I don’t know if it’s just because people need time to fill or if it’s just still some open wounds from the Jacksonville Jaguars being so bad nearly the past decade, but this talk of worrying about the Cleveland Browns and it being a trap game is absurd. No disrespect to Browns fans, because believe me I know what it’s like to be a fan of an awful team and grasping at straws, but the Browns are awful and there is no way the Jaguars should be anywhere close to losing this football game.
Sure, “Any given Sunday,” and yada yada yada… but man, the Browns stink out loud.
First of all, they’re starting a rookie quarterback that is so bad he’s already been benched multiple times. DeShone Kizer has only four touchdown passes to 12 interceptions and he’s barely completing over 50 percent of his passes. Not only has Kizer struggled to simply complete passes, but his top two targets (in terms of targeted) are running back Duke Johnson and wide receiver Ricardo Louis, by a significant margin.
Kizer has also been sacked 16 times in just eight games, plus the team’s top two offensive tackles are out. This means the Jaguars absurd four-man pass rush is going against a quarterback who has a tendency to turn the ball over, take sacks and struggles to just simply complete passes.
The Browns are second to last in the NFL in points for and their third to last in points against. They’ve got a -97 point differential!
Can anyone genuinely explain to me how the Browns are going to not only score more than like 10 points, but have multiple scoring drives without getting short fields with turnovers?
I just cannot see that happening against this Jaguars defense, which is the best in the NFL and routinely feasts on offenses like the Browns. It’s going to easily be the worst offense that the Jaguars defense has faced this year. The teams that have been able to move the ball on the Jaguars offense have been teams that can get chunks of yards rushing, but since adding Marcell Dareus to the mix, the Jaguars defense has shut down the opposing team’s run game, forcing them to play into the teeth of the Jaguars defense.
Now, the Browns defense is third against the run and it’s not necessarily a “fake” ranking, but it has been helped with teams having so many short fields against the Browns. Regardless, you can expect the Browns to load up and force the Jaguars to pass the ball just like the Los Angeles Chargers did last Sunday, but the difference is the Browns don’t have the pass rush the Chargers have, even with the Jaguars offensive line dinged up.
Myles Garrett indeed looks like a stud, but Emmanuel Ogbah is kind of a mediocre strongside end who doesn’t get a bunch of sacks but does get some pressure. Hopefully Jermey Parnell will be back on Sunday, but even so I’m not sure the Browns have the horses on defense to emulate what the Chargers did to the Jaguars offense.
Coupled with the Browns stacking the box, they routinely get beat deep because both of their safeties are more box safety types. Considering that Keelan Cole is starting to show himself a bit of a deep threat and Dede Westbrook looks scheduled to return to the Jaguars lineup, it would seem to play into the Jaguars hands if Blake Bortles can hit those deep throws he just missed on last Sunday. I’m not even sure the Jaguars offense really has to be “good” on Sunday to do enough to win, they just need to be able to put up something like 17 points and they should be fine.
Again, I’m not trying to bury the Browns here or anything, but just looking objectively between the two teams… I can’t fathom the concern for a trap game. The trap game was against the Chargers, and they stole it.
Simply put, the Browns are a team that turns it over a lot, struggles to score and gives up a lot of points. The Jaguars are a team that don’t allow a lot of points, forces a lot of turnovers and can strangle teams out of the game with time of possession and score when they get to the red zone. There’s a reason the smart money keeps pouring in and the Jaguars line keeps climbing.