Browns Dominate Depleted Jets 23-3
Written by Brandon Lewis on September 17, 2019
Photo Credit: washingtonpost.com
Last season after the firing of Hue Jackson, Interim Head Coach Gregg Williams led the Browns to a 5-3 record over the second half of the season, Williams thinking his performance as the head man was enough to get the job permanently.
Instead, Browns General Manager John Dorsey hired Williams’ offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens, and Kitchens got the better of Williams’ defense Monday night.
After getting a defensive stop on fourth down in the middle of the third quarter, second year quarterback Baker Mayfield fired a bullet to star wide out Odell Beckham Jr, who was running a slant pattern, and Beckham took it 89 yards to the house to all but seal it for the Browns. For Beckham, it was his first touchdown in MetLife Stadium as a visitor as he scored 44 touchdowns in five years as a member of the Giants. Beckham would finish with six catches for 161 yards.
Until that play however, the Browns offense again looked inept for the second straight week. Williams confused Mayfield with his pre and post snap looks. Mayfield’s numbers do not look bad on paper(19/35, 325 yards, one touchdown, one interception and a 83.6 passer rating), but Mayfield did not look comfortable on the field for the duration of the game to me. While the Browns moved the ball and scored 23 points, they had plenty of opportunities to put up even more, and they could not capitalize on their great field position(their average starting field position was the 35 yard line, 10 more yards than usual).
For the second straight week, I did not like how Kitchens handled the running game. Second year tailback Nick Chubb only had 18 carries in a game the Browns dominated from start to finish. Chubb carried the rock on 86% of the Browns run plays. That’s just way too much for one player in my opinion, especially with teams in the NFL nowadays going with more of a committee approach.
I also find it odd that Mayfield has yet to have a rushing attempt this season. What makes Mayfield great is his ability to make plays with his legs, and if he starts using his legs more, it should open up more room for the running backs to operate along with throwing lanes for Mayfield to lay the ball into.
I thought the biggest positive for the Browns of the night was the defense, especially the front seven. I realize the Jets only skill position player on offense basically was Le’veon Bell, but the Browns front devoured him and the Jets offensive line. The talent matchup on that side of the ball was clear from the first snap; the Jets did not have a shot. In the first half, the Jets had -15 passing yards. That is almost unheard of.
Luke Falk came in for Trevor Siemian after Siemian left the game in the second quarter with an ankle injury, Falk throwing for 198 yards on 25 attempts, but I think most of that was just that Falk gave the Jets a temporarily spark in the huddle, much like how Kevin Hogan did for the Browns in 2017 against the Bengals.
Regardless, for the foreseeable future, it seems like Falk will lead the Jets as Siemian seems legitimately compromised, and their starter Sam Darnold, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, has mono.
The bottom line is the Browns took care of business against a banged up, bad football team. Next week, they come home to play the defending NFC Champions in the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday Night Football, the Browns first Sunday Night Football appearance since losing to the Steelers at home on September 14, 2008. The Browns next five opponents(Rams, at Ravens, at Niners(MNF), Seahawks, at Patriots) are all currently undefeated, so this will be THE test to see if the Browns are who we think they can be. If they survive this stretch, the second half of the schedule eases up tremendously, but if they do not, who knows what could happen. These next five games will decide the Browns season.
Brandon Lewis is the Web Director for Black Squirrel Radio. He also is the host of Brandon’s World every Saturday from 10 a.m. until noon. Make sure to follow his personal Twitter @brandonlewis_7 and his show @real_bworld