Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Cleveland Browns Matchup Preview (11/29/20): Betting Odds, Depth Charts, Live Stream (Watch Online)
The Cleveland Browns (7-3) travel to Jacksonville to play a Jaguars (1-9) team with a 9 game losing streak. The Browns, meanwhile, look to keep their 2 win streak game alive and make the playoffs for the first in 17 years, the longest active drought in the NFL. If the Browns get upset on the road, it could spell disaster for their long-awaited season.
For odds movement and full matchup history, visit the Cleveland Browns at Jacksonville Jaguars Matchup Page.
Date: November 29th, 2020
Time: 1:00 PM ET
Location: EverBank Field – Jacksonville, Florida
TV Coverage: CBS
Jaguars vs. Browns Live Stream
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IR list: Josh Oliver (foot), Dontavius Russell (undisclosed), Leon Jacobs (knee), Ryquell Armstead (covid), Dede Westbrook (knee), Josh Lambo (hip), Josh Jones (chest), Chris Thompson (back), C.J. Henderson (groin), Josh Allen (knee), Daniel Thomas (arm), D.J. Hayden (knee), Chase McLaughlin (covid), Abry Jones (ankle), Shaquille Quarterman (knee), Chris Claybrooks (groin). Out: Chris Conley (hip), Sidney Jones (achilles), D.J. Chark (ribs), Andrew Norwell (arm). Questionable: Gardner Minshew II (thumb), Dare Ogunbowale (hand).
IR list: Grant Delpit (achilles), Trevon Young (undisclosed), George Obinna (triceps), Curtis Weaver (foot), JoJo Natson (knee), Odell Beckham Jr. (knee), Myles Garrett (covid), Andy Janovich (covid), Greedy Williams (shoulder), Joe Jackson (covid), Porter Gustin (covid), Sione Takitaki (covid). Out: Ryan Switzer (undisclosed), Denzel Ward (calf), Sheldrick Redwine (knee). Questionable: Wyatt Teller (calf), Andrew Sendejo (groin),
Jacksonville Jaguars Analysis
The Jacksonville Jaguars have clinched their third consecutive losing season after a 27-3 loss against the Steelers last week. Jacksonville was optimistic after their season opener when they upset a 7 point favorite Colts team. But little did fans and players know they are yet to earn their second win 11 weeks into the season. Their 9 game losing streak is only surpassed by the New York Jets with their 0-10 record. It is clear very little has gone right for this team.
Offensively, it should be no surprise that Jacksonville has struggled all season. Their 18.8 points per game (26th) and 327 yards per game (27th) both rank near the bottom of the league. There is probably fair criticism towards coaching staff and players, but injuries have really plagued this offense. Gardner Minshew II is the biggest example that comes to mind. The mustached fan-favorite quarterback out of Easton Carolina University has missed three consecutive games now due to a hand injury. In the 7 games he had played, he threw for 1855 yards, 13 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions. He had a fumbling problem; however, that cost his team an additional 5 turnovers. Backup Jake Luton had been less than incredible in his place. In his three games, he has thrown for 624 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 6 interceptions. No player in the league averages more thrown picks per game than his 2. In short, it has become clear Luton has not been the answer in Minshew’s replacement.
It should be no surprise; therefore, the coaching staff has decided to bench Luton for Mike Glennon in this game. Glennon has spent most of his career as a backup; in-fact, he had not started in a game since week 4 of 2017 when he was the Bears. He completed 21 of 33 passes for 218 yards, a touchdown, and 2 interceptions. The numbers were reflected in the 3 games previous games he started in that year, between which he totaled 3 touchdowns and 3 more interceptions. His team went 1-3 under his leadership. In the 22 total games Glennon has started, 13 of which in 2013 and 5 in 2014, his team has gone 6-16. His 20 interceptions have certainly played a role in his poor winning percentage. But Glennon is playing a below-average Cleveland passing defense that allows the 12 most passing yards per game (247.9); he will have his opportunity to prove he was better than his years starting several years ago.
The wide receiving core has also taken sizeable hits. DJ Chark was on his way to leading the team in receiving yards for a 2nd straight year and had aspirations for another pro bowl season. Then he injured his ribs and will miss his second consecutive game against the Browns. The ex-Chief, Chris Conley, is also injured and will miss this matchup. His 332 receiving yards this year are less than Chark’s yardage, but still ranks 3rd on the team. Conley was injured is dealing with a hip last week and has officially been ruled out in week 12. For Sunday’s matchup, the Jaguars will be without 2 of their 3 leading receivers.
Mike Glennon will need to rely on Keelan Cole Jr. and Laviska Shenault Jr. for the majority of his targets on Sunday. Keelan Cole Jr. has been a reliable target for Jaguars’ quarterbacks all year, reeling in 36 receptions for 453 yards and 4 touchdowns, including at least one reception in every game. Shenault Jr., on the other hand, will be coming back from a hamstring injury that has sidelined him for 2 weeks. Besides his week 9 matchup in which he left early, Shenault has caught at least 3 receptions in all 7 games he’s fully played in this year. They’re not a headlined duo in the NFL but could do something against this Browns defense.
Jaguars may also have to rely on James Robinson more than usual. The breakout running back star has rushed for 762 yards and 5 touchdowns, with an additional 249 yards and 2 touchdowns in the air. He has been nothing short of ridiculous for a team that has been struggling all year. Against a very tough Steelers defense last weekend, Robinson still managed to tally 73 yards on the ground. Against another strong Browns’ rushing defense that ranks 8th in the league (105), don’t rule out Robinson winning the battle.
The Jaguars defense is similar to the offense – statistically very bad but riddled with injuries. Their biggest loss was Josh Allen. The Pro Bowl defensive end led the team with 10.5 sacks last year, alongside 44 tackles and 2 forced fumbles. He was placed on the IR with other names like Abry Jones, Leon Jones, and rookie CJ Henderson. These were all starters. Without them playing, the Jaguars are now 29th in points allowed per game (29.8) and 31st in yards allowed (411.3). There’s a pretty even divide between their rushing and passing defense, so Cleveland will be able to pick pretty freely how they exploit this banged-up roster.
The Jacksonville Jaguars should not be as bad as their record indicates. A fully healthy roster and some improvement from Gardner Minshew II would easily make this team capable of a winning record. But Jaguars fans will have to wait until next season to see the full potential of this roster. Until then, they will have to suffer through the 2nd half of this season.
Jacksonville Jaguars Depth Chart
QB: Mike Glennon
RB1: Leonard Fournette
RB2: Ryquell Armstead
WR1: Chris Conley
WR2: D.J. Chark
WR3: Dede Westbrook
TE: <a rel=”noopener noreferrer” href=”https://www.lineups.com/nfl/player-stats/geoff-swaim”
Cleveland Browns Analysis
The Cleveland Browns are off to their best start since 1994. After 12 consecutive losing seasons, the Cleveland Browns just need to win 2 of their 6 games to end the streak, and just a few more than that to end the longest active playoff drought in the NFL at 17 seasons. Browns fans have never been more exciting or anxious. But they are playing a 1-9 Jaguars team this weekend that can’t seem to win games. If all goes as to plan, the Browns will be one step closer to January football.
Cleveland has the most volatile offense in the NFL. It’s worth pointing out that before last week’s matchup, the Browns had scored more than 30 or less than 11 points in every single game. That streak ended when they put a somewhat average 22 points against Philadelphia. But the unpredictability they have displayed this year needs justification. A strong reason may be found in a lesser-known stat known as explosive plays. Any run play that goes for 10+ yards or passes play that goes for 15+ plays is considered an explosive play—the Browns rank 2nd in explosive plays per play with 13%. In a Nick Chubb and Baker Mayfield offense, the swing for the fences offensive scheme only makes sense. But it’s a highly risky one, as the Browns have found out in the 4 games they have scored 10 or fewer points. Against Philadelphia last week, Mayfield could not connect on his throws, going 12 for 22. But it was still enough for his team to score 22 points against the Eagles defense and win the game.
Baker Mayfield has been a hit or miss quarterback. In his 10 games, he has 5 multi-score touchdown games and an active streak of 3 games without a passing touchdown at all. He has, however, cleaned up his interception problem pretty nicely. In his first two years in the league, Mayfield threw an ugly 14 and then 21 picks. This year he has just 7 through most of the season. His improvements have played a role in the Browns’ improvements this year.
But Cleveland is not a pass-heavy offense, to say the least. With only 27.8 passing attempts per game (31st), they rely on the run 3rd most in the league with 31.9 rushing attempts per game. Whatever Mayfield’s faults, his offense is arguably the least quarterback-centric. His 55.7% share of total offensive yards is astonishingly low. Running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt leads the team in yards from scrimmage, and it’s not very close. After Hunt’s 795 and Chubb’s 592, the next most scrimmage yards of any player is 478 from Jarvis Landry, this offense is literally carried by the Brown’s two rushers. The strategy doesn’t always work, with plenty of poor offensive points to show why, but it’s been enough to bring the team a winning record. Against the 9th worst defense against the run in Jacksonville (129.1), Hunt and Chubb are likely to be running all over EverBank Stadium.
The Cleveland defense has also been somewhat average. Their 26.1 points allowed per game (19th) and 352.9 yards per game (14th) both rank around the middle of the league. The Browns defense, however, will be without their pro bowl defensive end. Myles Garret leads the team in sacks (9.5), forced fumbles (4), and fumble recoveries (2). He will be a huge loss for this team as they face the Jaguars. They will hope the Mike Glennon, with his usual backup role, will now pose as too much of a threat in Garret’s absence.
Browns fans are in an unfamiliar position of having plenty to be excited about. They get big plays on both sides of the ball, plenty of talented players around, and a winning record. They may make the postseason for the first time in a long time. Browns fans have good reason to be one of the most excited as any fanbase in the NFL.
Cleveland Browns Depth Chart
Betting Corner: Cleveland Browns -7
Spread: +/- 7
Moneyline: -320 Browns, +260 Jaguars
Spread: -7 Browns
Moneyline: -320 Browns
I’m taking the Browns in this one to cover the 7 point spread. The Jaguars have been too bad this year for running backs Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb to not take advantage. With the Jaguars on to their third-string quarterback with Mike Glennon, their offense similarly looks like a disaster. The Browns are not a perfect team, with an average defense and a very hit-or-miss offense, but I think it will be enough against a banged-up and underperforming Jacksonville team.
That being said, I don’t think this will be a very high scoring game. It’s no secret the Jaguars will score fewer points than usual with their new quarterback at the helm, and the Browns do have a tendency to score 10 or fewer points in almost half their games. Betting the under is a safer bet, in my view.
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Daily Fantasy Love/Hate
Love: Kareem Hunt
Either of the Browns’ running backs will have a good game in my opinion, but Hunt has been having the better season. His 147 for 644 yards both lead over Chubb. At his RB9 overall position, Hunt will remain a good start against the league’s 9th worst rushing defense (129.1).
Hate: Mike Glennon
There may be some fantasy managers who take a shot with Glennon. That will be especially true in the deep season-long league and daily fantasy leagues. But I don’t see the value in the risk. He has been a turnover machine in the few starts he’s had, with 20 interceptions in his 22 games.