What a letdown in week one for the NY Jets. Blowing a 16 point lead at home and then learning the next day that the QB skipped fourth period to play spin the bottle and wound up with mononucleosis. The season is effectively over before week two has even kicked off. Tonight against the Browns is a must win game for the Jets, and they are playing with one hand tied behind their back.
Notable players that will not participate in the game tonight include Sam Darnold, Clint Mosley, Jr., and first round bust Quinnen Williams. We all saw how poorly the defense played in week one after Mosley left the game with the groin injury. This team’s biggest weakness going into the season was depth, and lo and behold injuries in week one exposed that lack of depth immediately. The Jets’ most important player on offense and defense will be watching the game from the sideline/isolation chamber.
The spread opened at Browns -2.5 and immediately jumped to Browns -6.5 upon the news that Darnold would miss the game. That leaves the Jets with Trevor Siemian as the starting quarterback. He’s not awful by backup QB standard as he compiled a 13-11 as a starter in Denver. But not a guy that will reliably score a lot of points. Jets fans may remember Siemian from 2017, when he led the Broncos against the Jets in a December game at Denver and emerged with a 23-0 victory while passing for 200 yards and 1 TD. We call that a Todd Bowles special. Siemian averages 6.8 yards per attempt in his career, which is right in line with what Darnold put up last season. I think the 4 point move was too drastic. Darnold is not good enough or proven enough to warrant the four point move. I do not think Gregg Williams is a good coach, however he practiced against Mayfield and Kitchens every day last season and should know their tendencies and weaknesses. He should be able to exploit those weaknesses the way Vic Fangio did to Trubisky/Nagy yesterday. I think you hold your nose and take the Jets +6.5 here; until Kitchens proves he knows what he’s doing, he’s still a bottom third head coach. In my opinion Kitchens has not earned the credit to be a huge road favorite in a primetime game.
Pick: Jets +6.5