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NFL handicapper Jason Yamaguchi analyzes the Week 2 matchup between the Cleveland Browns vs. New York Jets. Will any of these backup quarterbacks produce this week?
ANALYSIS

Cleveland Browns vs. New York Jets Prediction, Pick, and Odds: Can Joe Flacco or Jacoby Brissett Produce?

Week 1 of the NFL season told us a lot about certain teams, relative to how we viewed them prior to the start of the season. This seems to be true for the two teams in this matchup. The Browns eked out a 26-24 victory in Carolina, while the Jets were handily defeated at home by the Ravens, 24-9. Both Cleveland and New York were expected to be mediocre with Jacoby Brissett and Joe Flacco leading their respective offenses, and not much happened to change those short-term projections.

With Week 2 on the horizon, how should we expect these teams to look when they come face to face on Sunday? Specifically, how many points will these offenses be able to score against the defenses that they'll be facing? Here are our picks, predictions, and odds for Sunday's game between the New York Jets and the Cleveland Browns.

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Browns vs. Jets Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds

  • Date: Sunday, September 18th
  • Game Time: 1:00 pm ET
  • Where to Watch: CBS

Click here for Browns vs Jets odds

New York Jets vs. Cleveland Browns Prediction

The Jets' offense had a poor showing last Sunday against Baltimore's revamped defense. This was not surprising, given that Joe Flacco started at quarterback in place of the injured Zach Wilson. Flacco had 307 passing yards, but that total is misleading — it came on a whopping 59 passing attempts, meaning that he averaged just 5.2 yards per attempt. He threw one garbage time touchdown, one interception, and posted an abysmal 15.4 quarterback rating. As a whole, the offense was not functional, as evidenced by the nine points on the scoreboard.

So, how will New York's offense fare against the Browns? In my opinion, the offense is in for another rough week. The Browns' defense had a solid Week 1 showing, holding the Panthers to just 261 total yards of offense on 12 drives. Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield is no future Hall of Famer, but he is a better passer than Joe Flacco. Now, my model had Cleveland's defense as hovering around league average before the season started, and nothing happened in Week 1 to move them too far in either direction. Against the Jets' desultory offense, an average unit should be good enough to minimize the scoring allowed.

On the other side, the Browns were reasonably functional from an offensive standpoint in Week 1, despite the fact that they are currently starting Jacoby Brissett at quarterback. He was a textbook game manager against the Panthers, completing just 18 passes for 147 yards and one score. Still, he led Cleveland to 355 total yards of offense by leaning on his two high-caliber running backs — Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt.

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Of the two, Chubb was the more efficient back, securing 141 rushing yards on 22 attempts for an average of 6.4 yards per carry. Hunt was effective in the redzone, scoring a touchdown on the ground and another through the air. They carried the lion's share of Cleveland's offensive output between them, and they'll likely need to do the same in Week 2. There may be some regression, though — the Jets have a better defensive front than the Panthers, meaning that the Browns may be forced to throw the ball in order to score points. Given that Cleveland's pass catchers are unspectacular and their quarterback is a career backup, that could prove to be a difficult task.

Overall, I think that the under is the side of the total that holds value for this matchup. Neither offense has game-breaking aerial playmakers (Elijah Moore's obvious talent notwithstanding), and both teams may lean heavily on the run game to move the ball. That leads to a ticking clock, which tends to favor a lower total. It seems unlikely that a Flacco or Brissett-led offense will explode for 30+ points, so I'll take my chances that this will be a tight, low-scoring affair.

Cleveland Browns vs. New York Jets Pick

Pick: Jets vs. Browns Under 40.5 Points (-110) (Bet $110 to win $100)

Article Author

NHLNFLMLB

Jason Yamaguchi is an avid New York sports fan. He has a proven record of providing +EV bets by combining traditional handicapping tactics with advanced statistics. You can follow him on Twitter @TopMoneyPicks to view all of his bets, including NFL, NHL, and MLB picks.

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