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Jets vs. Browns Gameday Preview Thread

After several losing weeks before the halfway point of the season, you'd expect the fans to be down, right? That may have been the case had the Browns not fired offensive coordinator Maurice Carthon. Although we don't know what Jeff Davidson will bring to the table, it definitely gives us something to look forward to in the game. The Browns have faced tough defenses for most of the season, with the exception of the Oakland Raiders. Our offense looked fair against the Raiders, so it's understandable why I am optimistic about the Browns 32nd ranked offense having a chance to face the league's 30th ranked defense - the New York Jets.
- Quarterback
After tons of shoulder problems, Chad Pennington has rebounded with a terrific season for the Jets, despite not having a proven running back in the backfield and an inexperienced offensive line. Charlie Frye will finally be free from the terror of Maurice Carthon, meaning there should be less excuses if he makes a stupid decision in today's game. Pennington has been able to orchestrate an offense with equivalent or less talent than the Browns much better than Frye has so far, although he has had the benefit of facing several teams that are below .500.
- Running Back
The Jets running game has not produced one mainstream runner since the departure of Curtis Martin, so they've rotated rookie Leon Washington, second-year man Cedric Houston, and veteran Kevin Barlow on the ground. The result has been satisfying for the Jets, but they still aren't a team that will beat you in the running game. Statistically, the Browns shouldn't even be compared to the Jets running game. However, every single running back that has faced the Jets has had a great day running the football, and almost all of them have gone over 100 yards.
- Receiver
The Browns receivers have not been on top of their game lately, from dropped passes to unproductive games with Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow. The Jets have done a great job getting both of their receivers involved in big play opportunities. Laveranues Coles is among the lead leaders in yards receiving, despite playing injured most of the season. The young Jerricho Cotchery has been just as good on the other side of the field, as a surprising threat in making yards after the catch.
- Offensive Line
Maybe I'm just being biased, but can you honestly imagine anyone in the league with more offensive line troubles than the Browns? The Jets offensive line has allowed Pennington to be sacked 18 times, while the Browns have allowed Frye to be sacked 21 times. Neither team is strong at this position, but the Jets have clearly had the better production. The Browns also have to deal with another offensive line issue, this time involving the warrior Ryan Tucker, who won't play. Kelly Butler will get the start, but with how bad we've been this year, a change can't really hurt us.
- Defensive Line
Defensive end Orpheus Roye has been a top notch defensive end as usual, and Alvin McKinley finally made some plays last week. The guys up front have actually not been too bad in stopping the run, as the statistics on the ground are biased because our defense is spending way too much time on the field due to a lack of offensive production. The Jets run defense has gotten gashed every week, but they are getting an even matchup with the Browns because of their threat in rushing the passer.
- Linebacker
Week by week, Kamerion Wimbley has made his presence known on the opposing quarterback at least twice in a game. He may not get rookie of the year considerations, but he's the best rookie defensive player the Browns have taken since returning to the league. Like the defensive line position, there's really nothing to brag about on either side here. The Browns have done well in their bend but don't break defense, while the Jets linebackers have not done well against the run as well. And, like the defensive line, the Jets have a marginally better pass rush than the Browns do.
- Secondary
Even though Gary Baxter was returning last week, I'm sure everyone had that feeling that it wouldn't last long. Leigh Bodden typically has had better luck with his health, so hopefully he'll be able to go today. The Browns secondary have been one of the best teams in the league in not allowing people to run after the catch, something that the Jets count on with their receivers. Andre Dyson is a veteran cornerback who is good at making interceptions, but the Jets pass defense has been vulnerable all year, another reason they've been involved in high-scoring contests.
- Special Teams
It's Week 8, and I still haven't seen a team that has played better than the Browns have on special teams. Dennis Northcutt will be a game-time decision, and having him back would be a big lift to our punt return game. The winds should be heavy in Cleveland again, which should play in favor of Phil Dawson in the kicking game. We loved Mike Nugent at Ohio State, but he's more like to hear "Boos" than "Nuge" from the crowd today.
FINAL PREDICTION: Cleveland Browns 28, New York Jets 21.
Last week, I took the Browns in an upset game over the Broncos, meaning I wasn't really "confident" that we would win, but instead was "hoping" that we could pull it off. This week, despite the Jets being a 4-3 team, I'm confident that the Browns will pull off a victory. Take a look at the four teams the Jets have beaten: Tennessee, Buffalo, Miami, and Detroit. Granted, the Jets deserve a lot of credit for beating the teams they're supposed to beat, but they have been very fortunate with the teams they have faced this season. The last time the Jets were on the road, they were destroyed by the Jaguars, 41-0. The Jets have been giving up 20-30 points on average to teams that are not good offensive teams, which is the reasoning behind the large score I have projected.

This is the official gameday thread for today's game. Any comments you would like to make before, during, or after the game should be placed into this thread. Enjoy the game, and GO BROWNS!