It’s MNF tonight in the preseason, as the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns take the field in Cleveland. It was quite the ugly display in both games on Sunday, with the only offense Atlanta could muster up was from Matt Ryan on the first series of the game. One sure touchdown delivered by Matt Simms was dropped in the end zone, and then a screen that looked like it was going to go for 6 was dropped, too.
The cherry on top of the game for the Falcons was a no look pass by Simms in the 3rd quarter which went straight towards two Steeler defenders for an easy INT. This was immediately after Josh Dobbs tossed them a gift. It looked like he tried to look his receiver off, but failed to zone-in before he let the pass fly. Good quarterbacks have the ability to read multiple areas on the field, Simms’ mind was decided before the ball was snapped.
The brunt of the Steelers’ offense came from a punt return for 6 points. Ugly game and pathetic drives other than the opening Matt Ryan series. We hope for something a little more attractive tonight, but it is the preseason after all so don’t hold your breath. This is a rather important preseason for the Browns, well both teams for some players in particular, but more so the Browns because of the quarterback battle they have going on in Cleveland. Eli Manning is the clear starter for the Giants, no debate there, but the Browns have some deciding to do before Week 1 of the regular season.
The future at quarterback may be on the Brows’ current roster. DeShone Kizer I am looking at you. The former Notre Dame product is fighting for the starting job in just his first-year as a professional. Kizer never really dazzled me in his college career, but he did carry the Fighting Irish numerous times.
I just think he’s a guy who will need time to adjust. He looked good in his first preseason game, but it’s the preseason. He passed for 184 yards and a touchdown to lead the Browns to a 20-14 win over the Saints. Kizer needs time to grow, however, he could be thrown into the fire if Brock Osweiler fails to deliver. Brown fans will be quick to scrutinize Osweiler who wasn’t really meant to be here to begin with. Cody Kessler rounds out the quarterback tree in Cleveland.
It’s been an ugly preseason for me. In any event, if you get upset over losing a preseason bet then you’re betting too much. Preseason wagering is supposed to be for entertainment value, like I said at the beginning of Week 1. Mostly, though, I like it because it provides a glimpse into the depth on rosters which could be used for the regular season. Losing is never fun though, so let’s hit a winner tonight and head into Week 3 of the NFL Preseason on a bright note.
N.Y. Giants vs. Cleveland Browns Betting Odds:
Under 39 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Giants vs. Browns Pick:
The Giants have a host of quarterbacks behind Manning looking for a job. Two of which I have a hard time believing they’re still in the NFL. I still think Geno has a couple more years to prove himself as a backup in the NFL, but from his past work he could just as easily be watching from home at the moment. And then there’s journeyman Josh Johnson, who has been with ten different teams since his debut in 2009 with the Buccaneers. If you want to include the Sacramento Mountain Lions of the UFL that makes it eleven.
Smith and Johnson failed to impress in preseason game number 1, a 20-12 loss to the Steelers. Johnson hit 50 percent of his passes, and Geno threw an interception on 10-of-16 passing. Rookie out of Cal, Davis Webb, will most likely hit the practice squad.
If, however, Geno and Johnson continue to play really badly, Webb could sneak up and challenge for the backup job. I’m not high on quarterbacks that ran shotgun offenses in college, and Webb rarely went from under center at Cal or Texas Tech. Jared Goff is still in the process of trying to shed his air-raid tendencies and get into pro-style mode. For a guy like Webb who wasn’t as talented as Goff coming out of college, he will need even more time to adjust.
The moral of this story is that if Eli goes down for a significant amount of time their season is done. Manning and the first-team will get more than a quarter of action on Monday night, including the defense. After Manning exits, I think this game could get pretty ugly to look at. The Browns’ offense should be a disaster from the opening kick, and the G-Men will catch up once Geno or Josh Johnson enters the game. If there’s anything on the Browns that will look good tonight, it will probably be the defensive unit. I expect slop and punts tonight in this one. The UNDER looks like an attractive option, in what should be a low-scoring 17-14 type of game.
PICK: UNDER 39 (-110)