A hyped up promising season for the Cleveland Browns did not get off on the right footing in Week 1. With a plethora of expectations under second-year starter Baker Mayfield, the Browns fell on their faces with a 43-13 loss. The Browns didn’t look prepared or ready to go against the Titans.
Tennessee were the aggressors throughout the contest and it looked like the Browns were caught off guard. They didn’t expect to see a Titans team flying around the field. Cleveland ultimately paid for it with a loss to open the season. While it wasn’t pretty, the good news for the Browns is that it’s only September 15th and there is a lot of time to get things straight.
The Browns had an extra day this past week to look at the tape and fix what went wrong against the Titans. From what I saw, Baker was just trying to make too much happen. He was forcing the ball instead of taking what the defense was giving him. The result was a poor stat line in Week of Baker’s first start in his second season as a professional quarterback.
He finished the afternoon with 1 touchdown pass and just 3 interceptions. Odell Beckham was decent in his debut, with 71 yards on 7 receptions. That was fine with the Titans, as they prevented him from going wild on their secondary. They were able to prevent the big plays and that’s all you can hope for against Beckham.
Not enough credit was given to the Titans’ offense last week, though. Don’t be mistaken, the Titans have a better offense than advertised now that Delanie Walker is back and a weapon like A.J. Brown. The Browns are not going to have to worry about a dangerous offense this week.
In fact, they’re not going to have to worry about a starting quarterback. Sam Darnold is out with mono, giving the way to former Bronco, Trevor Siemian. Siemian has starting experience and is a serviceable backup, but he was never a facilitator in Denver. Siemian was the definition of game manager. If the Browns bring the same effort to Monday night as last week, the Jets might have a case, though. Head below for our free Browns vs. Jets pick.
Cleveland Browns vs. N.Y. Jets NFL Week 2 Betting Odds:
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Browns vs. Jets Pick:
The Jets are not completely sure how long they are going to be without Darnold under center. I’ve seen everything from just a week or two, or potentially a career-ending diagnosis. No one really knows at this point, but we do know he’s going to be out this week at probably longer.
The onus falls on Siemian to get the job done for the Jets. The Jets were wise to acquire Siemian. Like I said, he’s a serviceable QB who has starting experience. This season would get ugly in a hurry if they didn’t have someone that has capable of running the offense. Siemian should be okay.
Having said all that, Siemian hasn’t taken a snap in the regular season since 2017 with the Broncos. He was the starter in Denver then and operated as their game manager, allowing the defense to win their games. Siemian threw for 12 touchdowns and 14 interceptions with 59% completions. Going from Darnold to Siemian is sizable step down and the offense was putrid with Darnold at the controls last week.
The Jets blew a 16-0 lead against the Bills, as their offense failed to kill clock and sustain drives after taking more than a two touchdown lead. That shouldn’t happen with Le’Veon Bell in the backfield. Bell rushed for 60 yards on 17 carries. The offense line is going to have to get a big push up front on Monday night. This game must be won by the line and Bell. Don’t expect Siemian to zip the ball around the yard.
It isn’t like the Jets have ample weapons in the passing game to help Siemian. They traded for an aging Demaryius Thomas to help, but that isn’t going to be nearly enough. Jamison Crowder led the Jets with 14 receptions for 99 yards last week. Other than Crowder, Darnold was just dumping the ball off to Bell underneath.
After a turbulent performance in Week 1, look for Baker and the Browns to get things together. While I’m not as high on Mayfield as a lot of mother people on there, he’s too much of a competitor to come out in Week 2 and look flat again. Cleveland likely garner the attention of people again, with a solid performance against the Jets in primetime on Monday Night Football. Look for a 10-point win for the Browns in this spot.