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Game Previews Tom Kiss

Week 8: New York Jets at Cleveland Browns

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by Tom Kiss

Last week saw the Jets play their best and most complete game of the season.  Chad Pennington spread the wealth with completions to seven different receivers and Leon Washington gave the home crowd at the Meadowlands a big hello by rushing for 129 yards and two scores.  Defensively, the Jets continued to struggle against the run and looked lost against the Detroit Lion no-huddle offense late in the game.  At 4-3, the Jets have won as many games in seven weeks as they did the entire 2005 season.  

When the Jets have the ball:
This year, the Cleveland Browns have given up an average of 144.2 yards per game on the ground which, believe it or not, is worse than the New York Jets.  This will again be the focus of the Jets offensive attack.  Get the running game going and you can let Chad do what he does best, work of the play action.  The Browns are ranked 10th in the league against the pass, however the loss of starting cornerback Gary Baxter for at least a year will affect their pass defense. 

The Jets will try to get Laveraneus Coles some more catches as the Browns will be playing with second string defensive backs.  Though they will still double cover Coles for much of the game, Coles should be able to find some more openings to work with than he had in the Lion game. 

When the Browns have the ball:
Much like every other game the Jets have played, look for the Browns to try and run wild on the Jets.  The Browns, however have lost their offensive coordinator with the resignation of Maurice Carthon, a former Jet coach under the Parcells regime.  They have replaced him with Jeff Davidson, formerly the offensive line coach.  The question persists, was Carthon holding the Browns offense back?  Was he keeping quarterback Charlie Frye on a short lease?  These questions will be answered this week, and the Browns will run a much more aggressive offensive philosophy.

Reuben Droughns will continue to get most of the carries, while Browns head coach will see what Charlie Frye can do, working off multiple play action pass plays.  Braylon Edwards, the very young and very talented Browns receiver will look to take advantage of the Browns success on the ground with his receiving counterpart, third year tight end Kellen Winslow.

Match up to Watch: Jets C Nick Mangold vs. Browns NT Ted Washington
Washington is everything the Jets need defensively, a big nose tackle who can clog the middle of the field. This will be the Jets rookie center’s biggest challenge.  Look closely to see if Mangold gets the offense a good push off the snap.  The Jets need Mangold to have a good day offensively.  Washington can be a dominant force in the running game, and Mangold will certainly have a tough job on Sunday, although Mangold should continue to be a steady performer this week.

Prediction:
Jets 27 – Browns 17

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