The Browns will do whatever it takes to end its miserable winless streak Thursday night against the Jets.
Here’s how Gang Green can prevent that from happening.
THREE KEYS TO VICTORY
1) Establish the run.
It seems like a fundamental concept, but the Jets didn’t make a commitment to their ground game in Week 2 after carving up the Lions in the season opener. The Jets dialed up three times as many pass plays as runs in the first half last week. They called back-to-back runs only three times against the Dolphins (and never three consecutive runs).
The offensive line’s struggles against Miami’s front surely didn’t help matters, but Sam Darnold simply should not be throwing the ball 41 times like he did in their first loss. The kid has the tools to be special – and he will undoubtedly make more terrific throws on the run Thursday night — but he needs some help on the ground. Isaiah Crowell and Bilal Powell combined for 41 yards on 17 carries (2.4 ypc) last week.
“We have to be able to run the ball better,” Todd Bowles said. “Our goal every week is to run the ball. So it’s got to be a war of attrition… but at the end of the day, we got to come back and try to run the football.”
2) Box Tyrod Taylor in the pocket
The Browns bridge quarterback isn’t nicknamed T-Mobile by accident. Bowles & Co. have been witnesses to Taylor’s scrambling gifts (see: Week 1 loss in Buffalo last season). Taylor can beat you with the deep ball, but coaches and scouts across the league are fully aware that he doesn’t particularly have good vision in the short-intermediate areas in the middle of the field. So, it’ll be incumbent upon Jets pass rushers to stay disciplined in their rush lanes and keep Taylor inside the pocket. Otherwise, he’ll gash them on chunk improvisational plays.
3) Stop the Browns rushing attack
Primary ball carrier Carlos Hyde hasn’t exactly lit the world on fire with his new team (2.8 yards per carry), but it’ll be pivotal for linebackers Avery Williamson and Darron Lee to prevent big plays on inside runs. If Hyde and rookie Nick Chubb get off early, it’ll open up a world of possibilities for Taylor & Co. in the passing game.