The New York Jets are a bad team, which is why the Cleveland Browns should be mindful of them.
When it comes to teams the Cleveland Browns have not had a great history with in recent memory, it’s the New York Jets. In 2020, they defeated the Browns after Cleveland lost all of their key wide receivers due to COVID protocols, resulting in one of the most uneven offensive outsing the Browns have had in a long time.
And they didn’t have a kicker the caliber of Cade York to bail them out in that game either. The Browns lost that contest 23-16, and saw just one receiver break 16 yards on the day. That one receiver was Ja’Marcus Bradley, who caught five passes for 60 yards on 11 targets. A rough day by the Browns.
Much of that team offensively is gone. Now a new quarterback with new weapons is in, but the Jets pose the same problem in 2022 as they did in 2020. A game where they may fall into a trap.
The Cleveland Browns can’t afford to take the New York Jets lightly
The Carolina Panthers cost themselves the week one contest against the Cleveland Browns due to their boneheaded penalties. If not for those key mistakes, the game very easily could’ve been a big win by the Panthers.
The Panthers are a much better team than the Jets, but the Browns have had a historic issue stopping deep passes across the middle, and while Joe Flacco is no longer a reliable starter, he could do some damage. As the old saying goes, he may not be as good as he once was, but for one game he could be as good as he ever was.
Just because Flacco is no longer a starter, doesn’t mean he can’t still hurt the Browns deep. Our safeties are not good and have not been good since they were acquired. This isn’t a statement of needing to see more of them. Ronnie Harrison has been here for close to three seasons, we know what he is and isn’t. Same thing for John Johnson III. Grant Delpit has been exposed since being cleared to play, and while the Jets don’t have the same caliber of weapons as the Panthers, mental mistakes are not dependent on opposing talents.
A breakdown in coverage could turn a medical receiver into Randy Moss in a heartbeat. The Browns are very much playing themselves on Sunday. If they don’t make any mental mistakes, they should win. It’ll be a largely boring affair, but a victory is very possible.
What should excite Browns fans is the fact the Jets’ offensive line is probably even worse than the Panthers’. Both of their starting tackles, Duane Brown and Mekhi Becton are out against the Browns, which means that Myles Garrett should feast on the backups.
Garrett got gassed in the second half of the game last week in Carolina, but the heat and humidity should be far more manageable in Cleveland on Sunday, so his legs should stay under him longer. Still, the Jets are once again poised to upset a team they shouldn’t be able to beat.
The offensive line is hurt, the quarterback is hurt, and there are no standout playmakers to rely on. Most of the team’s offense is made of mostly rookies and second-year players. They’re unknowns. That means the Browns could take come in a bit lackadaisical, and maybe cough up a win.
So being mindful of that danger should keep the Browns on their toes. Should, being the operative word, as the Browns have a history of falling into these trap games.