After a heroic and dramatic Week 1 win over the Carolina Panthers, the Cleveland Browns and their fans are feeling a rare twinge of optimism.
After the tumultuous offseason the team had, it seems unexpected, yet possibly auspicious.
The Browns will look to build on this momentum on Sunday when they host the New York Jets at FirstEnergy Stadium.
The Jets got humbled at MetLife Stadium in Week 1 against Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens, and they will surely be hungry for a win.
However, Robert Saleh’s squad isn’t exactly a fearsome or overpowering one.
It shouldn’t take a whole lot for the Browns to emerge victorious and move to 2-0 on the young season, and it may even be an opportunity for a couple of their players to shine bright.
Here are three bold predictions that just may come true.
Amari Cooper Will Have A Big Day
Cooper, the Browns’ second-biggest addition this offseason behind Pro Bowl quarterback Deshaun Watson, had a quiet Week 1, catching only three balls for just 17 yards.
In all, he was targeted only six times, a somewhat lower amount for a man who has been named to the Pro Bowl four times in the previous seven seasons.
Yes, interim QB1 Jacoby Brissett isn’t exactly a potent threat beyond about 15-20 yards, but Cleveland does need to look to its best wideout more often to get another win.
“Obviously want to get him the ball. He is our No. 1 guy,” coordinator Alex Van Pelt said Thursday.
However, Cooper did help create a Browns touchdown by drawing a pass interference call after running an excellent deep route.
— Tyler Johnson (@T_johnson_TJ) September 14, 2022
On the ensuing snap, Kareem Hunt put them on the board with a touchdown.
Donovan Peoples-Jones stepped up with 60 receiving yards, but no one else on the team had even 25 such yards.
That must change against the Jets.
Cade York Will Go Perfect On Field Goals And Extra Points Again
York, a rookie out of Louisiana State University, was the hero on Sunday by nailing a 58-yard field goal as time expired to give Cleveland the win.
Rookie kicker Cade York gives Cleveland the lead from 58 yards out!
— NFL (@NFL) September 11, 2022
It was his fourth successful field goal on the day in as many opportunities, and he also converted both of his extra point attempts.
This performance led to York getting the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week award and has made him a bit of a celebrity in the Cleveland area.
It looks like the 21-year-old isn’t afraid of pressure or the big moment.
As long as Brissett is under center, the Browns may have to rely more than usual on field goals in order to put points on the board.
The Browns Will Beat The Jets
The Jets are expected by just about everyone to miss the playoffs, and a team with the 37-year-old Joe Flaco starting at QB doesn’t exactly create fear in the minds of opponents.
Behind Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney, the Browns have the personnel to harass Flacco into a poor performance.
New York doesn’t really have any proven weapons at the skill positions, other than perhaps tight end Tyler Conklin.
If Cleveland’s defense is on point, and if its offense is solid and doesn’t take any unnecessary risks, it should end Sunday with a 2-0 record.