Well, it has been a week.
The Browns have been projected to hit 9 wins this year, while the Jets are currently looking at a projection of around 7.5. It is early (PRE SEPTEMBER 20th) but the Jets are already in must-win mode against Cleveland. If they are going to have any chance at making a push this season, this is the type of game they will need to win…even with Trevor Siemian under center.
Here are three things to know about the matchup….
1 – Do Or Die, For Real – We lightly joked about last week being a must win for the Jets….and well, they lost. Our seriousness level has increased this week in saying the Jets absolutely need to win this game. It is far from ideal to lose one fourth of your home games by the middle of the September and walk into the gauntlet of New England twice, Dallas and Philadelphia with a 0-2 record. Yes, 0-6 is very much on the table, regardless of who is under center, if the Jets cannot beat this Cleveland team at home. The Browns are a superiorly talented team on paper but were stomped at home last week by a likely to be 8-8 Tennessee Titans team and clearly have some things to figure out still. The Jets are fighting an uphill battle without Sam Darnold, Chris Herndon, Quincy Enunwa and potentially CJ Mosley but it is empty the tank, give Le’Veon 30 touches between carries and targets time to hang around for the “upset.”
2 – All That Talking – Gregg Williams fighting with Odell Beckham Jr is entertaining in a sport that should not take itself so seriously, although the Jets are not exactly equipped personnel wise to handle Odell or any of the other Browns receivers. This is also two of the three teams who haven’t made the playoffs in the past eight years sniping at each other, fresh off of embarrassing home losses running their mouth. REGARDLESS, the Jets need to be wise to Trumaine Johnson not being the player he was three years ago and Daryl Roberts being Daryl Roberts. Zone coverage and a more safe defensive approach needs to be part of the equation on Monday. It shouldn’t be the entire formula but 60 minutes of kamikaze blitzing and man coverage is going to lead to more points than the Jets could overcome with forcing turnovers from it.
3 – Strength On Weakness? For the 18th year in a row the Jets have a “great” defensive line on paper. Cleveland’s offensive line has been a mess throughout the summer and in week one. Baker Mayfield, like most, is not the same quarterback when you are regularly hitting him. He will throw the Jets some gimmes if they get after him. The Jets don’t just need to win this matchup, they need to dominate this matchup if they are going to win this football game. This is what they drafted Leonard Williams and Quinnen Williams for. This is what they paid Henry Anderson and Steve McLendon for. This is what they drafted Foley Fatukasi and Nathan Shepherd for (well, nevermind on that last one).
The Jets Win If: Trevor Siemian surprises with a few deep balls to Robby Anderson and Adam Gase gets creative with Le’Veon Bell and Ty Montgomery to spring a few more big plays. The Jets defensive line mauls Cleveland’s offensive line, forcing a shaky Baker Mayfield performance highlighted by multiple turnovers.
The Jets Lose If: Trevor Siemian endlessly checks down, completing 25+ passes for less than 200 yards. Le’Veon Bell isn’t put out in space as a receiver enough. The Jets secondary is left on an island and destroyed by Beckham, David Njoku and Jarvis Landry. The defensive line registers o-1 sacks…again.