shoulder), DB Juston Burris (foot)
Matchup to Watch
Browns running game vs Jets Run Defense
Head coach/Offensive playcaller Hue Jackson has said time and time again that the running game will be what makes the offense successful yet time and time again he refuses to run the ball.
Through four games, the team is averaging 21 carries and 87.3 yards per game on the ground. Take away DeShone Kizer’s rushing stats it’s 15.5 carries and 74.75 yards per game.
Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson have been underutilized and Jackson has put Kizer in a difficult position where has to throw 35.5 passing attempts per game so far this season.
Jackson needs to put his rookie and potential franchise quarterback in a comfortable and winning position or the team isn’t going to win and he could ultimately be out of a job.
Sunday is a great opportunity to get the running game going against a terrible Jets run defense that’s giving up almost 144 yards per game on the ground.
Like I mentioned on the 1085 Gridiron Podcast, it’s time to “Feed the Crow” and “Crown the Duke”.
Part of me wants to believe this is the game the Browns silence people for a little bit and show what they’re capable of.
Part of me also thinks they’re going to come out and lay another egg and anger the fans even more.
I predicted on the 1085 Gridiron podcast that the Browns would lose 17-13 but I’m going to change my prediction because of one person.
The first overall pick is finally making his debut, although he’ll be on a limited snap count as he’s returning from a high ankle sprain.
Even with a limited Myles Garrett, I expect this defense to look the best it’s been all season. The Jets have given up 12 sacks so far this season and with Josh McCown who tends to hold onto the ball, the Browns pass rush should come alive.
Offensively, maybe Hue Jackson finally realizes he needs to run the ball to win games and takes my advice to “Feed the Crow” and “Crown the Duke”.
Browns win their first game of the season
Browns 20 Jets 16