This week, the Browns will face the Jets on primetime television. After a chaotic week last week, the team will use Gang Green as a measure of trying to rebound and get in the win column.
Does that sound familiar? A very similar scenario played out last year, where the Browns ended their winless drought (albeit one of a significantly lengthier period of time) on primetime TV against the Jets.
Of course, both teams have changed quite a bit since then. Let’s have a look at what’s in store on Monday:
The hometown Jets:
Most notably, the Jets lost Sam Darnold for this affair due to having recently acquired mononucleosis (colloquially known as ‘mono’). In his stead, young journeyman Trevor Siemian seems in line to get the starting nod.
This is Siemian’s fifth season as a pro, though he last played in live action backed in 2017 as a member of the Denver Broncos. Last season saw him holding a clipboard during games for the Minnesota Vikings, where he never logged a single snap. In his career, Siemian holds a 59.3% completion percentage alongside 5,686 passing yards, with a 30:24 TD-INT ratio. He’s also been sacked 64 times in a total of 16 games as a pro.
The Jets are coming off of a miserable loss at home last week to their division rival Buffalo Bills. They began up 16-0 before allowing 17 unanswered points – the go-ahead very late in the 4th quarter – in a crushing defeat. They could never get much going out of prized offseason acquisition LeVeon Bell, rushing 17 times for just 60 yards and no scores on the day.
Alternate notable offseason pick up CJ Mosley’s status also seems iffy after he left the Bills game early and he is now ruled as OUT as well as Quinnen Williams. The aforementioned Bell’s shoulder also got dinged up in that contest, to the point where both are listed as questionable. While Bell’s recent social media activity and head coach Adam Gase’s comments suggest they will probably be good to go, if either or both men missed this game, it would represent two critical losses in this primetime showdown.
The visiting Browns:
Right now, Baker Mayfield’s status for Monday’s game with a hand injury doesn’t seem in question. He recently practiced without a wrap, with no limitations, and had no particular issues. Aside from that, one of Mayfield’s favorite targets in Rashard Higgins is in a murkier state of affairs. According to Scott Petrak of the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram, Higgins was a limited participant in Thursday’s practice due to a nagging ankle injury that significantly slowed him down in Week 1. Finally, the Browns’ offensive line could potentially be in a lot of trouble, as Pro Bowl guard Joel Bitonio is listed as questionable with an abdomen injury and DB Damarious Randall out with a concussion.
Like the Jets, the Browns are coming off a horrendous home opener. Unlike the Jets, the Browns at least never really gave any sort of hope beyond the first drive of the game that they would actually win the game, going up 6-0 early before playing themselves into a terrible 43-13 defeat. After nearly setting an NFL record for penalties and penalty yards, the Browns will look to be more disciplined in Monday’s affair.
The last time these two teams met, the Browns took home victory for the first time in over a full season, by a score of 21-17 in Cleveland. Though the circumstances are different, the end objective is the same. The Jets would hate to lose their second home game, and second overall game, of the season, while the Browns’ chances of contending for the playoffs would be on life support at best following a loss on Monday. Such fuel will light the fire of what should be an exciting primetime football game.