The Cleveland Browns look for a bounce-back win vs the New York Jets on MNF, and no one is under more pressure than coach Freddie Kitchens.
First-year Cleveland Browns coach Freddie Kitchens is on the hot seat. No, he doesn’t have to worry about getting fired, rather, his season very well could be hanging in the balance on Monday Night Football against the New York Jets.
Stats don’t lie. If you go 0-2 to start the year, you’ve got about a 10 percent chance of making the postseason. Go 1-1, and your odds bump up to 50-50.
Browns fans have spent the day freaking out over whether Cleveland can beat the heavily depleted Jets and it’s because you, me and your grandma don’t know this team is going to respond under Kitchens.
Titans’ defensive back Malcom Butler told Browns receiver Jarvis Landry Cleveland had “No heart” after basically giving up in the fourth quarter in Week 1. Combine that with the 18 penalties for 182 yards, guys punching and kicking opposing players and you wonder if it was a coincidence Kitchens has been a running backs coach for the bulk of his career.
Kitchens is also under the gun as a play caller as its fair to wonder if the first-year coach is juggling too many responsibilities. The run game was virtually abandoned when the Titans game was still in the balance.
Throw the fact that Kitchens is going up against Gregg Williams, who was interim head coach while Freddie was calling plays, and you’ve got another angle to look at. Williams seems offended he wasn’t given proper consideration for the gig Kitchens eventually got. Hard to blame Williams, because at 5-3, he’s the winningest coach the Browns have had in a long time, interim or otherwise.
Fortunately, Kitchens has Baker Mayfield and if the 2018 No. 1 overall pick is as good as we all think he is, the Browns should be able to walk into MetLife Stadium and get the win.
In fact, it shouldn’t be close. The Jets are without their quarterback, Sam Darnold, in addition to their best defensive player, C.J. Mosely.
Everyone wearing those decent Browns’ glasses passed out at Training Camp had the Browns going to the Super Bowl. And while we were biased, many a member of the national media, while didn’t deliver a Vince Lombardi Trophy to Berea, though the Browns could contend for a playoff spot.
National pundits came to this conclusion because the Browns are talented. Yes, it’s strong on paper, but it should also be strong on the field. Failing to live up to expectations IS something coaches lose their job over and this ownership group isn’t shy about pulling the trigger after one year. Ask Rob Chudzinski.
We all root for Kitchens. He may be from way down south in Alabama, but he looks like us. He talks like us. He has the same passion for the Browns we have…
Ultimately, the Browns are just better than the Jets and it’s for this reason the Browns get their first win of the year in the Meadowlands.
If not, look out, because this runaway train ain’t coming back to the station.
Here’s hoping Freddie puts all the doubts to rest and a win against New York will go along way to quiet the storm.