THEY DID IT!! Finally, the Browns won an opener beating the Carolina Panthers 26-24 in what was many peoples “Super Bowl”. The truth is, the Browns haven’t won an opener since 2004. Every year, every season opener, the Browns were reminded that we have won one opener since 1999. But all of that is behind us now. The Browns are 1-0 and looking to go to 2-0 for the first time since 1993.
This game scares me. The Jets are not a good football team, and these are the type of games the Browns have typically lost. Coming off an emotional win where you had a lot to play for, this Jets team is a team that you should be able to beat handily. As long as the Browns can improve and the rust is knocked off, I think we should win this game fairly easily. But is the rust gone? I think so.
The offense scored two touchdowns courtesy of Kareem Hunt. The highlight for the offense of Week One was the rookie kicker and Special Teams Player of The Week Cade York, who kicked four field goals which includes the 58-yard game winner. Nick Chubb ran for 141 yards. Jacoby Brissett looked better as the game went on.
The Browns offense should be much better now that the starters have played a full game together. Brissett engineered the final drive to get the Browns in field goal range where he made some tough throws. If he is going to be more of that guy, as opposed to the first quarter where he missed some throws that were easy touchdowns, then the Browns will be fine. The Browns must find a way to get David Njoku more than one target, but I think coach Kevin Stefanski will have no trouble incorporating him into the game plan.
The offense got out of Carolina with no injuries and could be getting Right Tackle Jack Conklin back this week. All in all, while there are some concerns about how good Brissett will be, this offense isn’t going to just completely be bad. Coach Stefanski’s offense works. It gets people open. And with the Running Backs the Browns have in Chubb and Hunt, the Receivers and Tight Ends should have plenty of opportunities to make some plays.
We knew coming in the Browns defense would be the strength of this team. Myles Garrett has started his trek toward DPOY with two sacks and a forced fumble against the Panthers. Grant Delpit recorded an interception, and save for two miscommunication plays, the defense really dominated the Panthers. Cleaning up the miscommunication, this side of the ball will be a strength all year. The Jets don’t have a player as dynamic as Christian McCaffrey and the browns really bottled him up (10 carries 33 yards 4 receptions 24 yards). Outside of a broken play, the Browns defense didn’t allow any big plays to McCaffrey. That will be the key against the Jets. While they have Garret Wilson who is a dynamic rookie receiver from The Ohio State, the Jets will not be running out elite playmakers at other positions. While Joe Flacco is 17-3 against the Browns, Flacco has lost his last eight starts. This isn’t a prime Joe Flacco. With Zach Wilson still recovering from the knee injury he suffered in the preseason, Flacco has been called to start. Last week Flacco was 37-59 throwing the ball for 307 yards. Most of those passes were to his RB’S Michael Carter and Breece Hall. They combined for 13 catches and 78 yards. The reason Flacco threw so much to the is because the Jets O Line is struggling. This is where the Browns should be able to really have success. With Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney occupying so much of the attention, the Browns should be able to get to Flacco early and often and make things very uncomfortable for the veteran.
All in all, while I am nervous about this game, I’m pretty confident the Browns will win. The Jets are a young team with a lot of flaws, and no real threats or game changers. The odds have the Browns as 6.5 favorites and I think they will cover that easily. I have the Browns winning 33-17 and moving to 2-0 for the first time in 29 years. The atmosphere will be electric as this will be the home opener for the Browns and Brownie the Elf will make his debut on the field. I believe the team will feed off the energy of the crowd and cruise to victory.
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