Browns Favored Over Jets in Week 3 Thursday Night NFL Battle

Profile Picture: Scott Shapiro

September 18th, 2018

Week 3 action in the NFL gets started on Thursday night as rookie quarterback Sam Darnold and the Jets head to First Energy Stadium to take on Hue Jackson and the Cleveland Browns.

The Jets got off to a great start to the season with a 48-17 win in Detroit on Monday night, but came back to earth at home in Week 2 in a 20-12 loss to the Dolphins. Things spiraled a bit out of control on the Lions in that Week 1 contest, so in all likelihood New York is probably a bit closer to the team we saw at home on Sunday, than the one that won going away on primetime on September 10th.

The Jets defense has had a solid start to the season against two moderate offensive units in Detroit and Miami. They have given up just 18.5 points and 298 yards per game and should be able to hold their own against Tyrod Taylor and a Cleveland offense that reminds no one of the 1999 St. Louis Rams. The question is whether New York will be able to put up points against a Browns’ defense that has been extremely formidable over the first two weeks against quality competition.

has faced two of the league’s best offenses to start the year in the Steelers and the Saints and have held them in check. Not only have they held both teams to just 21 points, but they have forced turnovers in the process (5 fumbles and 3 interceptions). Todd Haley’s offense has not necessarily taken full advantage of a plus 6 turnover ratio over the first couple of weeks, but if they continue to get short fields to work with, it should lead them to their first victory since a 20-17 win against the Chargers on December 24, 2016.

The Browns come into Week 3 with a record of 0-1-1, but with a better placekicker they could easily be sitting at 2-0. Former kicker Zane Gonzalez missed his only attempt in Week 1 versus Pittsburgh and then missed 4 attempts that cost Cleveland 8 points in a 3-point loss in New Orleans on Sunday. Newly acquired Greg Joseph is almost certain to be a major improvement.

It is difficult to have too much faith in a team that finds new ways to lose each week (especially laying points), but I think Thursday could be the night for the Browns. Myles Garrett, Larry Ogunjobi and crew should be able to control the game. As long as Cleveland does not lose the turnover battle they should beat the Jets.

Last week’s 2-unit plays did not work out well, but it is hard to be unhappy with a 7-2-1 record against the spread to start the 2018 campaign. Let’s hope to keep it going as we hit the second half of September.


Cleveland (-3) 1 unit


Year to date record:

7-2-1 (+4 units)