When the scheduling committee of the NFL put this matchup together between the New York Jets and the Cleveland Browns, there might have been a laugh or two had once it was carved in stone.
Two teams that have had their share of exciting and not so exciting moments this season meet in what could be a meaningless game this weekend.
I have a feeling this will be a better contest than people think. This could be a Jacksonville/Cleveland, Jacksonville/Buffalo type of game.
All the Browns and the Jets need to do is come out and execute football like a professional team, not some junior varsity high school outfit with issues throwing the football.
Now that there are stories swirling online (in Forbes Magazine) about how the Jets need to retain Rex Ryan, maybe his club comes out and plays inspired football. Maybe the club shows it can win with Geno Smith, who at times reminds me of Mark Brunell with a better arm, and at times make Akili Smith look like a Hall of Fame quarterback.
The Browns looked like they would be a playoff contender under first year head coach Rob Chudzinski early this season. Then, well like with all Browns teams, reality set in. If there was ever a belief this was a team heading forward, not backward, this is the time and the coach to make progress.
Cleveland has used three quarterbacks this season, looked like world beaters at times and chumps from Division III college at others. This is a game both teams can win and for momentum - they must.
Here are three bold predictions for this game. If anyone is wondering, I pick the Browns to take this one, 27-20.
Where have you gone - Trent Richardson?
The Browns are hoping to hit it big in the free agent market with a running back next year. The name I read and heard early in the season was Houston Texans runner Ben Tate. That would sure improve the Cleveland running game. The Browns have been a team that cannot run at all this season.
On a draw play, at the goal line in the fourth quarter, Willis McGhee (I cannot believe he is still in the league) will be stopped on the five yard line prompting Chudzinski to yell, “Why the hell did we run this play? Where is Trent Richardson when we need him?”
Vinny and the Jets
I liked watching the New York Jets when Vinny Testaverde was behind center. OK, maybe I should not admit that, but its true. Some of the best Jets teams in history were erected with No. 16 behind center.
At the half of this game, with Jets down by two scores, Ryan gets desperate and places a call to Testaverde, who laughs for a moment, thinks about it and tells Rex, “I’d love to, coach, but you cannot pay me enough to take another hit from a defensive lineman.”
Rex slams the phone and curls himself in a ball and sobs like Dez Bryant, only this time everyone sees him.
Jordan Cameron to the rescue
He’s been quiet of late, but Cameron comes on strong and scores three touchdowns.
When I see Cameron, I cannot help but think of Todd Christenson of the Raiders, a bruising tight end/H-Back who can block and get in the end zone. And he makes Jason Campbell look like the second coming of Brian Sipe.
Cameron is the main focus of the Jets' defense, but they can’t stop him and certainly cannot contain him.