Two more games left in the 2013 season and it’s the final home game of the season for the New York Jets. They will play host to the Cleveland Browns Sunday at 1 p.m.
I personally know a few who would need to know this but if you are traveling out to MetLife Stadium Sunday, here’s a look at what the National Weather Service is predicting for Sunday afternoon:
“A chance of showers. Cloudy, with a high near 65. Chance of precipitation is 40%.”
Make sure everyone has their raincoat on.
Anyway, onto the game. Both the Jets and the Browns are out of the AFC playoff picture so this game is truthfully all about pride.
For the Jets, they need to really put together a clean game where all three phases are working as a solid unit. Especially if the rumors that coach Rex Ryan could be out the door at the end of the season.
For starters, the defense really needs to start acting like the Hulk rather than Dr. Bruce Banner. With the exception of the front seven, this defense is having a hard time getting off the field on third down. According to NFL.com, they’re 12th in the league in total defense. That’s not acceptable for a defense that for most of the season has been in the top five. I give a lot of credit to Antonio Cromartie for playing hurt for a while, but the rest of the backfield need to pick him up. Dee Milliner, Kyle Wilson, Antonio Allen, Ed Reed, Dawan Landry, and company need to do their jobs and cover the receivers, tight ends, and those shifty running backs.
I think though the weather is going to play a bit of a factor for the Browns. As of Wednesday, Browns defensive back Joe Haden (hip) and tight end Jordan Cameron (concussion) didn’t practice. If it’s going to rain like every weatherman has been saying, with nothing to play for, I wouldn’t risk it so that could benefit the defense just a little bit especially when it comes to Cameron.
But Josh Gordon, Davone Bess, and Willis McGahee are still all huge offensive threats for the Browns that the Jets defense need to pay attention to.
In regards to Haden, it’s one less threat for quarterback Geno Smith to worry about on the Browns defensive end. But for the Jets offense, it really starts and ends with two things, the play of the offensive line, and Smith. The line has seemed to of lost its punch because they can run block decently because they are ninth in the NFL in rushing (NFL.com) but one of the reason’s why they are 30th overall in league in total offense (NFL.com) is due to the lack of passing game (31st, NFL.com). And you can turn that back to a lack of pass protection.
Smith needs to be wary of the Browns safety tandem of TJ Ward and Tashaun Gipson. This season, Gipson has four interceptions and one of them was a pick six. Ward’s got a pair and one of those was a pick six. (Gipson and Ward’s stats — Cleveland Browns site) Smith needs to be extremely aware of both these guys and start looking at all his options on the field.
It would also be nice to see the wide receivers not named Jeremy Kerley and David Nelson actually try to help Smith out.
The special teams out of all three phases has been the most solid for the Jets and you have to thank Nick Folk for that. A friend of mine said this on twitter in the beginning of the season and he’s right on the money. Folk is the best offensive weapon and the stats have bore that out.
Game pick: I think the Jets win this game, but like most of their wins, it’s going to be a dogfight.