Tuesday 17 September, 01:15
The Cleveland Browns were the most hyped team in the NFL in the off-season but their crushing Week One defeat to Tennessee has put them under pressure for this trip to New Jersey.
Browns Edge the Head to Head
The Jets and the Browns first met in September 1970, when the Browns prevailed 31-21 and Cleveland have had the edge overall throughout the history of this fixture, with a 14-12 win-loss tally that includes a 23-20 victory in their only post-season meeting in the 1987 Division Play-Off.
New York had enjoyed a resurgence in this match-up, winning five in a row between 2010 and 2017 but that streak was ended by the Browns last season when they won 21-17 at First Energy Stadium.
Jets Season Already Over
Well, maybe not quite, but it’s hard to envisage anything but struggle for the men in green over the next month or so. Their next four games after Cleveland feature two matches against the reigning Super Bowl champions, either side of fixtures against the Cowboys and the Eagles.
The arrival of Le’Veon Bell, and the potential development of quarterback Sam Darnold had some pundits predicting an improved performance for the Jets this season, but that pre-season optimism was crushed by an inept surrender against Buffalo in their opening game, which was then followed by the news that Darnold would be out for several weeks due to illness.
Browns Weighed Down by Hype
Having snagged the number one draft pick in 2018 in Baker Mayfield, the Browns hit their stride mid-season when Freddie Kitchens replaced Hue Jackson and having added the likes of Kareem Hunt and Odell Beckham Jr in the off season, they were widely tipped as Super Bowl contenders.
But the NFL is no respecter of reputation, particularly unearned reputation and all that Super Bowl talk was silenced by a determined but limited Titans team in a shock 43-13 victory that saw Mayfield throw three interceptions and his team give up 182 yards in penalties.
Browns No Bankers
Cleveland are clear favourites here, with the Jets as big as 23/10 with bookmakers, but there will be some nerves among the Browns, and a slow start could really put them under pressure, so NFL punters may be reluctant to lump on them at 1/3 pre match.