The New York Jets pounded the Cleveland Browns 31-10 to come out victorious in Todd Bowles’s first game as a head coach. The Jets have now won five straight opening day games, while the Browns lost its opening game for an unthinkable 11th straight year. Seriously, how is that possible?? Here are some takeaways I took from the game:
The Browns stink
- Yes, the Cleveland Browns are once again terrible and will miss the playoffs for a 13th year in a row. Josh McCown was never going to be the answer, and he had to leave the game in the first quarter with a concussion, and Johnny Manziel wasn’t much better. Cleveland turned the ball over five times, and did not come close to registering a sack. If you turn the ball over five times in any game, you simply aren’t going to win, and it becomes even harder to win when you generate zero pressure on the opposing quarterback. Pull out your paper bags Browns fans!
Ryan Fitzpatrick can play
- After looking like he couldn’t throw the ball further than 20 yards in the preseason, new Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was slinging the ball all over the field. He finished the game 15/24 for 179 yards with two touchdowns, and one interception. He made all the throws when he had to, and didn’t make any brutal Geno Smith esque mistakes other than the one interception that the Jets ended up getting back anyway. As long as Fitzpatrick can avoid those mistakes, the Jets will be fine.
Jets’ receiver’s are legit
- When was the last time a Jets fan could legitimately say they were excited about the team’s receiving options? 2010? That’s five years ago. But now, the Jets are stacked at the receiver position with Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker who each caught touchdowns, as well as Jeremy Kerley, Chris Owusu who had an excellent first game with the Jets, and not to mention rookie second-round pick Devin Smith who will be a huge addition once he returns from a rib injury. He was a full participant in practice this week but was still held out of the game so you know his return is inevitable. Smith has the potential to be a major game-breaker for this team. I think DeSean Jackson (minus the off the field baggage) is a good comparison.
Tight Ends are non-existent
- Do the Jets even have any tight ends on the roster? I know Jace Amaro is done for the season with a shoulder injury, but the depth chart lists Jeff Cumberland and Kellen Davis. Unfortunately, they were both MIA in this game, and quite frankly, the Jets easily have the worst tight ends in the entire sport. I have no idea why Cumberland is even deserving of a roster spot, and Davis hasn’t caught a pass since the 2013 season. There has to be a free agent tight end somewhere that’s better. Has to be.
Brandon Marshall’s strip changed game
- The Jets fortunes turned against the Browns early in the second quarter when Fitzpatrick was intercepted at the Cleveland 17-yard line by Tashaun Gipson. At the time of the play, the Browns were leading 7-0, everyone was losing their minds over Johnny Manziel throwing his first career touchdown pass, and Fitzpatrick just threw away a golden scoring opportunity. But out of no where, Marshall came right back to take the ball right out of Gipson’s hands and run it back inside the Cleveland 9-yard line. Two plays later, Chris Ivory ran it in and the Jets never let that momentum get away.
The Jets are better off without Cromartie
- I’m probably in the minority on this, but I actually think the Antonio Cromartie injury, which unless there’s a true miracle will be a season ender, is a blessing in disguise for the Jets. It took until the first quarter of the first game of the season for Cro to get burned deep, something that was routine in his last year with the Jets in 2013. That was two years ago and last time I checked, you don’t get faster as you get older. Once Cromartie went out, Marcus Williams was inserted and played an incredible game. He had the only Jets interception of the game, and led the team with three passes defended. Also behind Williams, the Jets have Darrin Walls, Dexter McDougle, and Dee Milliner will likely be back after eight weeks. Unlike in previous years, the Jets have the depth to withstand an injury like this and in my opinion, are better off in the long run.
**Update: Well, a miracle happened and Antonio Cromartie was diagnosed with a sprained knee. He is being listed as week to week and has not been ruled out for next Monday night at the Colts. Go figure.
Can Ivory keep it up?
- We’ve seen this movie before out of Chris Ivory. He has a really good first game of the season, and everyone gets really excited. In last year’s opener Ivory ran for 102 yards, and other than a 107 yard performance against the Patriots in the 7th game of the season, never ran for more than 84 yards in any game. Ivory’s achilles heel as a running back is his body takes such a brutal toll, it’s harder for him to stay fresh throughout the course of the season. That being said, the Jets do have some quality depth at running back with Bilal Powell and Zac Stacy who can both be very productive.
Hopefully Lorenzo Mauldin is OK
- The scariest part of the Jets week one victory over the Browns was seeing rookie linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin being carted off the field with what was thought to be a spinal cord/neck area injury. All the reports appear to be positive with Mauldin being diagnosed with a concussion and not much else after that. Hopefully he can return to the team very soon because Mauldin has a bright future in this league.
How mad will the Colts be after losing to the Bills?
- The Jets will next opponent will be the Indianapolis Colts on Monday Night Football, and after getting embarrassed in Buffalo by the Bills, Indy will without a doubt be very, very angry heading into that one. Many picked the Colts to make the Super Bowl out of the AFC this year, and starting the season 0-2 would put a big damper on those lofty expectations. But this is why they play the games and maybe the game in Indy will play out like the one in Atlanta did back in week five of the 2013 season.