The Browns’ goal is to simply stay afloat until Deshaun Watson’s suspension ends, and that’s exactly what they did in a narrow week 1 win over Carolina. The Jets, coming off a forgettable loss to the Ravens, will head to FirstEnergy Stadium looking to pull an upset and avoid starting 0-2 for the fourth consecutive season.
Let’s make predictions, dive into the depth charts, and examine the odds ahead of Sunday’s matchup in Cleveland.
New York Jets vs. Cleveland Browns Betting Odds
The Browns enter as 6-point favorites over the Jets at -230 on the moneyline. The over/under is set at 40.5 points, the lowest of any Week 2 game.
The Browns might have to become used to playing close games until Watson returns. The offense isn’t overly impressive with Jacoby Brissett at the helm, but the defense is solid enough to prevent any blowouts. A predictably listless Week 1 performance by the Jets, however, was enough for Cleveland to settle in as a pretty decisive favorite ahead of Sunday.
New York Jets vs. Cleveland Browns Prediction
I’m not picking a Joe Flacco-led team to win. Flacco is 3-16 in his last 19 NFL starts, with no wins since 2019. While he wasn’t abysmal against the Ravens and tends to avoid costly turnovers, his arm isn’t enough, and his total lack of mobility is a problem in Mike LaFleur’s offense.
I do think the Jets showed some serious signs of life defensively. New York’s young, fast defense could make life difficult for a one-dimensional Browns offense. Sunday’s loss to Baltimore was close for a half because the Jets’ defense wasn’t intimidated by Lamar Jackson. I expect New York to keep this game close to the end with Brissett under center for Cleveland.
At the same time, the Browns’ defense should overmatch Flacco. This unit sacked Baker Mayfield four times on Sunday, and the Jets’ offensive line looks far from settled. If Cleveland can limit Michael Carter, who was a rare bright spot for the Jets’ offense in Week 1, New York likely won’t have enough in the tank to pull out a win.
- The under is 5-0 in the Jets’ last 5 games in September. The Jets haven’t won a game in September since 2018, largely because they just don’t score enough. Week 1 didn’t give any indication that the trend will end soon.
- The Browns are 6-2 ATS in their last eight home games against a sub-.500 team. Cleveland tends to take care of business against lesser competition.
- The under is 6-0 in the Browns’ last six games against sub-.500 teams. Though the over/under is the lowest of any game this week, the under is still worth considering given both of these teams tend to play low-scoring games.
New York Jets Injuries: Tackle Duane Brown was placed on IR with a shoulder injury and is out. Quarterback Zach Wilson remains out with a knee injury.
Cleveland Browns Injuries: Cornerback Greedy Williams is out after he was placed on IR with a hamstring injury. Left tackle Jack Conklin missed Sunday’s opener as he recovers from a 2021 knee injury, but he was a game-time decision and has a chance to return this week.
Check out the key matchups and mismatches for Jets vs. Browns below.
Browns Pass Rush vs. Jets Offensive Line
The Jets’ line didn’t look too stable in Week 1. Joe Flacco was sacked 3 times (in his defense, he did throw 59 passes), and his inability to move out of the pocket consistently hurt the Jets. Flacco’s lack of mobility means the Browns’ potent pass-rush can affect the game even without racking up sacks.
Myles Garrett played like Myles Garrett in Week 1, sacking Baker Mayfield twice. Jadeveon Clowney got in there for a half-sack, and safeties John Johnson III and Ronnie Harrison even registered a half-sack when the Browns brought the house against Mayfield. With Duane Brown on IR, New York’s offensive line needs to make genuine progress to hold up against Cleveland’s defense.
Michael Carter vs. Browns Run Defense
A few weeks ago, the prevailing thought was that rookie Breece Hall would be the Jets’ top running back this season. Enter Michael Carter, the second-year back who got more work on the ground than Hall in Week 1 and outshined the rookie. Carter ran for 60 yards on 10 carries, including a pair of nice breakaway runs. He finished with 100 total yards from scrimmage.
The Jets’ offense might run through him this week, so he needs to make a bigger impact than Christian McCaffrey did against this Browns defense in Week 1. Cleveland held McCaffrey to 33 yards on 10 carries, plus a modest 24 yards on 4 receptions.
While the secondary made some mistakes, the defense won the game because it limited McCaffrey’s impact. If the Browns can similarly keep Carter in check, it’s tough to see much scoring potential for the Jets’ offense.