They do this fantastic thing in European soccer called “relegation”, where the worst teams from the best divisions move down to a different division, and the best team from the worst divisions move up to the better ones.
They also do this thing in European soccer where if you get slightly brushed by an opposing player you collapse to the ground in fits of falsified pain.
It’s a good thing the NFL isn’t European soccer.
If it was, the Browns would be the first team relegated and everyone knows it. They’re at the bottom of everybody’s power rankings and the simple truth is that they seem to get worse every game, a feat rivaled only by EA’s Madden franchise.
The Debut of Myles Garrett
So are the Browns going to turn it around this weekend?
It’s a possibility. Myles Garrett makes his regular season debut and Dany Shelton also returns to the line. Linebacker Jamie Collins is listed as doubtful for the game and Kenny Britt is also not expected to appear.
Three of those things are very good for the Browns.
— Conor Agnew (@theconoragnew) October 4, 2017
The Jets Secret to Success
The Jets come into this game after winning back to back games against the Dolphins and Jaguars. The majority of their offensive success has come from running the football and using Josh McCown for short passes.
A look at Josh McCown’s passing chart by NFL Next Gen Stats. The key to his success this season is that the Jets aren’t asking him to do too much; the majority of the offense comes through the running game. With Myles Garrett and Dany Shelton back, the Browns are in decent shape to stop that running game.
If the Browns can force the Jets to try and beat them through the air, they can put the onus to win this game of Josh McCown, which is the last thing the Jets want.
On the other side of the ball, there’s been all this talk about how the Browns need to run the ball. People are disgruntled at Crowell’s stagnant start to the season and fingers are being pointed at Hue Jackson and his playcalling.
The thing about the Browns running game is that Hue Jackson and company are trying to establish the run early on, but defenses are shutting it down. Every defensive coordinator in America has seen how terrible the Browns passing attack is, and they’re forcing the Browns to beat them through the air. The fault isn’t all on Crowell and Hue Jackson. Track how often the Browns attempt to run the football in the first quarter of Sunday’s game.
It won’t be pretty, but the effort will be there.
Players to Watch
Can you tell the Browns are excited to watch this rookie make his debut?
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) October 8, 2017
The Browns have been blitzing quarterbacks a ton this year, but have been actually getting to quarterbacks less than almost any other team. They’re bringing the requisite bodies, but they’re not fast or physical enough to get the sacks.
Myles Garrett is both fast and physical enough, and even on a “pitch count” he’ll be one of the most dynamic players on the football field.
If the Browns can hold Powell to under 100 yards in this game, they’ll have gone a long way to getting their first win of the season. He was the biggest piece of that Jets’ offense last week, so Cleveland has to shut him down if they want to get the win.
The Browns are at home, they’re getting back two of their strongest defensive pieces and on paper can content with the Jets if they can contain Powell.
If the Cleveland Browns lose this game, I can’t in good conscience pick them to win another game for the rest of the season.
With that being said, you have to give the Browns the slight edge. It’ll be close, it’ll be hard to watch, but this is the time for Cleveland to rise to the challenge and show that this latest rebuild is heading in the right direction.
New York Jets: 16
Cleveland Browns: 17
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