The Jacksonville Jaguars (1-6) will play host to the Cleveland Browns (7-3), marking their second consecutive game against an AFC North opportunity. Shockingly for this meeting, one of the two teams are in position to make the playoffs while the other is on the brink of elimination, however, the game has a chance to be competitive for many reasons.
Here are a few things to know about the Jags and Browns as we get closer to Sunday’s matchup:
QB Mike Glennon gets his first start since 2017
Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
The Jags' quarterback situation has probably been the worst in the league as they went from Gardner Minshew II, to sixth-round rookie Jake Luton, and now, journeyman quarterback Mike Glennon. With Luton struggling in his last two starts (Week 10-11) and Minshew (thumb) not ready to return yet, Doug Marrone announced that he'd be turning to the veteran this week When looking at how his career has gone, the announcement of Glennon starting hasn't exactly excited the fan base, but evidently Marrone feels like he gives the Jags the best chance to win. Since entering the league as a third-round selection for the Tampa Bay Bucs in 2013, he's registered 22 starts with his last occurring on Week 4 of 2017 with the Chicago Bears. In those games he's also garnered a completion percentage of 60.9% (488-of-801) for 5,163 yards, 36 touchdowns, 20 picks and a quarterback record of 6-16. If there is any silver lining with Glennon getting the nod it's the fact that the Browns' defense isn't nearly on the level of the Steelers ranking 14th overall. Additionally, the team will be down several starters on defense, which brings me to my next factor to consider about Week 12's game.
COVID-19 is effecting both teams in a big way right now
Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
The Browns and Jags will be overcoming hurdles provided by COVID-19 on Sunday. The Browns have had various players test positive in the last two weeks, many of which are pass-rushers. The most notable was Myles Garrett, who is the Browns best pass-rusher, but won't play Sunday. The player who is behind him on the depth chart, Porter Gustin, was the most recent player to test positive, which made the team close down their facility for the third consecutive day on Thursday. Both players will join fullback Andy Janovich, linebacker Sione Takitaki, and defensive end Joe Jackson as players to recently test positive for Cleveland. Offensive tackle Chris Hubbard also tested positive on Nov. 13, but was recently activated . As for the Jags, they will be without three defensive coaches due to the NFL's COVID-19 protocol as NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported that there was a positive occurrence on the coaching staff. That news came after defensive line coach Jason Rebrovich missed Week 11's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers and contracting pointed out that three coaches should work remotely. One of those coaches will be defensive coordinator Todd Wash, which led to special teams assistant, Mike Mallory, getting the chance to coach the defense in practice. Defensive backs coach, Joe Danna, will call the plays Sunday against the Cleveland Browns as the game is still scheduled to be played at its normal time and date.
The Jags lead the all-time series vs. the Browns
Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports
These two teams have met 17 times and the Jags own the series with a 12-5 record. That includes three consecutive wins in the last three meetings for the Jags. The last meeting between both teams occurred in 2017 where the Jags would defeat the Browns 19-7 in Cleveland during what was a magical season for Jacksonville. Their meeting before that (2014) took place in Jacksonville and was 24-6 victory in favor of the Jags. When playing Cleveland at TIAA Bank Field, the Jags are 5-3, so Glennon at least has history by his side. The Jags also have the scoring title in their favor with the Jags registering 382 total points to the Browns' total of 253.