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New York Jets: Top 3 keys to victory in Week 2 against the Cleveland Browns

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - SEPTEMBER 08: Le'Veon Bell #26 of the New York Jets celebrates with Ryan Griffin #84 of the New York Jets after scoring a two point conversion against the Buffalo Bills during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium on September 08, 2019 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - SEPTEMBER 08: Le'Veon Bell #26 of the New York Jets celebrates with Ryan Griffin #84 of the New York Jets after scoring a two point conversion against the Buffalo Bills during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium on September 08, 2019 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)
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EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – SEPTEMBER 8: Le’Veon Bell #26 of the New York Jets celebrates his touchdown with Robby Anderson #11 against the Buffalo Bills during a game at MetLife Stadium on September 8, 2019, in East Rutherford, New Jersey. New York Jets (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – SEPTEMBER 8: Le’Veon Bell #26 of the New York Jets celebrates his touchdown with Robby Anderson #11 against the Buffalo Bills during a game at MetLife Stadium on September 8, 2019, in East Rutherford, New Jersey. New York Jets (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

The New York Jets are going to need all the help they could get when they take on the Cleveland Browns. Here are three keys to victory this Monday night.

The New York Jets have had a rough week and that’s putting it mildly. The team embarrassed themselves with a devastating loss on Sunday, lost receiver Quincy Enunwa for the year, and their starting quarterback is now dealing with a case of mono.

It’s been equal parts tragic as it has been straight-up weird.

Unfortunately, the Jets will square off with the upstart Cleveland Browns on national television this Monday night. Despite the fact that Cleveland’s 2019 season didn’t exactly get off to the start that they were hoping for, they are still an extremely talented football team.

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And the Jets will absolutely have their hands full as they look to avoid falling to 0-2 on the season. Doing so will certainly be a tall task.

The Jets was likely already considered underdogs before everything that happened this week. Now it would be shocking to see them make much of a game of it.

Still, the phrase “any given Sunday” could also apply to Monday nights so it’s certainly feasible that the Jets manage to win. Here are three keys to ensuring a Jets victory over the Browns come Monday night.

Next: 3. Trevor Siemian must be adequate

ATLANTA, GA – AUGUST 15: Trevor Siemian #19 of the New York Jets passes during the first half of an NFL preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on August 15, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. New York Jets (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA – AUGUST 15: Trevor Siemian #19 of the New York Jets passes during the first half of an NFL preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on August 15, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. New York Jets (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

3. Trevor Siemian must be adequate

Football teams live and die by their quarterbacks and unfortunately for the Jets, they will be without their top option on Monday. With Sam Darnold out sick, it will be veteran backup Trevor Siemian who will be called upon to start a critical early-season matchup for the Jets.

Siemian, who’s in his first season with the Jets, isn’t exactly an unknown commodity. The former seventh-round pick has made 24 career starts and actually has a winning record over that time of 13-11.

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For the better part of the 2016 and 2017 seasons, Siemian was the starter for the Denver Broncos and actually posted a respectable 30/24 touchdown to interception ratio over that time.

In terms of NFL backups, Siemian is likely among the best. But as a starter, he’s not exactly an ideal option.

Expecting Siemian to be anything special on Monday would be foolish, especially given how the offense played with Darnold under center last week. But he doesn’t need to be special, he only needs to be adequate.

Siemian’s job should be simple — keep the Jets in the game. Allow the team’s offensive playmakers to do the heavy lifting while he just remains capable and reliable. If he does so, the Jets’ chances of winning on Monday night will improve dramatically.

Many likely aren’t expecting much from Siemian this week. But he doesn’t have to do much to exceed those expectations and keep the Jets competitive.

Next: 2. Better offensive gameplan

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – AUGUST 29: Head coach Adam Gase of the New York Jets stands on the sidelines during the preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium on August 29, 2019, in East Rutherford, New Jersey. New York Jets (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – AUGUST 29: Head coach Adam Gase of the New York Jets stands on the sidelines during the preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium on August 29, 2019, in East Rutherford, New Jersey. New York Jets (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

2. Better offensive gameplan

The Jets offense struggled mightily in Week 1 as it wasn’t exactly a stellar debut for new head coach Adam Gase. The team managed under 300 total yards of offense as the entire unit never seemed to be in-sync.

Part of that should be blamed on the poor play of the team’s offensive line — we’ll get to that — or the lackluster showing from Darnold. However, it’s hard to come away with a positive impression of Gase as a play-caller after Week 1.

The Jets were far too conservative on offense limiting their attack to screens and shallow passing patterns. Moreover, their offensive exclusivity heavily favored running back Le’Veon Bell and wide receiver Jamison Crowder with the other playmakers failing to see many looks at all.

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This led to the team becoming stagnant and predictable on offense.

Again, some of the blame must certainly go elsewhere, but Gase needs to open up the playbook more in Week 2. This might prove challenging with Siemian under center or if the offensive line struggles again, but an attempt must be made.

The Jets can ill-afford to sit on their hands and squander any potential lead again. And to avoid doing so they must be aggressive and dynamic, not passive and anemic.

And that all starts with the man on the sidelines holding the clipboard.

Next: 1. The offensive line must win the battle up front

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – SEPTEMBER 8: Sam Darnold #14 of the New York Jets celebrates a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills during a game at MetLife Stadium on September 8, 2019, in East Rutherford, New Jersey. New York Jets (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – SEPTEMBER 8: Sam Darnold #14 of the New York Jets celebrates a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills during a game at MetLife Stadium on September 8, 2019, in East Rutherford, New Jersey. New York Jets (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

1. The offensive line must win the battle up front

As previously noted, the Jets offense was a hot mess in Week 1. But there was perhaps no greater cause of this than the poor debut from the team’s five-man unit up front.

The quintet of Kelvin Beachum, Kelechi Osemele, Ryan Kalil, Brian Winters, and Brandon Shell had barely even played together in practice before they trotted out on Sunday to play in Week 1. As expected, there were communications issues.

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A lot of communication issues.

The offensive line struggled and it wasn’t exactly because the individual players that make up the unit aren’t talented. Rather, they simply haven’t had time to develop chemistry together.

The hope is that with another week of practice and a simulated game in the books, the unit could reemerge in Week 2 and perform much better. However, that hope may not be a reality.

Gang Green will be facing a Browns defense that hosts a dominant foursome in the trenches of Myles Garrett, Larry Ogunjobi, Sheldon Richardson, and Olivier Vernon. That’s no easy task for a top-tier offensive line, let alone the Jets still inexperienced unit.

But we know that these players are talented. Osemele and Kalil have combined for six Pro Bowl appearances and three First-Team All-Pro selections and the other three are all starting-caliber linemen.

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The question remains, how will they perform as a unit?

If the Jets are going to have any success in Week 2, it’s going to start with the so-called “hog mollies” up front.

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