Cleveland Browns vs New York Jets: Odds and Predictions (NFL Week 2)
John Breech of CBS Sports takes the over and predicts the score as Browns 26, Jets 23. My prediction is take the over, final score Browns 28, Jets 20.
How to Watch
What: Cleveland Browns at New York Jets
When: Monday Night Football, September 16 at 8:15 p.m. ET
Where: MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey
How (TV): ESPN
Latest point spread: Browns -6.5, Jets +6.5
Cleveland Browns’ second-year quarterback Baker Mayfield’s highly anticipated Week 1 was an embarrassing 30-point loss to the Tennessee Titans, a completely unsatisfying start for a roster that (on paper) has enough talent to (arguably) win the Super Bowl but whose undisciplined play (18 penalties for 182 yards) and questionable offensive line kept them far from winning their first game.
The New York Jets’ Week 1 featured running back Le’Veon Bell’s triumphant return but was a disappointing loss by just a point in a game where their (now ex-) kicker missed an extra point and a 45-yard field goal, and now in Week 2 they must face the win-hungry Browns at home but with backup quarterback Trevor Siemian replacing their seriously ill franchise man Sam Darnold, who has mono (see below).
Special game note: The NFL is currently celebrating its 100th year anniversary as a league, so they chose the Browns vs Jets matchup for this Monday Night Football to commemorate the first ever MNF broadcast in 1970 when quarterback Bill Nelson’s Browns defeated Joe Namath’s Jets by a score of 31-21.
Let’s take a quick look at how these two teams are situated in Week 2.
The 0-1-0 Cleveland Browns:
Unfortunately for the 0-1 Cleveland Browns, the NFL doesn’t work like fantasy football where you win by piling up playmakers while ignoring the less glamorous aspects of success, like having an effective offensive line and the discipline to avoid penalties.
Despite having one of the most promising young quarterbacks (Baker Mayfield) throwing balls to one of the best wide receiver tandems in the league (Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry) on top of an evasive and hard-hitting running back (Nick Chubb), the Browns could only score 13 points in their humiliating loss to the Titans, Mayfield seeming to hold onto the ball too long (5 sacks) and forcing the action (3 interceptions).
The Browns defense had four sacks of their own, but it was the penalties that killed their momentum 18 times in the game and cost them 182 yards, something that must get fixed by Week 2 or the Freddie Kitchens doubters will start getting louder.
The 0-1-0 New York Jets:
The New York Jets lost to the Buffalo Bills by just a point in Week 1 and then promptly fired their kicker Kaare Vedvik (see below) after missing an extra point attempt and a 45-yard field goal.
But the biggest and worst Jets news is about injuries, from quarterback Darnold suffering from mono and possibly missing the next month to middle linebacker C.J. Mosley now questionable with a groin injury, and the list goes on and on (see below).
At least the rest of the Jets will have until Monday night to heal up as best they can, but they will definitely be led by backup quarterback Trevor Siemian who started 10 games last season for the Denver Broncos, going 5-5 after completing 206 passes for 2,285 yards and 12 touchdowns but with 14 interceptions.
What’s at Stake:
These two teams have met 26 total times (including 1 postseason game), with New York winning 12 of those games and Cleveland winning 14 games.
The most recent time these two teams met was last season, when the Browns, led by rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield in his first ever NFL appearance, defeated the Jets 21-17.
If the Browns win this matchup, they’ll be 1-1-0 and some of the shock of losing by so much in Week 1 will start to wear off and Cleveland will begin a stretch of tough games as they attempt to stay atop the AFC North.
But if the Jets are victorious instead, then they’ll go 1-1-0 and prove head coach Adam Gase’s game plan can win regardless of who is under center and they will keep from going 0-2 with fading postseason chances in the Patriots dominated AFC East.
Questions to Answer
Who’s favored to win this Week 2 Browns-Jets matchup?
Which team has a better offense? Defense? Special teams?
Which team’s quarterback is more likely to lead his team to victory?
We’re going to briefly compare the Browns and the Jets next and attempt to answer those questions and more.
Offensive Stats Comparison
Cleveland Browns Overall Offense
- Ranked 13th overall in 2018
- Ranked 19th overall in 2019
Passing attack: Mayfield has plenty of sure-handed targets to throw to (Beckham, Landry, receiver Rashard Higgins, tight end David Njoku, Chubb, etc.), but the problem he is having is getting rid of the ball in a quick amount of time before the defensive line is upon him, and that is a result of a shaky offensive line.
The line is noticeable weak at left tackle and right guard, two positions that have been filled by various players without anyone stepping up and snagging the starting role.
Now that tackle Kendall Lamm is out due to his knee injury and left guard Joel Bitonio is questionable with an abdomen issue, the O-line could be the Browns Achilles heel once again unless major adjustments have been made during the week.
Rushing attack: With running backs Nick Chubb, Dontrell Hilliard and D’Ernest Johnson in the backfield, it’s a wonder why the Browns don’t run the ball more often.
Chubb had 17 runs for 75 yards and 3 catches for 10 yards but scored no points.
Johnson only had one run 13 yards and Hilliard had one run for four yards and a touchdown.
Cleveland Offensive Injuries
Listed as questionable for week 2: wide receiver Rashard Higgins (ankle), guard Joel Bitonio (abdomen) and running back Dontrell Hilliard (concussion).
Injury note: tackle Kendall Lamm (knee) is listed as OUT, while wide receiver D.J. Montgomery (hamstring) and fullback Joe Kerridge (concussion) have been placed on injured reserve.
New York Jets Overall Offense
- Ranked 29th overall in 2018
- Ranked 30th overall in 2019
Passing attack: The Jets passing attack will be led by backup QB Siemian, who has receivers Robby Anderson, Josh Bellamy and Jamison Crowder to target.
Last week, New York’s passing offense ranked 31st in the league after only posting 155.0 yards through the air, and that was with Darnold under center.
Darnold was sacked 4 times in Week 1, something that will only get worse against the quarterback-hungry defensive line that the Browns are bringing into town.
Rushing attack: It’s all about the well-rested and highly-skilled dual threat back Le’Veon Bell.
After a year away from the NFL, it will take him some time to get back to full swing, but he had an okay start of it in Week 1 with 23 total touchdowns for 92 yards and a touchdown.
Bell only averaged 4.0 yards per touch in that game, which is well below his career average of 5.2.
New York Offensive Injuries
Listed as questionable for week 2: running back Le’Veon Bell (shoulder), wide receiver Braxton Berrios (hamstring), tackle Kelvin Beachum (ankle), wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (hamstring) and guard Brian Winters (shoulder)
Injury notes: starting quarterback Sam Darnold (mono) is listed as OUT for all of September and possibly the first few weeks of October, and wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (neck) has been placed on injured reserve.
>> Offensive advantage: Without quarterback Sam Darnold (see above) the Jets are at a huge disadvantage – now the Browns easily win the offensive edge.
Defensive Stats Offensive
Cleveland Browns Overall Defense
- Ranked 12th overall in 2018
- Ranked 9th overall in 2019
Pass coverage: The Browns defense in Week 1, when not committing penalties or kicking an opponent in the helmet, were responsible for 4 sacks but had no interceptions.
Cleveland’s pass coverage allowed Titans’ quarterback Marcus Mariota to complete 14 receptions for 248 yards and 3 touchdowns, including a 75 yard screen pass to Derrick Henry for a touchdown.
The Browns secondary allowed Titans’ receiver A.J. Brown to have a 3-catch, 100 yard game, so obviously a huge focus against the Jets will be to avoid letting them have those big plays.
Run coverage: Henry was a beast out of the Titans’ backfield, running the ball 19 times for 84 yards and a touchdown.
The Browns’ best tacklers in Week 1 were linebackers Joe Schobert with 7 and Christian Kirksey with 5 and safety Morgan Burnett with 5 tackles, as well.
Cleveland will be facing Jets’ dual threat running back Le’Veon Bell, who had 23 touches in Week 1 for 92 yards and 1 touchdown, but as he begins to warm up after his year off from football, he will be the Jets’ main offensive weapon.
Browns Defensive Players to Watch:
You have to check out their entire defensive line, monsters each one, from defensive ends Myles Garrett and Olivier Vernon to tackles Sheldon Richardson and Larry Ogunjobi, there will be sacks.
Linebacker Joe Schobert has the most tackles after one week with 8, playing the role of the defensive quarterback.
The Browns have no interceptions yet, but keep an eye on cornerback Denzel Ward – he’s in his second year after playing in the Pro Bowl as a rookie and he is extremely good.
Browns Defensive Injuries
Listed as questionable for week 2: linebacker Adarius Taylor (ankle)
Injury notes: N/A
New York Jets Overall Defense
- Ranked 29th overall in 2018
- Ranked 32nd overall in 2019
Pass coverage: The Jets pass defense did not do well against the Bills in Week 1, allowing quarterback Josh Allen to throw for 254 yards and a touchdown, though they had two interceptions in that game.
New York’s pass coverage was ranked 14th last week after allowing the Bills to average 6.9 yards per catch.
The Jets allowed the Bills’ best receiver John Brown to catch 7 balls for 123 yards, but they will face Beckham and Landry and will have their hands full on Monday night, especially if linebacker C.J. Mosley can’t suit up.
Run coverage: The Jets run coverage was ranked 25th in the league last week after allowing the Bills to run the ball for 128 yards.
They will be facing Nick Chubb Monday – look for them to struggle against him as they are having to split their game focus between the Browns’ run game and their highly skilled receiving crew.
Jets Defensive Players to Watch:
As far as tackling goes, there are 3 Jets defenders to watch, each with 8 tackles in Week 1 – linebacker Neville Hewitt and cornerbacks Trumaine Johnson and Darryl Roberts.
Linebacker Jordan Jenkins already has a sack on top of 3 tackles plus a forced fumble.
Hewitt and linebacker C.J. Mosley each have an interception this season, so they should be active (if healthy) against the pass-heavy Cleveland Browns.
Jets Defensive Injuries
Listed as questionable for week 2: safety Jamal Adams (hip), defensive end John Franklin-Myers (undisclosed), defensive tackles Quinnen Williams (ankle) and Steve McLendon (hip) and linebacker C.J. Mosely (groin),
Injury note: cornerback Mark Myers (undisclosed) and linebacker Avery Williamson (knee – ACL) have been placed on injured reserve and defensive Nathan Shepherd has been suspended for the next six games for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancing subtstances.
>> Defensive advantage: The Jets defense is so injured that the Browns have the advantage on Monday night.
Special Teams Stats Comparison
Cleveland’s punter, Jamie Gillan, aka the “Scottish Hammer,” is in his first NFL season and last week he punted 5 times for a net average of 46.6 yards per punt, which was the 5th best in the league.
New York’s punter, Lac Edwards, is in his fifth NFL season, all with the Jets, and last week he punted 7 times for a net average of 42.0 yards per punt, which was the 17th best in the league.
Cleveland’s placekicker, Austin Seibert, is in his first season with the Browns after beating out last year’s starter, Greg Joseph, in the preseason.
Seibert kicked no field goals in Week 1 and he missed an extra point attempt (1/2).
New York’s placekicker is now Sam Ficken, is in his third NFL season, first with the Jets.
Ficken was signed after the Jets’ prior kicker, Kaare Vedvik, missed an extra point kick and a 45-yard field goal in the Jets Week 1 loss to the Buffalo Bills by the score of 16-17.
Cleveland’s punt returner, running back Dontrell Hilliard, was ranked 1st in average punt return yardage last week.
Hilliard returned 1 punt for 18 yards.
New York’s punt returner, wide receiver Braxton Berrios, has had hamstring issues and didn’t return any punts in Week 1.
Berrios did return 1 kickoff for 10 yards.
>> Special team advantage: Both teams have newer placekickers so this would normally be a tie except the Browns have the Scottish Hammer punting, so advantage Cleveland.
Final Game Analysis
Why Will the Browns Win this Game?
The Cleveland Browns will beat the New York Jets on Monday night because they have a huge chip on their shoulder about their opening debut and they will be looking to take their humiliation out on their Week 2 opponent.
And the fact that the Jets are so injured, playing without their starting quarterback and possibly their best defensive players, Mosley and Williams, makes the Browns’ win a good bet.
In the AFC North, the Browns can’t afford to be 0-2, so look for them to do everything in their power to abuse the banged-up Jets.
Why Will the Jets Win this Game?
The only way the New York Jets will win this game is if the Browns do what they did in Week 2 and shoot themselves in the foot with penalties and impulsive passes.
Trevor Siemian is a good quarterback (some would argue that with his experience he is a better fit right now than a healthy Darnold) who will be looking to prove he belongs as the starter for now, so he could have the kind of miracle game that comes from that kind of elevated pressure.
Also, it’s quite possible that Le’Veon Bell could take over this game and go on an offensive rampage that the still gelling Browns can’t match.
>> This game goes to the: Cleveland Browns, who will win by 8.
Current Odds Listed for Week 2: Browns vs Jets
Check out the latest odds here, provided by New Jersey sportsbooks.
|Sportsbook||CLE Browns||NY Jets|
|Fox Bet NJ||-275||+230|
|Sportsbook||CLE Browns -6.5||NY Jets +6.5|
|Fox Bet NJ||-110||-118|
|Sportsbook||Over 45.5||Under 45.5|
John Breech of CBS Sports takes the over and predicts the score as Browns 26, Jets 23.
My prediction is take the over, final score Browns 28, Jets 20.