NY Jets: Game breakdown and prediction for Week 16 against the Cleveland Browns

NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /

The NY Jets will look for their second win in a row against the Cleveland Browns.

One week after their miraculous victory over the Rams in Los Angeles, the NY Jets await another major mismatch on paper in the 10-4 Cleveland Browns who come to town to try and improve on their standing in the AFC North.

For the Jets, last week was a whirlwind of emotions. From a players’ standpoint, you would imagine they are quite elated to get their first victory of the season and avoid the 0-16 mark.

From a fans’ standpoint, there is sheer misery at the thought of the Jets blowing their chance to draft Trevor Lawrence number one this year.

Either way, there is still some football left to be played, so it isn’t over and done with to lock up that number one pick, so long as Jacksonville pulls what the Jets did last week and win when they are not supposed to.

We were able to lock down the Jets +17.5 last week as well as the under in our prediction for the game, so we have some momentum as we roll into this week. There was no way anybody was seeing the Rams actually losing that game coming.

The Browns may be the clearly better team, but there are a lot of numbers that point to the Jets keeping this thing close. It’s also true that the Jets have been on a stretch of late where they have actually shown up and looked like a football team.

They’re 4-3 against the spread in their last seven games and have raised their record against the spread as underdogs to 5-8 after starting out 0-6.

Arguably, the Jets have been the better team on the field in two of their last three games. They obviously beat the Rams last week and should have beaten the Raiders three weeks ago.

Now, they get another opponent that is most likely looking past them and could be susceptible to a close call if they aren’t careful.

The spread on this thing is 9.5 points the last time I checked with a total of 47.5. The Browns are going to be down most of their receivers in this game since COVID-19 complications struck their organization late Saturday.

This is right where you want this Browns team to be if you’re a Jets team that clearly doesn’t care about a number one pick and you can stomach another victory or close defeat.

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The Browns have beaten the Jets the last two times they’ve played, both of which with Baker Mayfield quarterbacking the Browns. However, the Browns are also 2-5 in their last seven against the Jets and 1-2 in their last three on the road against them.

When we look at the Browns’ victories over the Jets, in only 6-of-15 total wins over the Jets did the Browns win and also cover 9.5 points (40 percent). When those wins came on the road at the Jets, 2-of-5 victories covered 9.5 points (also 40 percent).

When looking at over/unders, in 5-of-19 contests did these two teams play over a total of 47.5. That goes for only a 26 percent rate of hitting the over. When those games were at the Jets, 0-of-9 went over 47.5. That’s zero percent last time I checked.

So, we have two teams, one a 1-13 team, the other a running team with no wide receivers for this game going up against each other.

If I were a betting man — and I clearly am — I would have to take the under in this game. But I’m also going to go with Cleveland in the Moneyline and New York in the spread and here’s why.

First, the Browns have 10 wins this year last time I checked. Only one of those victories stood on its own. Meaning, it was preceded and followed by a loss. Cleveland has two separate four-game winning streaks this year with a singular loss mixed in between them and two losses.

They just won last week, so that should (in theory) set them up for a win this week if history repeats itself and wins come in bunches for this team.

I already told you the Jets are 5-3 against the spread in their last eight, but on the flip side, the Browns covered their spread last week against the New York Giants yet have not gone for multiple covers in-a-row since Weeks 4-5.

So, since then, every win against the spread has been followed by at least one loss.

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Give me the Browns 24-18 in this game. They’ll move to 11-4, the Jets will cover the 9.5-point spread, and the Cleveland run game will grind this afternoon out enough to keep the score minimal.

Week 16 games are always tricky to predict, but I think the split in this game is very doable.