Know Your Opponent: Week 8 at Cleveland Browns

Matthew Stalker with a Know Your Opponent for the Cleveland Browns…

After the team’s first win since Week 2 when facing the Buffalo Bills, the New York Jets will travel to Cleveland for their Week 8 match-up where they will face the Cleveland Browns on Sunday afternoon. Let’s get to know the Jets’ opponent for Week 8…

QB – Josh McCown
RB – Isaiah Crowell
WR – Terrelle Pryor Sr.
WR – Andrew Hawkins
WR – Rashard Higgins
TE – Gary Barnidge
LT – Joe Thomas
LG – Spencer Drango
C – Cameron Erving
RG – John Greco
RT – Austin Pasztor

The Cleveland Browns have had nothing but trouble at the quarterback position in 2016.  After starting the season with Robert Griffin III and losing him to injury, Cleveland has lined up five different players behind center through their first seven games: Josh McCown, Terrelle Pryor, Charlie Whitehurst, Cody Kessler, and Kevin Hogan.  It appeared as though Hogan would make the start against the Jets, but back under center for the Browns on Sunday will be McCown.  McCown suffered a collarbone injury in Week 2 against the Baltimore Ravens.  The Browns will need to look to their two leading performers on offense: Isaiah Crowell, who has rushed for 495 yards, four touchdowns and has caught 12 passes for 107 yards, and Terrelle Pryor who has 35 receptions for 431 yards and three scores and has rushed the ball eight times for 21 yards and a touchdown.  McCown also seems as though he is the only quarterback on the Browns that can utilize tight end Gary Barnidge properly, so that should help the team as well.  Unfortunately for the Browns offense, the offensive line has played sub-par.  They have allowed 21 sacks of the six quarterbacks so far this season, so the Jets’ defensive line should look to feast upon that group.

DE – Jamie Meder
NT – Danny Shelton
DE – Carl Nassib
OLB – Emmanuel Ogbah
ILB – Demario Davis
ILB – Christian Kirksey
OLB – Cam Johnson
CB – Joe Haden
FS – Tracy Howard
SS – Ibraheim Campbell
CB – Jamar Taylor

The Browns defense simply is not good.  Cleveland currently ranks 31st in the NFL when it comes to total defense (allowing 425.6 yards per game) and 30th in scoring (allowing 29.6 points per game).  Opposing quarterbacks are 157-for-241 throwing the ball (65.1% completion percentage) with 2,000 yards, 18 touchdowns and six interceptions.  They have allowed 979 yards rushing on 207 carries (4.7 yards per) and seven touchdowns.  If the Browns look to get their first win of the season against the Jets, this squad will need to step up big.  With Ryan Fitzpatrick back under center for the Jets, things could get interesting.

Special Teams
P – Britton Colquitt
K – Cody Parkey
LS – Charley Hughlett
KR – George Atkinson III
PR – Duke Johnson Jr.

Cleveland’s special teams unit hasn’t been much a factor thus far in 2016.  Returning the ball, the Browns have a total of 11 punt returns for 67 yards and 12 kickoff returns for 200 yards, no touchdowns.  Punter Britton Colquitt has had plenty of work with this offense struggling.  He has punted the ball 34 times for a total of 1,587 yards (46.7 average, longest punt of 65 yards).  Between the two kickers, Cody Parkey and Patrick Murray, they have made nine of thirteen field goals and 11 of 12 extra points.

Jets 20, Browns 17
Record: 2-5