NFL nut Kyle Brown (@Kyleianbrown) runs the rule over the Thursday night NFL clash between New York Jets and Cleveland Browns.
New York Jets @ Cleveland Browns | Friday 21st September 2018, 01:20 | Sky Sports
When the Cleveland Browns take on the New York Jets on Thursday evening, it will have been 635 days since they last managed a win.
However, had a different kicker been given the responsibility for the Browns in their opening match-ups, they would more than likely have come away with two triumphs against the Steelers and Saints. It really is a game of fine margins.
Zane Gonzalez is gone after missing five kicks in those opening games, and to avoid getting your ear chewed off, don’t say to any self-respecting Browns fan that he deserves some sympathy. He failed at his job, miserably, and quite rightly finds himself collecting an unemployment cheque.
Even still, the Browns go into this game as three-point favourites, but I don’t think that that number does them justice. Kicker aside, you could argue that the team itself is 2-0.
If that were their actual record, then make no mistake, the handicap line would be around the six or seven, and so the Browns -5.5 (11/8 SkyBet) is worth a poke.
Jets crash and burn
After a stellar first performance, Sam Darnold and his New York Jets crashed back to earth with a poor showing against an underrated Miami Dolphins side. They were wrongly pegged as favourites due to the bandwagon hype that followed from Week 1.
On most draft boards this year, Darnold was a lock to go to Cleveland. Now he has a chance to show them why they were wrong to pass on him as the franchise QB.
He threw for 334 yards and a score last week – but with the Jets having to chase the game from start to finish, those numbers are slightly inflated. He is a serious talent and in time I can see him leading the Jets to continuous playoff berths, but for now he is a rookie adjusting to life in the NFL.
Landry will have a field day on Thursday
The biggest winner from this match-up should be Jarvis Landry.
He’s received the most targets from Tyrod Taylor through Week’s 1 and 2 (22) and has 175 yards and a touchdown to show for it.
This week he will face coverage from Buster Skrine (and the fact you probably haven’t heard of him should highlight how big his match-up advantage is). He’s missed the sixth most tackles in the league last year, and tops that leaderboard so far in 2018.
Landry will have a field day with hi so take him to go over 65.5 receiving yards (10/11 SkyBet).
Browns to hold firm in defence
One last thing to mention is that the Cleveland defence are legit.
Holding the Saints to 21 points and the Steelers to 18 with seven sacks across the two games marks serious improvement from last year, and they finally have an offence that can stay on the field long enough to give them a proper break.
I think Darnold will struggle with the intensity that Cleveland will bring, and will end up having to settle for field goals if they get a sniff at the red zone and so New York Jets to score under 15.5 points (13/8 SkyBet) appeals.
Just to be clear, I think the Browns will win. In another universe they’d be 2-0 and looking to make it three but life isn’t always fair.
The kicker issue has been addressed and I see no reason why they won’t give the city a reason to celebrate come full-time.