Monday Night Football: Week 2 Preview

Cleveland Browns at New York Jets

MetLife Stadium

East Rutherford, NJ

Betting

Bovada currently has the Browns as 7 point favorites (EVEN) and at -290 on the Moneyline. The Over/Under is currently set at 45 (-110) so Bovada doesn’t see this one being a barn-burner. Sportsbooks are expecting the Browns to grab the lead early and pound the rock in order to run out the clock, creating a low scoring affair.

Injuries

Everyone. Okay, not everyone… but close! 

The Browns have already ruled out backup runningback Dontrell Hilliard which means that Nick Chubb will be in line for a plethora of carries in a game where the Browns should win. There is a problem though as starting LG Joel Bitonio is currently questionable to play, which would mean former Packers player Justin McCray would be in line for the start. Wide receiver Rashard Higgins is also a late addition to the injury report. On the defensive side of the ball, starting linebacker Adarius Taylor has been ruled out meaning Mack Wilson will have to step up big time for this Browns defense. Even bigger though is starting safety Damarious Randall being ruled out as he is the leader of this Browns secondary that will see the Jets throwing the ball all night long.

The Jets will be without starting QB Sam Darnold as he has to be quarantined thanks to mono. Meaning backup QB Trevor Siemian will have to lead the Jets offense that has loads of injuries and questionable players. Starting runningback Le’Veon Bell is questionable to play which would leave converted wide receiver Ty Montgomery to handle the bulk of the carries. Whoever is running the ball for the Jets might have problems finding running lanes as the Browns defensive line is stout and both Kelvin Beachum and Brian Winters are questionable to play which would leave the Jets with only ⅗ of their starting offensive line. And that’s not all for the Jets! Starting wide receiver Quincy Enunwa was placed on the IR with a neck injury, newly acquired wide receiver Demaryius Thomas is questionable with a hamstring, and slot receiver/return man Braxton Berrios is questionable as well. So the depleted receiving corps includes the following healthy players: Robby Anderson, Jamison Crowder, Joshua Bellamy, and… that’s it. Wow. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! On the defensive side of the ball, starting nose tackle and rookie sensation Quinnen Williams is ruled out and his backup, Steve McLendon, is questionable. Also, starting linebacker C.J. Mosley is ruled out. Sheesh.

New York Offense vs. Cleveland Defense

A Trevor Siemian led offense isn’t going to garner much, and the fact that his line and pass catchers are all hurt does not bode well for the Jets. This offense will be much different than what we saw last week so it is safe to say that those stats will have no impact here. The best bet for the Jets is if both Bell (the teams best player) and Thomas (played with Siemian in Denver) play through their respective injuries and give the backup QB someone to give the ball to before his replacement lineman get him killed.

Myles Garrett is going to FEAST this game. Already established as one the premier pass-rushers in all of football, Garrett gets to attack a damaged Jets line that could lack an explosive backfield threat like Bell. We can assume Denzel Ward and rookie Greedy Williams will have a fun time high-pointing bad passes and coming down with an INT or two. The Browns under performed last week, but have an excellent match up to bounce back tonight. 

Cleveland Offense vs. New York Defense

After a disappointing game last week, the Browns offense will look to take advantage of a poor Jets squad that is riddled with injuries. Chubb will be busy as the Browns are expected to take the lead early. But, OBJ will need to get going so that the critics can be quiet about his performance. The Browns were one of the favorite teams to bet on to win the Super Bowl this season and if last week was what we are going to get from the Browns all season… a lot of bettors are going to be unhappy. Baker Mayfield needs to put last week behind him and light up the scoreboard tonight so that the Browns can get rolling before a tough stretch of games in the coming weeks.

For the Jets, to put it bleakly, they just need to leave this game healthy. The Jets defense will be on the field often thanks to poor offensive play on their end so they’ll need to force some turnovers. They had success doing just that this past week but still ended up losing the game. If the defense plays like they did last week, they can make this game competitive.

Prediction

Browns: 24

Jets: 10

Guaranteed Touchdown Scorer: OBJ

Dart Throw Touchdown Scorer: Ty Montgomery

Conclusion

Who do you think will survive tonight’s game and come out victorious? Let me know in the comments below!

-Mitchell Seefeldt

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