Waiting For Next Year
Browns (0-1) vs. Jets (0-1)
Where: MetLife Stadium – East Rutherford, NJ
When: 8:15 PM EST, Monday, September 16th
Weather: Around 70 degrees, partly cloudy, wind 3-5 MPH
Last Meeting: September 20, 2018 – Browns won 21-17
Betting Line: Browns -6.5; O/U 44
Both teams lost at home in week one in quite different fashions. The Browns, in one of their most highly anticipated games in a long time, were steamrolled by the Titans thanks to an astounding number of penalties and poor offensive line play. The Jets jumped out to a 16-0 lead in the third quarter, then proceeded to give up 17 unanswered points and the victory against Buffalo. For the Browns, this is their first Monday Night Football game since the infamous kick-six against Baltimore in 2015. Last year’s matchup between these two teams saw Baker Mayfield make his debut, leading the Browns from behind for their first win since 2016 and beginning a tremendous rookie campaign for Baker.
Storyline to watch: Sam Darnold is out for 3-7 weeks after being diagnosed with mononucleosis. Trevor Siemian will start for the Jets.
Need for discipline: The Browns took 18 penalties for 182 yards against Tennessee, including left tackle Greg Robinson’s disqualification after kicking Kenny Vaccaro in the head. While 18 is an unprecedented amount of penalties and will probably not be reached in the near future, the need for the Browns to show discipline on Monday is evident.
Baker bounce back?: Baker Mayfield threw three interceptions while also taking a sack for a safety against the Titans. This performance was not entirely Mayfield’s fault as he was under pressure all day, even bruising his hand during the game. I would expect Baker to have a bounce back performance in week two.
Stopping the run: Le’Veon Bell is expected to play (shoulder) in this contest and had a strong first week against the Bills, rushing for 92 yards and catching a receiving touchdown. Myles Garrett, Sheldon Richardson, and the rest of the Browns front seven will have their hands full with Bell. The Jets will likely run the ball more without Darnold.
Kicking woes: Austin Seibert missed an extra point in week one. Last year on September 16th, Zane Gonzalez happened and the Browns lost.
Injury Report: Outside of Darnold, the Jets are missing key pieces such as WR Quincy Enunwa (neck, IR), LB C.J. Mosley (groin), and DL Quinnen Williams (ankle). New acquisition Demaryius Thomas (hamstring) is questionable for Monday’s game. For the Browns, CB Damarious Randall (concussion) and RB Dontrell Hilliard (concussion) are out. WR Rashard Higgins (ankle) and G Joel Bitonio (abdomen) are questionable.
Score Prediction: I expect the game to be a bit of a defensive struggle with the Browns winning 20-13.
Staff Picks: Jakob Rosati – 21-7 Browns; Braden Wagle – 24-13 Browns; Ryan Sullivan – 27-10 Browns; Chi Okare – 34-13 Browns