Thursday Night Football this week takes us to Cleveland where two teams will be playing that are coming off of very tough week twos. The Jets of course dominated the Lions in week one, but they cam crashing back down to Earth on Sunday against the Dolphins. And it’s been pretty well documented what happened to the Browns with their kicking woes against the Saints that ended in them losing 21-18, in a game they probably should’ve won.
Jets offense vs Browns defense
This will be Sam Darnold’s second career start on the road, but he will be facing a much better defense in this one than he did in week one against the Lions. The Browns are however dealing with some injuries in the front seven as it looks like both Christian Kirksey and Emmanuel Ogbah will be missing this game.
It’ll be important for the Jets to get the running game going this week like they did in week one to take pressure off of Darnold, but that won’t be easy against the Cleveland defense, even with the injuries to Kirksey and Ogbah in the front seven.
Damarious Randall is also questionable for Cleveland in the secondary and even if he can play, he won’t be at 100%. That will help Darnold out against a secondary that’s been pretty solid through it’s first two games against much more dynamic offenses in the Steelers and Saints.
Even with some of the injuries the Browns defense is dealing with, I’m going to give the advantage to Cleveland in this battle. I think the Browns front will be able to put some pressure on Darnold and force him into some turnovers.
Jets defense vs Browns offense
The Cleveland offense hasn’t been amazing so far this season, granted some of their kicking problems have cost them the chance to have more points on the board than they would’ve had they been solid in the kicking game through two weeks.
I really like the Jets defense though and think they could really give the Cleveland offense some problems.
Getting a running game going with Duke Johnson and Carlos Hyde will be paramount because if they’re going to rely on Tyrod Taylor to throw the ball the whole game and win the game I don’t like their chances. That’s just not the kind of quarterback that Tyrod Taylor is.
I think much like the inverse of this matchup, the Jets will be able to put some pressure on Tyrod Taylor and possibly force some turnovers.
Jarvis Landry being able to give it a go is a huge deal for the Cleveland offense.
It’s noted the kicking problems the Browns have had this season and this week they are going with a new kicker in Greg Joseph, who is a rookie. Greg Joseph might end up being a good kicker, and it’s hard to be worse in the kicking game than the Browns have been this season, but Jason Myers is a more proven kicker, which means I’m going with the Jets in this matchup.
I think this will be a close low-scoring game that will come down to just a few plays here and there. With the Browns being at home and having the veteran quarterback of these two teams has me leaning towards them winning.
The kicking game however is a concern in a close game, and some of the front seven injuries hurt, but I’m still going to say they find a way to win their first game since Christmas Eve 2016.