By: Luke Wondolowski
After a disappointing week one loss to the Titans by the score of 43-13, the Browns look to forget about last week andpick up their first win against the New York Jets on Monday Night Football. The Jets meanwhile, come off of a very close loss to the Buffalo Bills by a score of 17-16, meaning they’re also looking for their first win of the season, which becomes much more difficult without their starting quarterback Sam Darnold.
Injury Report: The Browns still can’t be taking the Jets lightly though as they are dealing with some key injuries of their own heading into tonight. Safety, Damarious Randall is out with a concussion as well as running back Dontrell Hillard. Guard Joe Bitono is questionable at the moment with an abdominal injury along with wide receiver Rashard Higgins who has a knee ailment.
For the Jets, the big blow to their team is of course Darnold, who’s out because of mono. Star RB Le’Veon Bell is currently listed questionable with a shoulder injury and was limited at practice on Friday but all indications are that he’ll play. The Jets won’t have key pass-rusher C.J. Mosley or rookie DL Quinnen Williams.
By the numbers: 48 Years. That’s how long it has been since the first ever Monday Night Football game was played, ironically, between the Browns and Jets. In honor of the NFL’s 100th season the league decided to throw it back to the classic matchup that started the Monday night tradition. For the Browns, it the team’s first MNF appearance since 2015, when they lost to the Ravens in painful fashion. That was the game Baltimore blocked the Browns potential game-winning field goal attempt and returned it 64 yards for a touchdown as time expired. Prior to that game, the Browns hadn’t been featured on Monday night football since 2009.
Keys to the Game
1) Play Mistake-free Football
The Browns had a record setting amount of penalties last week and that was the problem for them last week. When you commit 20 penalties and have 18 of them accepted against you it’ll kill any momentum you’re trying to establish. If the Browns want to win tonight, they’ll have to cut that number down significantly.
2) Defense, Defense, Defense!!!
What also hurts you when your defense gives up 43 points and 346 in total offensive yards in a game. The Browns defense needs to show up and put up a fight against a Jets team that is missing it’s starting quarterback. If they get scorched by Trevor Siemian something is seriously wrong with that unit.
3) Baker Baker Touchdown Maker
Baker had a rough first week back in the NFL. We all know that, but Week Two is an opportunity for him to bounce back and put any concerns over a sophomore slump to rest. When you go 25-38 with three interceptions there are going to be plenty of criticism. Baker needs to get back to playing the way he did last season and the Browns will be in good shape. Last week was a chance to shake off the rust, plus with his team down big he was taking some chances. I think he’ll be back to himself once again tonight.
Where to Watch: You can catch tonight’s game on ESPN at 8:15 EST, or you can listen to the game on 92.3, or on 98.5.