With an embarrassing 31-7 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, the Cleveland Browns moved to 0-4. As always, there were some things to learn from Cleveland’s most recent implosion. But now, it is time to look forward to the task at hand. This week, the Browns will take on the New York Jets in the confines of FirstEnergy Stadium. The Jets come in as something of a surprise team this year, currently standing at 2-2. So, what can the Browns do to get their first win, and send this Jets team back under the .500 mark? These are the Browns keys to victory for week five of the 2017 season.
Week Five Cleveland Browns Keys to Victory
Garrett’s Warm Welcome
On Wednesday, top overall pick Myles Garrett announced that he would make his debut this weekend.
Literally translated, his tweet means “I am back.” And thus, the Cleveland Browns hype train for Garrett officially reached full speed. And fittingly, Garrett playing is absolutely integral to the Browns success this weekend.
This should go without saying, but Garrett is already among the Browns best players. Really, his injury before the Pittsburgh Steelers game in week one may have been the difference between winning and losing. This Sunday, the Browns defensive end should be ready to go and wreak havoc on the Jets offensive line. Specifically, Garrett should have an impact on the left edge. It’s a bit unfair to expect a multiple sack performance, but he is definitely a player to watch.
This is starting to sound like a broken record. Nevertheless, it still deserves to be stated. The Browns absolutely need to get out of the gate faster. This season, Hue Jackson has been downright awful at scripting the first plays of the game on offense. Seriously, something has to change before the Browns dig themselves another hole this week.
The Cleveland Browns are the only team this season to not hold a lead in a game. Last season, when they went 1-15 mind you, they held a lead in week two. And three. And of course, week sixteen, when they beat the (then) San Diego Chargers. This year’s team has to change something, before they somehow end up worse than the product fans saw in 2016. If something doesn’t change soon in the first half, Jimmy Haslam could be planning yet another coaching shakeup for this team. And frankly, most Browns fans just can’t take any more of those.
Stop The Drops
The Browns biggest problem on offense is their wide receiver group. The main culprit that many fans will point to is “receiver” Kenny Britt. Britt has seemed to have a case of the drops for this entire season, and fans are absolutely fed up. At the stadium, the loudest negative reaction came not from something that the Bengals did, but from Britt’s fatal drop leading to an interception on third and nine. However, Britt is not the only problem on the receiver corps.
Jordan Leslie looked to be something of a playmaker for the Browns this season. But after a torn hamstring, he’s been waived by the team. Maybe the Browns have something in receiver Bug Howard, but nothing is certain yet. While Rashard Higgins looks promising, he isn’t a truly complete receiver with his average route speed. One thing is for absolute certain, though: the Browns need one of two things. Either get a reliable receiver by 2018, or somehow force these ones to stopping dropping Kizer’s passes. This corps, or at least major parts of it, needs to go.
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