The 6-8 New York Jets season effectively ended last week with a 30-20 loss to the Carolina Panthers. Once again, quarterback Geno Smith looked befuddled by the blitz and had a hard time completing passes to open receivers. In fact, only six of Smith’s 15 completions went to wide receivers. Despite his troubles throwing, the Jets were able to run for 153 yards against Carolina’s top ranked run defense. The Jets will look to once again establish the run against Cleveland’s eighth ranked run defense.
The 4-10 Cleveland Browns have once again had a rough season. Cleveland has played five different quarterbacks throughout the season and will likely add another during next year’s draft. Last week, Cleveland dropped a heart breaking 27-26 decision on the road to the New England Patriots. New England scored 14 unanswered points in the final two minutes to sneak away with the win.
The lone bright spot of Cleveland’s offense has been wide receiver, Josh Gordon. Gordon, who leads the NFL with 1,447 receiving yards, has been a dynamic play maker. Gordon missed the first two games of the season due a suspension, but has performed with a multitude of quarterbacks under center. Tight end Jordan Cameron has also enjoyed a breakout season, catching 75 passes for 848 yards and 7 TDs. Both Gordon and Cameron will look to take advantage of a Jet defense that has been suspect in recent weeks.
Despite New York’s home field advantage, many are expecting a tight game in the Meadowlands. According to current NFL odds, the Jets are favored by just one point. The small spread can be attributed to Smith’s lack of consistent play, the inconsistencies of the Jet defense, and Cleveland’s dynamic play makers. Cleveland does not have much of a running game, which is the Jets strength, but Cleveland can beat teams with Gordon and Cameron.
I like Cleveland in this game. Their play makers are far superior to the Jets and Cleveland’s defense is good enough to stop Geno Smith.
Prediction: Cleveland 21 New York 17