How the Cleveland Browns beat the New York Jets

·5 min read

It is almost gameday as the Cleveland Browns look to improve to 2-0 against the New York Jets. This comes off of a Week 1 victory against the Carolina Panthers thanks to a Cade York last-minute field goal.

The Browns will hope from a little more firepower from the passing game, while searching for the status quo from their running game. Defensively, they come off of an overall dominate game that was overshadowed by four bad plays (including two blown coverages). As the Browns continue over the next 10 games with Jacoby Brissett at quarterback, they will be looking to tighten up their game a bit more tomorrow afternoon.

What are the keys to winning this matchup against the Jets? We take a look here.

Protect the Football

The Cleveland Browns did not turn the football over a week ago against the Carolina Panthers. Stand-in quarterback Jacoby Brissett did, however, put the football in harm’s way a couple of times though, getting a good share of turnover luck in his favor.

This offense just needs to continue taking care of the football. A year ago they found themselves in so many games that turned negative due to ugly turnovers. As long as that does not happen this year, and the offense does not put the defense in disadvantageous situations, the Browns should be okay in this one.

You can trust Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt to keep the football tucked, but Brissett has to play a bit more within himself when he gets out of structure than he did a week ago. It would also help if he hit his layups this week as points were left on the board despite scoring 26 a week ago.

As long as the offense feels like they are in control and are not forced to play from a deficit, Stefanski can continue to work his magic of controlling the clock and staying in front of the chains. Joe Woods’ defense is good. They have a favorable matchup in the trenches and tout one of the most talented secondaries in the league. Keep them in plus territory and let them work.

No more Blown Coverages

Among the most frustrating of issues the Browns had early last season, and that showed up in Week 1, are the blown coverages this secondary has let slip through the cracks.

Over the back seven games a year ago, this secondary was dialed in and flying to the football. It looked as though they had their communication skills worked out as Greg Newsome, John Johnson III, Grant Delpit, and Denzel Ward had never played together before. Yet this year they have no excuses to continue to let this happen as coverages were blown twice against the Panthers.

Point blank: this secondary is far too talented to let mental lapses prevent them from reaching their true potential. Sure, it was Week 1, but Johnson III bragged all summer about how cohesive this group is. It is time for them to prove it on the field.

Myles Garrett and company should not have too much trouble getting pressure (as they were not forced to work extra hard a week ago either), but if Flacco is given free runners downfield he will find them. This defense had the Panthers’ offense locked down for all but four plays a week ago, and they cannot let lapses continue to muddy overall dominant performances.

Do your job in the back half and let the big boys up front go to work.

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Forcefeed Kareem Hunt and David Njoku in the Pass Game

A week ago, the Browns asked their highly paid tight end David Njoku to stay in and block more frequently than participate in passing concepts. And he did a splendid job as his coaching staff raved about the effort Njoku showed on the day against the Panthers.

However, you do not pay one of the most athletic tight ends and mismatch nightmares in Njoku to stay in and block. And as the Jets boast a poor linebacking corps and safety duo, he will have his opportunities to make his presence felt this week. Lamarcus Joyner, Jordan Whitehead, C.J. Mosely, and Quincy Williams all graded out quite poorly in Week 1 against the Baltimore Ravens.

Feed Njoku.

Additionally, Kareem Hunt was used as a swiss army knife for the Browns a week ago, filling the role of the bridge guy between the passing game and run game. They found mismatches for him against linebackers down the field (Brissett missed him), and were quite creative in getting Hunt involved in the game.

As one of the stronger points of the Jets’ defense is their cornerback duo of D.J. Reed and fourth overall pick Sauce Gardner, the Browns would be better off targeting those linebackers and safeties with their duo of mismatch weapons in Njoku and Hunt.

Pressure, Pressure, Pressure

The offensive line for the Jets is abysmal.

Not only is former first round pick Mekhi Becton out for the season, but the guy they signed as a stop-gap in veteran Duane Brown is also on Injured Reserve. This leaves journeyman right tackle George Fant in a position where he has slid over to left tackle, while fourth round rookie Max Mitchell steps in as the starting right tackle for the Jets.

With Garrett just 1.5 sacks from the franchise record in career sacks, he should be salivating at this. His defensive line coach Chris Kiffin has reported that Garrett is locked in, and this is great news for the Browns. This leaves Jadeveon Clowney to feast on the rookie as well.

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Woods tends to only rush four on passing downs, letting his back end do the work, but with Flacco at the helm, and against this offensive line, he may be more inclined to get after the quarterback a bit more often. Guys like linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah and safety Grant Delpit can get downhill in a hurry. Even Johnson III had a sack a week ago.

Look for Woods to be in his bag against the Jets.

Story originally appeared on Browns Wire