Ok… I was wrong.
I honestly thought that the Browns would come into this game against the Jets and beat them like an ugly stepchild and get out of New York with a win. What I did not expect was for COVID to rear its nasty virus head and the Browns would lose the entire starting receiving core, two starting linemen and a few other players.
Nevertheless, the Browns still had to play the game. The Jets, on the other hand, clearly wanted to play spoiler. Had the Browns won and seeing the Steelers rally to beat the Colts, this column would have looked a lot different. Alas, this game gave the Jets their second win of the season.
As disappointing as this loss was the Browns still played with the “next man up” mentality. The Jets knew the Browns had to rely on the run game and did everything in their power to stop a powerful Browns rushing attack and it worked. Browns QB Baker Mayfield did everything he could to make a suddenly depleted offense work as the Jets stopped the run game and made Mayfield throw the ball. He would finish the game 28/53 for 285 yards, no touchdowns and a fumble that ended the game. Browns RB Nick Chubb would only get 11 carries for 28 yards and one touchdown. Browns tight end Austin Hooper would lead the receiving charge with seven catches for 71 yards.
This loss dropped the Browns from the fifth seed to the seventh seed because of wins by Miami and Baltimore. The Steelers clinched the division with their win over the Colts, so next week is do or die for the Browns. The Steelers will be coming to town to face Cleveland and have a possible rematch in the first round should the Browns win. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin did not answer if he would rest his starters or not, so I expect this game to be tough and go down to the wire.
FINAL PREDICTION: The Browns win at home and get in on the last game of the season. It’s a true nailbiter in every sense of the word. 20-17 Browns!!