The Cleveland Browns have a lot to prove against the depleted New York Jets.
The Cleveland Browns have a rare opportunity to start the NFL season 2-0 for the first time since some guy named Bill Belichick was the coach of the team in the 1990s. This was a time before the Tennessee Titans, before the Houston Texans, and even before the Baltimore Ravens. This was a time when the number of NFL teams was in the 20s, not the 30s.
This was a time long ago, and the Browns have a chance to render that memory into just that, a memory, by making some new history. The Browns, typically, won’t have the advantage on and off the field heading into a lot of these games this year, but due to the Jets’ offense being hit with major injury after major injury, the Jets may have too much to overcome.
The Browns should be the odds-on favorite to win on Sunday but these are the three reasons why we think they’ll get the win.
Three reasons the Cleveland Browns will defeat the New York Jets
The Browns’ defensive line can get after Joe Flacco
The New York Jets offensive line is wrecked like a Ford Pinto in a demolition derby. If they can stay upright and put enough bodies in front of Myles Garrett, they may slow him down but this offensive line isn’t stopping anyone. It’s a fair bet that Cade York could get a sack against the Jets’ offensive line at this point. Maybe with Zach Wilson, the Browns would have issues getting to the quarterback but Joe Flacco is so slow, he still hasn’t hit the ground from the last time he got sacked by the Ravens.
The running game should be, at worst, mildly effective against the Jets’ defense
The Jets’ defensive line is shockingly good, but it’s still a matchup of five on four, and the Browns should be able to get traction and space going with any matchup like that. Ethan Pocic is ranked garbage against the pass, but he’s a solid run blocker. Not great but unless he’s forced to deal with Quinnen Williams, he should look fine. The problem comes down to Kevin Stefanski passing when he shouldn’t and that may be why the running game stumbles. It may not be given enough time, or the Jets may just start cheating against the pass and stacking the box. Assuming that doesn’t happen, the Browns should be able to win this game alone on the ground.
The Jets don’t have the same big play potential as Baker Mayfield and the Panthers
Say what you will about Baker Mayfield, he has a cannon for an arm and at any point in time, he can throw a deep ball that breaks your defense back. The next time Flacco hits someone 30 yards downfield may very well be the first time. Flacco isn’t a big-play quarterback and arguably never was. He was always accurate and rarely made mistakes during his prime but that’s not the Flacco the Jets have. This Flacco is more akin to, well, Jacoby Brissett. So it should be one interesting game to watch.