Tale Of The Tape: Cleveland Browns At New York Jets
- QuarterbackThe Browns are happy with the job that backup quarterback Jason Campbell has done since he has been inserted into the starting lineup. Campbell does not have the greatest arm strength, but he reads defenses well and he throws a catchable pass. Campbell can usually find the open receiver and he is not afraid to throw the ball when the game is on the line.Geno Smith has endured a brutal rookie season and there’s no reason to think that his experience alone will make him a viable quarterback next year for the Jets. Smith gets flustered by pressure, and when he makes a mistake early in the game, he has a difficult time getting out of his funk. When he can use his athleticism, he has a chance to be successful. He is not an accurate passer.
- OffenseThe Browns are unlikely to come out with a multi-dimensional attack in this game since they have gotten little help from their running game this season. Chris Ogbonnaya has a decent average, but he is not a battle-tested back. Josh Gordon is one of the most explosive receivers in the league. He has excellent run-after-the-catch ability. Tight end Jordan Cameron is a solid third-down target.The Jets must get their running game going if they are going to take pressure off of Smith. Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell have taken turns in the running game, and both have been effective between the tackles. Wide receiver Santonio Holmes would like to finish the season with a couple of big games, while Jeremy Kerley can get open.
- DefenseThe Browns are going to be very competitive on the defensive side of the ball and they are going to dare Smith to try to beat them. They will load up to stop the run, and middle linebacker D’Qwell Jackson will roam sideline to sideline to sideline to shut down the run. The Browns are aggressive in the secondary and cornerback Buster Skrine is one of the most underrated cover men in the league.The Jets have avoided long losing streaks because their defense has been so aggressive this season. The Jets' defense excels against the run and they know the Browns are quite one-dimensional since their running attack has been so ineffective. Linebacker David Harris is one of the best tacklers on the field and he is always in the right position. Defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson is an excellent pass rusher.
- Special TeamsThe Browns will do a decent job of preventing opponents from making big plays with their return teams, but Cleveland has lost much of its special teams bite since return specialist Travis Benjamin tore his ACL. Billy Cundiff is a decent kicker, but not one of the NFL’s best.The Jets have had a solid season with their special teams because they don’t give up many big returns, but they rarely get big plays from their own return specialists. Placekicker Nick Folk has done an excellent job this year, and could be the difference in a close game since he is so consistent.
Both of these teams are quite limited on the offensive side of the ball. The Jets may have the advantage since they are at home, they play solid defense and they get solid special-teams play. -Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor