Here are some quick hits to get primed for the Jets matchup in Cleveland…
The Browns are the last winless team in the league at 0-7, the worst start for a team since Oakland in 2014.After starting the season with five straight games against .500 or better opposition, Cleveland is the second of four straight games the Jets have against opponents currently with more losses than wins.
Chan Gailey has said the Jets ideal game plan would be to limit Fitzpatrick’s attempts, despite Cleveland ranking 30th in pass defense DVOA.
Matt Forte touched the ball a season-high 34 times last week. Expect him to be featured heavily again with success as Cleveland ranks 30th in run defense DVOA.
What will Gailey’s ideal plan mean for Bilal Powell? His four touches last week is the lowest total for Powell since Week 2.The Browns this past April managed 14 draft selections, including five in the first three rounds (they had 3 third rounders). Next year they have two picks each in the first two rounds, and can expect another extra 2nd rounder in 2018. In a few years it’ll be an intriguing comparison to see where the Browns find themselves with the “tear it up, start from the bottom” approach compared to the Jets’ current build-on-the-fly plan.
Josh McCown starts his first game for Cleveland since Week 2. In two years with the Browns he has started 9 games, thrown 14 TD passes, completed 63.4% of his passes, thrown 6 INTs, and fumbled 10 times.
Muhammad Wilkerson is questionable again after missing last week. His status is worth monitoring as the Jets played their best defensive game (and in more 3-4 looks) without him last week.Who will be the backup QB? Fitzpatrick is unlikely to be benched for performance related reasons this week, but it still is worth keeping an eye on. The decision has potential consequences for later in the season and Fitzpatrick’s reckless style will always leaves room for a backup cameo. It was Week 8 last year that Fitzpatrick missed most of the game with an injury.
Cleveland’s running game has been quietly effective this season. The Browns offense is one of just three in the league currently averaging at least 5 YPC as a team.
After 25 targets in the first three games, Quincy Enunwa has only 23 targets over the last four games. Will the Jets get Enunwa more involved against an opponent that is 31st in defensive DVOA against #2 receivers and 30th in defensive DVOA against TEs?
Expect Cleveland to try and attack the Jets downfield with Terrelle Pryor, one of this season’s biggest surprises. The Jets remained vulnerable here last week, despite an overall much better performance.
The Browns are the weakest opponent by far the Jets have yet played and arguably will play all year. The Browns, welcoming a two-win team to their stadium and looking at the rest of their schedule, are probably thinking the same thing.