By: Sam Gagliardi
The Victory Fridges remain locked after what was a devastating two weeks for Browns fans and their eternal optimism that returns like clockwork this time of year.
Following the “that's so Browns moment” of finally breaking their losing streak week 1 by not winning; and then kicking themselves — if they even could — after last week’s debacle in the Superdome, the Cleveland Browns are finally going to win a game and unlock those damn fridges!
My Cleveland bias aside, everything, and I mean everything favors a Browns team in an absolutely must-win game. That, folks, is also not hyperbole. Before the season, when the schedule was released this was the game, Thursday night Sept. 20th against the woeful J-E-T-S Jets, Jets, Jets, that Browns fans across the country had circled as the first win for their team in 2 years. After what many expected would be an opening two loses for the Browns, they would be hungry and playing at home on national TV (a rarity in Cleveland). The Jets would be concluding a brutal 3 games in 10 days scheduling snafu, and compared to the talent level of the previous two opponents the Jets and Browns appeared to be on a pretty even playing field. Fast Forward to the present and after two games played, the Browns have a shot to be 1-1-1 after three games, here's how and why they’ll do it.
First, all things mentioned above still hold. Secondly, not only are the Jets concluding that brutal stretch of their schedule, they’ll be doing so with a rookie QB. This is no knock against Sam Darnold, who this writer thinks will be a pretty solid NFL QB. However, on a short week I’ll take the conservative, 8-year vet in Tyrod Taylor every day of the week. Thirdly, Darnold is running directly into the teeth of the best facet of the Browns game, their defense. Forcing the most turnovers in the NFL and 5th most sacks after two games, Myles Garrett, Larry Ogunjobi, Denzel Ward, Joe Schobert and Jabrill Peppers are the core of a young, energetic, hungry and most importantly talented, legit All-star studded unit that is cohelesing under second-year coach Gregg Williams. If First Energy stadium is as raucous and loud as I image it will be Thursday night, I expect a tremendous defensive effort from the Browns. The Jets have a talented defense too, but they're not playing at home and I don’t think they make enough game-changing plays as I expect the Browns D will.
Finally, and really nothing more than a statistical inevitability, the Browns have to win a game at some point, right? I mean really, I’v been a Browns fan my entire life and I’d say after about 10 good years of always believing “this is the year”, only to watch the Browns clown it up year after year, the pain of losing, and losing only after the Browns build you up only to let you down again, and again, this...has….to….finally….be…..the….breaking point. Good fortunes will finally turn toward Cleveland!
Browns 27 - Jets 6. Drink that — winless — streak away Cleveland, you’ve earned it!
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