The banged-up New York Jets (10/11 +6/5 pts – Handicap) could keep the inconsistent Cleveland Browns within reach and cover the spread in the final game of NFL’s Week Two action on Monday night.
The 0-1 Jets have endured a nightmare week after blowing a 16-point half-time lead against AFC East rivals Buffalo Bills in Week One.
They waived the kicker who missed a crucial extra point and a 45-yard field goal in the 17-16 loss and then lost a host of starters for the trip to Ohio, including second-year quarterback Sam Darnold.
Just as big as Darnold’s loss to mononucleosis, defensive captain CJ Mosley has also been ruled out – together with top draft pick Quinnen Williams.
This seriously weakens the Jets’ D, which actually had a pretty good game for the most part against the Bills, but were let down by offensive miscues.
The one bit of good news for Jets fans this week has been the status of star running back Le’Veon Bell (10/11 – Over 70.5 Rushing Yards), who had an MRI late in the week.
The ex-Pittsburgh Steelers star is fit to start and he will be a big factor in their offense without Darnold behind center.
Expect the Jets to run him on first and second down and pass to him on third in the hope he alone can move the chains against the Browns.
Cleveland were thrashed 43-13 in Tennessee last week, with QB Baker Mayfield guilty of three interceptions.
He willl surely do better against arguably one of the worst secondaries in the NFL and can expect to see a fired-up Odell Beckham Jr (10/11 – Anytime Touchdown Scorer) get open downfield.
He will have to be quick, though, as the Jets will surely blitz often, having seen the Brown’s offensive line melt away under the Titans’ rush in Week One.
The Jets are only 5-11-1 against the spread since the start of the 2018 season, while Cleveland have covered 10 times in the 17 matches played since the same date.