Jets travel to Cleveland to face Browns in Thursday night game
September 20, 2018 10:07 AM
by Bob Christ
Every once in a while the NFL schedule makers give a team one of their infamous atomic wedgies. This week the victims are the New York Jets, who will be in Cleveland for Week 3’s Thursday night game.
The Jets, behind rookie QB Sam Darnold, will be playing their second consecutive game on short rest. And, for the first time in five years, a team will be required to play three games in an 11-day window.
Just don’t expect members of the 1926 Duluth Eskimos to offer sympathy. They once played three road games in a span of four days. They didn’t win any of them.
Now for a closer look at Thursday’s game. The odds are courtesy of Westgate Las Vegas.
New York Jets (1-1) at Cleveland Browns (0-1-1)
Time: 5:20 p.m. PT
Line: Browns by 3 (40)
Facts: This marks the second time in the past 38 games the Browns are a favorite. They were 1-point choices at Indy last year and lost 31-28... Jets RB Isaiah Crowell is eighth on the rushing chart with 137 yards, averaging 6.2 a carry. He was the Browns’ top back 2014-17... Cleveland leads the NFL with a +6 turnover edge and eight takeaways (five shy of last year’s total). Last season, the Browns were last in the in turnover margin at minus-28... Cleveland fired PK Zane Gonzalez, who helped cost them a 2-0 start. He shanked a FG try in OT in an opening tie vs. Pittsburgh and last week missed two PATs and two FG tries in a 21-18 loss at New Orleans. In his place will be rookie Greg Joseph from Fla. Atlantic... The Jets revved their pass rush last week with four sacks of Miami’s Ryan Tannehill in a 23-17 loss. A week earlier, they had zero sacks on 52 pass plays by Detroit, but still won 48-17.
Analysis: This is a great scheduling injustice for third-year head coach Todd Bowles and his rookie QB. And making it worse is having to travel. Over the past 20 years, only nine teams have had to play three games in 11 days, going 2-7 SU and ATS. The last team in this pickle was Philadelphia in 2013, also in Week 3, when hosting Kansas City as a 3-point choice. The Chiefs won, 26-16. And as for the Browns, they’re actually taking a step down in class after playing a pair of defending division champs with Super Bowl-winning QBs. And it looks like veteran Tyrod Taylor will remain at QB, which is OK for now. One more thing: This is the Browns’ first appearance in a prime-time home game since 2015. The Dawg Pound should be rockin’.
Forecast: Browns 23, Jets 10