Jets @ Browns; Week 2 Game Preview/Matchups to Watch
- New York Jets (+6.5) @ Cleveland Browns (39.5 O/U)
- Date/Time: September 15th, 2022, 1:00pm EST
- Location/Weather: FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland, OH (84℉, 10-15 mph winds, 6% chance of rain)
- Announcers: CBS, Spero Dedes, Jay Feely
- Referee: Tra Blake
Browns Home Openers, Since 2018
- 2018: L vs New Orleans Saints, 21-18
- 2019: W vs New York Jets, 23-3
- 2020: W vs Cincinnati Bengals 35-45
- 2021: W vs Houston Texans, 31-21
- 2022: vs New York Jets, ?
- Cleveland leads series 15-13-0
- Last Matchup: 2020, Jets win 23-16
- Jets have won 6 of their last 8 matchups
Matchups to Watch
CB Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner vs WR Amari Cooper
- Gardener got off to a fast and impressive rookie debut where he allowed a total of 1 catch for 8 yards, while locking up Mark Andrews in man coverage often. Now, he draws a polished route runner in Amari Cooper. Can Sauce put together another “lockdown” performance and suppress the former Pro-Bowler?
LB C.J. Mosley/Kwon Alexander vs RB Nick Chubb/Kareem Hunt
- After gashing the Panthers defense for over 180 rushing yards combined last week, the dynamic running back duo of Chubb and Hunt look to duplicate against the Jets defense. With S Jordan Whitehead listed as a game-time decision for Sunday with an ankle injury, the responsibility of containing the run will primarily fall on Mosley and Alexander. Can New York limit the Browns’ rushing attack after holding Lamar Jackson and the Ravens to only 63 yards on the ground?
Jets OL vs Myles Garrett/Jadaveon Clowney
- Last week in their win over the Panthers, Myles Garrett totaled 6 pressures and 2 sacks. He is going to be active early and often, so the offensive line as a unit needs to key in on where he is lined up on every snap. Sliding protections toward his side is good for so long, because then Clowney has opportunites to get into the backfield and create problems. Perhaps they will bring more tight ends in to help chip on the edge, but offensive line coach John Benton and offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur will need to get creative on how to stop this duo.
Keys to Victory
- Run defense needs to be as stout as it was against the Ravens. Jordan Whitehead’s injury is a big factor in how well they perform. Can Quinnen Williams build off a great first game, where he scored his highest PFF grade in his career of 92.4?
- Get QB Jacoby Brissett moving off his spot. The defensive line was able to force pressure last week, but will need more in order to impact Brissett. While he is not the athlete that Lamar is, he will still use his legs to make plays, and the defense needs to be cognizant of that. If they are able to contain Brissett, who completed only 52.9% of his passes last week, the chances of coming away with a win go way up.
- Don’t become lopsided and one-dimensional on offense. The run game worked well in the first half last week, but was abandoned when the point deficit became too much. If Flacco is dropping back to pass again on every snap of the 4th quarter (1 run play on 45 offensive plays vs Ravens), the Jets will not be able to keep it close until the end. Rely on Michael Carter and Breece Hall to carry the load and help mitigate the Browns’ daunting pass rush.
- WR Garrett Wilson will score his first career TD
- RBs Breece Hall and Michael Carter will combine for 125+ yards rushing
- The Jets will win the turnover battle
The Browns are another extremely talented roster, especially on defense. Myles Garrett is a game-wrecker if given the chance, so the Jets offensive line needs to have the answers on how to stop him. QB Joe Flacco will need to get the ball out of hands quicker than he did against the Ravens in order to have a chance.
I still don’t feel confident predicting a Jets win, but I do, however, think they will be more competitive this week. This game could very well come down to who has the ball last, but until we actually see results, it’s hard to pick the Jets to win. I’m choosing Cleveland in a close one.
- Score: Loss, 17-14