The Cleveland Browns limp into Metlife Stadium this Sunday with their 4-10 record to face the New York Jets. Like a broken record, The Browns have lost eight of their last nine games and are in danger of having a worse record than last year. The Jets aren’t much better though, losing four of their last five games. Both teams are officially out of playoff contention. Here is what it will take for the Browns to defeat Rex Ryan‘s Jets on Sunday.
Dawg Bone #1
Throw the ball Geno, I triple dog dare you!
The numbers don’t lie. The Jets are absolutely horrible in the passing game. Ranked 31st in the NFL, the Jets are also one of the worst scoring teams in the league because of it. The highly touted rookie quarterback from West Virginia has thrown 21 interceptions this season to just 10 touchdowns. Geno Smith has also thrown five pick sixes (three of them against AFC North opponents) this season. The leading receiver for the mean green machine is Jeremy Kerley with 33 receptions and 413 yards. Smith has been known for also trying to force the ball into the hands of veteran speedster, Santonio Holmes. This has often been a failure and results in dangerous throws. Make this team beat you the through the air and the Browns have a decent chance.
Dawg Bone #2
Do something “Special”
Since Travis Benjamin went down with a season ending injury, the Browns return game has done nothing of high regard. I like what Jordan Poyer has done in the punt return game, but the Browns need a return sort-of touchdown this week to put the odds in their favor. When was the last time Cleveland blocked a punt? Special teams coordinator, Chris Tabor’s crew has been shaky to say the least this year. From terrible blocking to missed assignments to penalties, the Browns’ important unit has not shined in 2013. There are two games left to do something positive on special teams. Why can’t it start on Sunday with the Jets?
Dawg Bone #3
Stop Melting Down
If the young Browns ever want to consider themselves a “great” defense, then they must learn how to finish games and put opponents away at the end with stout defense. Three weeks in a row now, the defense has completely melted in the fourth quarter. Nine of the 14 games the Browns have played, they have led or tied at halftime. The defense may be ranked in the top ten in many categories in the NFL, but it doesn’t mean a thing if they can’t finish games to get well-earned victories. This game could get close near the end, the Browns defense must suck it up and learn to finish this week. Everything they have experienced and gone through this season, will only prepare them better for the future.
Ryan Ruiz is the Cleveland Browns Beat Writer for The Inscriber: Digital Magazine. You can follow him on Facebook: Ryan (BrownsWriter) Ruiz and Twitter @ryanpruiz24. Ryan is also a Browns correspondent for The Sportsfix. Tune in every Friday at noon on www.thesportsfix.net. Have a question or comment for the “ASK Ryan” column on Fridays? Email Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org