The Jets (1-1) at the Cleveland Browns (0-1-1) at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland on Sunday, Sept. 20 at 8:20 p.m. ET.
A wet day is expected to turn into a decent night, with clear skies and temperatures in the mid-70s. The wind, though, could be 10-20 miles per hour coming off the lake.
WHAT IT MEANS
This game would be a lot more fun if it were Sam Darnold vs. Baker Mayfield, but the Browns are still rolling with Tyrod Taylor (for now). That makes this more of a test for Darnold and his ability to bounce back from the first disappointment of his young career. It's also his first short week, which is never easy. It'll be very interesting to see how he responds. … As for the Browns, they haven't won since Christmas Eve, 2016 and are 1 for their last 33 games. The Jets certainly want to avoid the embarrassment of being only their second victim in three years.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Sam Darnold
Sam Darnold. I know I promised I wouldn't say Sam Darnold in this spot every week, but I lied -- at least for this week. There are other issues, such as whether the offensive line can rebound against a pretty good defensive front, and whether the receivers can offer a little more support. But this is really about Darnold's ability to show his resiliency and how quickly he can pick up cues from the third defense he's had to face in 11 days. It's not easy for veterans to handle Thursday night games and a short week of preparation. It's got to be even tougher for a rookie trying to feel his way through the NFL. But the Jets were confident enough in him to let him start from the beginning. IF not, they would've waited until Week 4.
It's hard to be very confident in a 21-year-old quarterback making his third NFL start on a four-day week and as his third game in 11 days. But it seems foolish to pick a Browns team that keeps finding new, inventive ways to lose every week - and has done so with a maddening consistency. This shouldn't be easy for the Jets, though. The Browns have a decent defense that is creating turnovers (plus-6), which is always dangerous for a rookie quarterback. And while QB Tyrod Taylor hasn't been good passing, he's been great running (12 carries for 103 yards) and everyone saw how Ryan Tannehill took advantage of the Jets on the ground last Sunday. The good news is the Browns have much less firepower and ability than the Dolphins, and the Jets were just a couple of key mistakes away from beating the Dolphins. The bad news is that a young team with a young quarterback on a short week could be a recipe for more mistakes. So it comes down to this: Do you believe in Darnold? Can he play the (mostly) mistake-free game he played in the opener. I believe he will, and if he does that should be just enough. … Jets 17, Browns 13.
MY RECORD: 0-2
MY RECORD WHEN PICKING JETS TO WIN: 0-1
MY RECORD WHEN PICKING JETS TO LOSE: 0-1