The Jets and Carolina quarterback Baker Mayfield have a unique connection to Cleveland.
Mayfield made his Carolina debut last Sunday against his old team, and the Browns held off the Panthers in a wild 26-24 victory when Cade York boomed a 58-yard winning field goal with just over a minute left. Mayfield had four fumbles, which he recovered, and he had a mediocre showing.
But it was Mayfield who made his NFL debut late in the first half against the Jets in Cleveland for injured starter Tyrod Taylor back in his rookie year in 2018. Mayfield rallied his team to victory, and he entered the NFL.
Now, the Jets will be back in Cleveland on Sunday, Sept. 18, to meet the upstart Browns after a flat performance in their 24-9 loss in their home opener to Baltimore last Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
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NY Jets vs. Cleveland Browns Betting Odds
The Browns opened as 4.5-point favorites for this one, and the line quickly moved up to 6 at most sportsbooks. Here are the latest sports betting odds.
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Jets Sticking With Joe Flacco
Head coach Robert Saleh announced that quarterback Joe Flacco again will be the starter despite his 37-for-59, 309-yard, one touchdown, one interception. Even though it wasn’t all the fault of the immobile Flacco, the offense was listless, scoring their meaningless lone touchdown in the game’s final minute.
Despite calls for backup Mike White to start, Flacco and offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur have to find the magic combination to get the Jets’ offense in gear and avoid an early collapse before Zach Wilson returns. LaFleur went strictly to the air in the second half against Baltimore, as his unit accumulated only nine rushing yards.
Second-year running back Michael Carter had some moments with 60 yards on 10 carries, but he vanished after halftime.
The Jets’ revamped secondary looked porous, as it allowed Ravens’ receivers to catch three wide-open touchdown passes from Lamar Jackson. Overall, the Jets’ run defense was sound, but the secondary again is the problem.
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A Closer Look at Each Team
Check this out. The Jets had more total yards, yards rushing, yards passing, total plays, total plays, and time of possession than the Ravens. What were the two big differences? The Jets were 2 for 14 on third down conversions, and also had two costly turnovers. Rookie running back Breece Hall lost the ball on a drive that could have changed the momentum. Vet Corey Davis had a workmanlike effort with six catches for 77 yards, and rookie Garrett Wilson showed some flash with five grabs for 52 yards. Flacco will need to get the ball downfield more often.
Kicker Greg Zuerlein made one field goal but missed one field goal and an extra point. His missed field goal also could have been a momentum shifter.
Jacoby Brissett, who is holding the place for Deshaun Watson, had an admirable showing in the opener. The kick start for the Browns was their running game spearheaded by Nick Chubb, who ran 22 times for 141 yards, and re-energized Kareem Hunt, who added 46 yards on 11 carries. They racked up 217 yards on the ground and Brissett was sacked just once.
Middle linebacker CJ Mosley, the soul of the Jets’ defense, led the way with 11 tackles. Linebacker Quincy Williams had six stops, while his brother Qunnen didn’t have any. The Jets’ front four had pressure early, but it flamed out. The unit finished the day with two sacks and four quarterback hits against an offense that wasn’t full strength and had an adequate day at best.
Cleveland limited Carolina’s Christian McCaffrey to 33 rushing yards and held the team to 54 yards rushing. Safety John Johnson had a team-high seven tackles. Edge rusher Myles Garrett was back in form with two sacks. The Browns sacked Mayfield four times and had six quarterback hits with an interception. That could spell trouble for Flacco or White.
Series History and Injuries
Cleveland leads the all-time series 15-13. The Browns have won three of the last five meetings, but the Jets have won two of their last three games in Cleveland.
For the Jets, safety Jordan Whitehead was listed as questionable with an ankle injury, and safety Will Parks was activated from their practice squad. Tackle George Fant (knee), and defensive end John Franklin-Myers (toe) did not practice Wednesday. Punter Braden Mann (back) and wide receiver Braxton Berrios (heel) were limited in practice.
Browns offensive tackle Jack Conklin (knee) and wide receiver Michael Woods II (illness) have been listed as questionable.
This should be a tight one. The Jets had all the numbers last week, but they didn’t execute. The key for the Jets will be the defense, which needs to pressure Brissett. They proved they can stop the run, but Chubb and Hunt will be a challenge. I like taking the points (6.5) here — Browns, 24-21.
AP Photo/Rich Schultz