The Cleveland Browns have won their first season opener since 2004 and have their best start to a season in nearly two decades.
Up next for the Browns is the New York Jets, who lost to the Baltimore Ravens 24-9 on Sunday.
With QB Joe Flacco stepping in for an injured Zach Wilson again this week, the Browns should have the advantage over the Jets.
As of right now, the Browns are favored over the Jets.
#Browns open up as 6.5-point favorites over the Jets on FD.
— Danny Cunningham (@RealDCunningham) September 12, 2022
This all bodes well for Cleveland, but this is still the NFL and anything can happen on any given Sunday.
If the Browns want to keep up their winning streak and start the season 2-0 for the first time since 1993, they will need to make some improvements and make sure not to falter where they excelled in last week’s win over Carolina.
1. Keep the ball in Joe Flacco’s hands
Believe it or not, it’s been nearly a decade since Joe Flacco was Super Bowl MVP.
Since then, he’s regressed a bit.
He is no longer the starting QB for the Ravens and has become a journeyman for the back half of his career, playing whenever and wherever he can.
In his last 19 starts, he has 3-16.
If the Browns want to have a sure win over the Jets, they should make sure Flacco throws the ball another 59 times, keeping it out of the hands of the Jet’s young RB duo in Michael Carter and Breece Hall.
The Browns need to shut down the Jets’ running game, make them play from behind and make Flacco keep throwing the ball.
2. Keep Nick Chubb moving
Nick Chubb had a great game last week, earning 141 yards on 22 carries.
No big surprise there, right?
Nick Chubb doing Nick Chubb things 🤷♂️
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) September 11, 2022
But most Browns can probably recall a game the team lost when they couldn’t get Chubb going.
When he can’t move the ball, the entire offense begins to crumble.
Last week, the Jets only surrendered 63 yards on 21 carries.
C.J. Mosley was a big part of the team’s running-stopping success, earning 11 total tackles with 6 of those being run stops.
C.J. Mosley absolutely believes the #Jets will turn it around: "I believe that every day I walk in the building and every day I wake up a Jet."
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) September 11, 2022
The Browns will need to make sure they can overcome that.
With Jacoby Brisset’s underwhelming, still-developing play, Chubb having a big day will be key.
Otherwise, the Browns will have to turn to an air attack, especially if the team falls behind.
And if Jacoby’s throws look like they did last week, it will mean a lot of underthrown and tightly contested balls.
3. Keep sacking Joe Flacco
If there is one position the Browns might have the best player at, it is defensive end.
Last week, Myles Garrett earned 2 sacks, 1 forced fumble and 1 pass deflection.
He is an absolute game wrecker, and the more he gets into the backfield means more chance the Browns will win.
The Jets’ offensive line allowed for 3 sacks and 11 QB hits last week, and that was without Garrett on the opposing team.
The thought of 37 year old Joe Flacco standing like a statue in the pocket while Myles Garret is coming off the edge is terrifying.
— Glenny and the Jets (@Glenn_Sev) September 13, 2022
The Browns want to keep Flacco out of his comfort zone, on the grass and his throws out of the endzone.
If Garret and the rest of the defensive line can keep the Jets’ offense busy, the Browns should have a good chance of going 2-0 for the first time since 1993.