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Week 2 Game Recap: Cleveland Browns 23, New York Jets 3
What you need to know
The Browns got lucky as they took on an injury-ravaged Jets team that wound up using their third-string quarterback, Luke Falk
, for much of the game after Trevor Siemian
suffered a season-ending ankle injury. The Cleveland offense continues to look disjointed as Baker Mayfield
is not showing the quick decision-making and accuracy that he did during his rookie year. Mayfield was bailed out on an electric 89-yard touchdown by Odell Beckham
, Jr. where the receiver took an eight-yard pass to the house while reaching 21.7 MPH according to NextGen stats. Before that, Beckham dealt with calf cramping toward the end of the second quarter and went to the locker room early to receive an I.V. He returned for the beginning of the third quarter. The defense was solid, with Myles Garrett leading the way with a career-high three sacks. It wasn't all good for Garrett as he also drew two roughing the passer penalties.
Putting aside the numerous injuries and a case of mono, two weeks in a row have shown us nothing of the supposed offensive acumen of head coach Adam Gase. Despite knowing he would be without Sam Darnold
, there was no real clear adjustment to lean on whatever strengths Trevor Siemian
had. Add in a porous offensive line and a sudden absence of any use of Jamison Crowder
, and you can only feel confident in the production of LeíVeon Bell, who was solid this week, and even moreso in PPR formats.
|QB Baker Mayfield, 69 offensive snaps, Pass: 19 - 35 - 325 - 1 TD / 1 INT|
Mayfield's final stat line looks solid but he didn't play as well as it appears. He held onto the ball too long at times and suffered from some accuracy issues. Onlookers have yet to observe the quick decision-making and accuracy that was evident during Mayfield's rookie campaign. An 89-yard touchdown pass to Odell Beckham
helped Mayfield out greatly, even though Beckham did most of the heavy lifting on that play. Mayfield got off to a good start, escaping the pass rush and finding D'Ernest Johnson for a 27-yard gain. The pass was a bit underthrown as Johnson had to slow down and wait for it. The play could have gone for a longer gain if it was thrown deeper. He hit Beckham with a 33-yard dart down the right sideline. Beckham made an impressive one-handed catch with a defender draped all over him. The first drive brought Cleveland into the red zone. Mayfield threw a pass to Jarvis Landry
around the Jets' five-yard line but Landry dropped it. He would have been tackled right away even if he made the grab. On the next play, no one could get open in the end zone so Mayfield had to scramble and wound up throwing the ball away. On the second drive, Mayfield threw a high pass to David Njoku
. Njoku leapt high to catch it but was upended and landed on his head, dropping the pass in the process. He then had Beckham open deep in the middle of the field but threw too high. In the second quarter, Mayfield threw high to Beckham again. This time the receiver was able to make the leaping catch. On the second drive of the second quarter Mayfield had two passes tipped at the line of scrimmage. At the end of the half, Mayfield took a deep end zone shot to Beckham, who was double-covered. Beckham couldn't secure what would have been a 41-yard touchdown. He bounced back to find Landry for a 25-yard gain and then rushed the team to the line to spike the ball, leaving just enough time for a field goal before halftime. In the third quarter, Mayfield missed an open Beckham on third-and-two, stalling out the first drive of the half. It is possible Mayfield didn't see Beckham, although he was looking in his direction. The 89-yard touchdown pass only traveled about eight yards in the air, with Beckham doing the rest of the work. His interception came on the first drive of the fourth quarter on a pass down the middle that got tipped into the air.
|RB Nick Chubb, 42 offensive snaps, Rush: 18 - 62 - 1, Rec: 4 - 36 - 0 (4 targets)|
Chubb continues to see a lead-back workload with D'Ernest Johnson seeing just three carries in the game. He left the field a few times in passing situations but is doing enough through the air to offset concerns. His first carry was an eight-yard gain where he used good vision to find an opening. He got a red zone carry at the Jets' four-yard line at the end of the first drive but lost a yard. On the third drive of the first quarter, he had a seven-yard run to the right and tacked on a six-yard reception. At the beginning of the second quarter, Chubb lined up out wide on the left and hauled in a 13-yard reception. A week after Dontrell Hilliard
vultured a touchdown from him, Chubb made sure that wouldn't happen again by ripping off a 19-yard run for the score in the second quarter. He trucked a defender attempting to tackle him around the New York four-yard line. He received excellent blocking from the left side of the line on the touchdown run. In the third quarter, he ran for eight yards while breaking two tackles along the way. In the fourth quarter, Chubb went for a 15-yard gain to the left. He ran right through a tackle just past the line of scrimmage on the run. Chubb is better than advertised in the passing game and has been breaking tackles at a consistent rate.
|RB DErnest Johnson, 27 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 8 - 0, Rec: 3 - 42 - 0 (4 targets)|
Johnson got additional playing time with original third-down back Dontrell Hilliard
failing to get cleared from the concussion protocol in time for the game. The undrafted rookie has shown excellent hands in the passing game. He hauled in a 27-yard reception on the first drive that could have been a longer gain had the pass not been underthrown. Johnson did drop a short pass in the second quarter. He was hit just after making contact with the ball and couldn't hold on. He had a six-yard carry later on the same drive where he lost his footing on a cut back and fell. That could have gone for a much longer gain if he stayed upright. It remains to be seen if Johnson retains a role in the offense when Hilliard returns but if nothing else, he has proven to be a usable asset in the passing game.
|WR Odell Beckham, 63 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 161 - 1 (10 targets)|
In his return to the Big Apple, Beckham made two exceptional plays in the win. On the first drive of the game, he hauled in a 33-yard, one-handed catch down the right sideline with a defender draped all over him. He got open deep on the left side of the field on the team's second drive but was overthrown. In the second quarter, he made a leaping 21-yard reception in which he held on after being sandwiched by two defenders. At the end of the second quarter, he drew a deep end zone shot but was unable to make the catch against double coverage. He came up limping and ended up heading to the locker room early with calf cramping. He received an I.V. during halftime and was able to return for the start of the third quarter. Beckham made the play of the game on an 89-yard touchdown reception during the third quarter. He took a pass that traveled about eight yards in the air and outran the Jets defense for the score, reaching a 21.7 MPH sprint according to NextGen stats. Beckham finished off the evening with 12 and six-yard catches in the fourth quarter.
|WR Jarvis Landry, 68 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 32 - 0 (7 targets)|
Landry had yet another slow game, which is becoming the norm since Freddie Kitchens took over as play-caller in 2018. He started the game off with a short, seven-yard catch on the first drive. Baker Mayfield
went right back to him but this time the pass was a bit too high and Landry couldn't corral it. He saw a red zone target at the New York five-yard line but he dropped a catchable pass. Even had he made the catch, Landry had no chance at scoring as there were several Jets defenders in the vicinity. He was quiet until the final drive of the second quarter when he bobbled and then dropped what would have been a seven-yard catch. He then hauled in a 25-yard pass to set up a half-ending field goal. Not coincidentally, Odell Beckham
was in the locker room getting an I.V. at the time. His final catch didn't come until the fourth quarter on a short reception that went for no gain. Not that it comes as a surprise but Landry has really taken a backseat to Beckham in the passing attack which is not good for his fantasy value.
Harris caught just one pass, a four-yarder during the first quarter. He presumably would become a bigger part of the offense if the concussed David Njoku
is unable to play against the Rams in Week 3 but the Browns didn't use him much even after Njoku left in Week 2.
Njoku had a scary fall on his lone target in the game. In the first quarter, Njoku leapt up to catch a high pass. It looked like he was going to make the athletic grab but he was undercut by a defender while in the air. He flipped upside-down and landed on his head. Njoku wound up being concussed on the play and was placed in the concussion protocol. With the Browns on a short week, he will have a hard time getting cleared in time to play in Week 3.
New York Jets
|QB Luke Falk, 48 offensive snaps, Pass: 20 - 25 - 198 - 0 TD / 0 INT|
Pressed into service when Trevor Siemian
went down, Falk played adequately, albeit with a curtailed playbook. He did manage two of the longest throws the offense had on the night. The first was a deep pass to Robby Anderson
in the third quarter for 36 yards. Anderson had a step on the coverage along the right side but Falk underthrew him. Anderson did a good job slowing for the ball and keeping his feet in for the pass. At the time, the Jets had -12 passing yards. The second long pass was to a crossing Jamison Crowder
who found an open seam against the zone defense for a 30 yard catch. It was a decent throw, and Crowder was wide open between the defenders, and it could have gone for more yards but he stumbled. Unlike Siemian, head coach Adam Gase seemed OK with Falk uncorking some longer passes, though it might have been because the Browns were in control and sitting back on defense.
Things were bad for the former Denver Broncos starter before Myles Garrett bent his ankle the wrong way in what appeared to be a horrific injury, which forced him from the game. Siemian threw very few passes, most of which was behind the line of scrimmage. There was still a lot of game to go, but from what we saw, head coach Adam Gase didnít trust his starter to throw downfield.
|RB LeVeon Bell, 61 offensive snaps, Rush: 21 - 68 - 0, Rec: 10 - 61 - 0 (10 targets)|
Bell is now the lone bright spot on an offense which is mired in conservative mediocrity. The offensive line is struggling terribly and not opening holes for him, so itís a good thing that heís capable of creating production on his own. That said, he had a hard time breaking off runs, especially early. Where Bellís value truly shone Monday night was in the passing game, which he led in targets, receptions and yards, as he caught every single ball thrown his way. One of his better plays was when he broke off a 17-yard catch and run at the end of the third quarter. On the play, he chipped in on a quick block to help out the right tackle, then popped out into the open where Luke Falk
hit him with the pass. Bell turned upfield, juked a defender and then hopped over another one on his way to a first down and then some. Unfortunately, for all the good he did, the evening was marred by a fumble in the fourth quarter with just over 7 minutes left. As with the previous play, Bell took a pass Ė this time on a screen play Ė and headed up field, dodging one tackler at the 24 yard line and hauling tail into the red zone. When lowered himself to deliver a hit at the five yard, however, the ball popped out and Cleveland recovered. The game was likely out of reach, but considering how hard Bell had been playing, it was a disappointing note.
|RB Ty Montgomery, 24 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 25 - 0, Rec: 3 - 15 - 0 (3 targets)|
Aside from the possibility that Montgomery could be pressed into service as a backup quarterback if Luke Falk
was hurt, Montgomery didnít see much action. He did have a pair of nice runs up the middle, one in the second quarter and one in the fourth, but heís not seeing much use right now and after two games itís clear hopes it would be otherwise are growing dim.
Despite a decent statline, itís worth noting that Anderson had just two targets in the first half, both off which were wiped out due to penalties. In other words, he was not much in the gameplan. That changed a little with Luke Falk
under center in the second half, as the Jets opened things up a little more. He had a couple of good catches, including a nice effort to come back on an underthrown ball by Falk in the third quarter.
After a massive amount of targets in Week 1, Crowder disappeared in Week 2. He saw just one target in the first half, and like Robby Anderson
, only saw real action when the playbook opened up with Luke Falk
. What was most baffling about the day for Crowder is that his ability to find the open middle of the field on quick slants seems like it would have been an ideal way for the Jets to overcome a fearsome Browns pass rush. He did have one very nice catch in the second half when he used the cushion afforded by a zone defense to split two defenders, make a catch and gain some more yards before stumbling and getting tackled.
|WR Josh Bellamy, 45 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 5 - 0 (2 targets)|
Bellamy didnít see much action, and only made one catch in the fourth quarter. With so many screens being thrown, it didnít seem like Bellamy was part of the gameplan.
Despite not practicing with the team all week, Thomas was active, but ended up leaving early as he re-aggravated his hamstring. His night was notable for being the only wide receiver with a catch at halftime.