After another awful start to the 2017 season, the 0-4 Browns will look to add a notch in the win column.
This was a game I had originally marked as a win for the Browns in my preseason pick ’em. As well as others, but this was supposed to be a guarantee. Well the Browns are definitely worse than I expected, and the Jets are surprisingly better than I had expected.
As always, the play of rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer will dictate this game. The running game has not been very good, and Kizer has been asked to carry the load. A task he has done pretty well at times, but his untimely, drive killing interceptions have really crushed the offense. If Kizer can sharpen his accuracy, and stop turning the ball over, there could be a good opportunity to expose a weak passing defense of the Jets.
It doesn’t all fall on Kizer though. His receivers have dropped a lot of passes. They’ve dropped passes for first downs, they have dropped passes in the end zone for touchdowns, and have also helped kill drives by being unreliable. The running game had been anemic as well. Duke Johnson has played pretty well in the opportunities he’s been given and actually leads the team in receiving. Isaiah Crowell has not been able to really get going yet this year. In his four games, he has only a total of 134 yards on 46 attempts for an average of 2.9 yards per carry. I would like to see Johnson get a few more carries today, and see if he can provide a spark for the offense.
Today we will also see the debut of number one overall pick, Myles Garrett. Hopefully he is going to be 100% today, and make an impact on the defensive line. There should be an improvement in both the pass rush and the run stopping abilities with his presence on the line. His ability to get to the quarterback and disrupt the timing could force a few turnovers and disrupt the Jet’s offensive attack.
The Jets have had a pretty good passing attack, but have had a very nice run game so far this year. All three of their running backs are averaging over four yards per carry, and have been good at staying ahead of the sticks. Wide receiver, Jermaine Kearse is having a nice year as well. He has 182 yards so far on 18 receptions with two touchdowns. If he can separate himself from the Browns secondary, he has the potential for a big game.
The Browns have been a big disappointment so far, and I think the disappointment continues today. The defense has played pretty well at times, but have been put in a lot of bad situations thanks to an offense that can’t take care of the ball. As a result, they are on the field too much and just getting worn down. Originally, I thought the Browns would win this game 24-16, but after what I’ve seen from this team, I don’t think I can stick with that. I think the Jets have been a much better team than the Browns, and they will win this game 27-21.
Keys to the game:
- As always, Kizer needs to protect the ball, no more turnovers.
- Myles Garrett needs to be an impact player immediately. Get to the passer and stop the run.
- The Jets need to keep pounding the ball on the ground, stick with what works.
- Keep getting the ball to Kearse. He has big play capabilities, and the Browns secondary has been very weak.