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New York Jets at Cleveland Browns, Week 17 preview: An unlikely reunion

New York Jets at Cleveland Browns, 2023 Week 17 Preview
New York Jets at Cleveland Browns, 2023 Week 17 Preview, Getty Images

Heading into a primetime matchup with the Cleveland Browns, the New York Jets will face down a familiar face leading the opposing offense.

The 6-9 New York Jets are set to have one of their most interesting matchups of the season in Week 17.

Coming off of a last-second win against the Washington Commanders, New York now faces a quick turnaround to take on the 10-5 Cleveland Browns on Thursday night.

Known for having a stout defense, Cleveland has found its stride on offense recently, scoring over 30 points in two of its last three games. One of the main catalysts for this offensive explosion is a familiar name.

It’s none other than Joe Flacco, who played for the Jets—from 2020-2022—after his long tenure with the Baltimore Ravens.

With a playoff spot on the line for the Browns, the Jets have a chance to play spoiler to Flacco’s new squad that continues to prove the doubters incorrect.

New York Jets at Cleveland Browns, 2023 Week 17 Preview
New York Jets at Cleveland Browns, 2023 Week 17 Preview, Getty Images

Jets at Browns game info

  • New York Jets (6-9)
  • Cleveland Browns (10-5)
  • 2023 NFL Week 17
  • Thursday, Dec. 28, 8:15 p.m. ET, Amazon Prime
  • Cleveland Browns Stadium, Cleveland, OH

Coming off a win against the Washington Commanders, the Jets now travel to Cleveland to face the Browns on a short week.

Thursday’s matchup is set for 8:15 p.m. ET at Cleveland Browns Stadium in Cleveland, OH. The broadcast team for the game is the legendary Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit.

With the Browns opting to wear white at home, the Jets will run it back with their all-green uniforms just three days after Christmas.

Jets at Browns History

  • The Browns lead the all-time series, 15-14.

Ahead of their Thursday night matchup, the Jets and Browns have had an extremely even history when playing against each other.

Cleveland leads the all-time matchup with a record of 15-14, with its most recent win against the Jets coming back in 2019.

The Jets have a 3-2 record in the past five matchups. The most recent win came last season when Joe Flacco led an improbable two-score comeback victory against Cleveland, 31-30.

Jets at Browns odds (FanDuel Sportsbook)

  • Spread: Jets +7.5 (-110), Browns -7.5 (-110)
  • Moneyline: Jets +290, Browns -360
  • Over/Under: 34.5 (O: -114, U: -106)

Currently, the Jets are a 7.5-point road underdog to the Browns and a considerable underdog when looking at the moneyline.

With the short week and how both teams have been playing, the odds for this game make a lot of sense.

Jets at Browns injury report

New York Jets

  • Aaron Rodgers: Out
  • Jeremy Ruckert: Out
  • Zach Wilson: Out
  • Israel Abanikanda: Questionable
  • Allen Lazard: Questionable
  • Greg Zuerlein: Questionable

Aaron Rodgers is out once again—as he’ll miss the remainder of the season—while working his way back from the injury he suffered in Week 1. Zach Wilson, who has a concussion, is set to miss his second straight game. Jeremy Ruckert is also slated to miss the game with a concussion.

Greg Zuerlein, one of the best Jets’ kickers in recent memory, is in danger of missing the game with a quad injury. Losing the kicker would be a considerable blow to a Jets team that has relied on the kicker so much this season.

Additionally, the Jets put veteran tackle Duane Brown on injured reserve, ending his season. The Jets also signed rookie tight end Zack Kuntz to the team’s active roster.

Cleveland Browns

  • Dustin Hopkins: Out
  • Ogbo Okoronkwo: Out
  • Anthony Walker Jr.: Out
  • Corey Bojorquez: Doubtful
  • Marquise Goodwin: Questionable
  • Amari Cooper: Questionable
  • Juan Thornhill: Questionable

The Browns may be without their starting punter and kicker on Thursday, as they are both dealing with lower-body injuries.

The most significant absence would be wide receiver Amari Cooper. Enjoying a career performance last Sunday, not having to deal with Cooper on Thursday would make the job of the Jets’ defense much easier.

Jets at Browns prediction

  • New York Jets 7, Cleveland Browns 17

On a short week and after what was almost a disastrous collapse, one might think the Jets could get blown out against a surefire playoff team.

While that is certainly a possibility, I see the game being closer than some expect.

Cleveland has been heavily reliant on the passing game during Flacco’s starts, attempting no fewer than 40 passes in his four starts. This plays into the strength of the Jets’ defense, which is second in passing yards allowed and has an overall PFF coverage grade of 93.4.

While the Jets can keep the game close, I do not see them scoring enough against the Browns. Cleveland is the only team that has allowed fewer passing yards than the Jets and has consistently shut down opposing offenses.

As a result, give me the Browns over the Jets by a score of 17-7.

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