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What To Look For on Thursday Night Football

Can the Jets line protect Darnold?

Myles Garrett has been exceptional in his second year. However, he’s not got the most sacks for Cleveland. That’s rookie defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi! Jets left tackle Kelvin Beachum will not block Garrett consistently one on one so will need help. Meanwhile, centre Spencer Long will have similar issues with Ogunjobi. In fact New York’s offensive line, which allowed four sacks against Miami, could be in real trouble.

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Can Tyrod do enough to remain the starter?

To say Tyrod Taylor’s performance has been underwhelming is an understatement. He holds on to the ball too long, seems reluctant to make plays and has only managed to complete 52.9 per cent of his passes. If he struggles in the first half, would Cleveland consider handing the reigns over to Baker Mayfield? The number one overall pick against the guy the Browns passed on would be an intriguing proposition.

Which team can hold onto the ball?

Cleveland’s defence has been a turnover machine. They’ve forced a league-leading eight turnovers. The Jets’ defence has been pretty impressive at creating turnovers themselves with seven. This is unlikely to affect the Browns, who have shown an aptitude for keeping possession. The Jets, on the other hand, have turned the ball over frequently. Despite his progressing play, Darnold has thrown three interceptions and that could be the difference.

Can Crowell gain revenge on his old team?

Running back Isaiah Crowell was a fan favourite in Cleveland. He rushed for 3,255 yards and 23 touchdowns despite not being the featured back. Isaiah was allowed to leave in the off season. Tonight he returns to Cleveland after signing with the Jets where he is the primary back. He has rushed 22 times for 137 yards, including a 62 touchdown. If he can move the ball it will elevate the pressure on Darnold.

Is the Jets resurgent defence for real?

In free agency the Jets splashed out big time money on Trumaine Johnson, allowing them to pair him with Morris Claiborne. The returns on their investment seem positive so far. The defence some are calling New Jack City is also expect Jamal Adams to push for a Pro Bowl place in 2018. The matchup that may decide this one is the Jets defence against David Njoku.

Have the Browns upgraded at kicker?

To say the Browns have had issues with special teams would be the understatement of the season. Zane Gonzalez made only 2 of 5 field goals. That’s pretty bad. The nail in his coffin was making only 3 of 5 extra points. With or without a groin injury that’s not good enough and Cleveland cut him after the loss of the Saints. His replacement is Greg Joseph an undrafted rookie from Florida Atlantic.

Cleveland will finally unleash the first overall pick on the Jets after Tyrod struggles in the first half. Mayfield looks explosive and sparks the Browns to a comeback win.

Prediction – Browns 30, Bengals 28

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