Following the Jets week one loss to the Bills, this Monday night is a must-win. Since the Jets and Browns have made huge additions to their rosters on the offensive and defensive sides of the field, many pundits expected to see Cleveland and the Jets take huge steps forward this season. If either of these teams were to start the season 0-2, the media and fans would go ballistic. Now, the Jets have just suffered a significant loss, with second-year quarterback Sam Darnold being out due to mononucleosis. Backup quarterback Trever Siemian is being thrown into the starting role with just a few days to prepare with the first team.
With Darnold out, the Jets are going to have to establish the running game early on in the game. Siemian has proven to be efficient under center and performs well during a play-action pass. To set up the play-action, the Jets are going to need to run the ball well. This should not be a problem for the Jets since they signed star running back Le’Veon Bell in the offseason. Bell is one of the premier ballcarriers in the NFL and proved that with his 92 scrimmage yards against one of the best defenses last week. The Jets have running backs Ty Montgomery, Bilal Powell, and Trenton Cannon who can be mixed in occasionally to try and confuse the Browns defense. The offensive line needs to be almost perfect to control the Browns d-line led by Myles Garrett and Olivier Vernon. If the Jets can run the football effectively from the start of the game, I feel they have a great chance to win this game. If the running game starts strong, Trevor Siemian will be allowed to use the play-action pass to fool the defense and hit the open receivers.
On the defensive side, the Jets are going to have to apply pressure to the face of Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield. Key players on the defensive line, such as Leonard Williams, rookie Quinnen Williams, and Steve McLendon are going to need to step up in this week two matchup. During the Cleveland Browns week one game against the Tennessee Titans, the Titans were able to stop the high flying Browns offense by continuously applying pressure to Baker Mayfield up the middle. This pressure caused Mayfield to rush his decisions and make quick passes that lowered his QBR to 64.0, almost 30 points lower than his average last season. If the Jets can mimic what the Titans were able to do, then they will have the opportunities to cause quick three and outs.
Another key for the Jets on defense is the Trumaine Johnson vs. Odell Beckham matchup. Against the Buffalo Bills, Johnson got burned the whole game by Bills receiver, John Brown. This week Johnson will most likely guard Browns star wideout, Odell Beckam Jr. Beckham is the better wide receiver than John Brown and Johnson will need to play better than last game. If Johnson can step up and/or receive massive help from the Jets secondary, then the Jets can shut down Cleveland’s aerial attack.