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Sports Then and Now

The New York Jets Know You Should Always Be Closing

Posted on October 03, 2017 by Andrew Scott
Former Cleveland Browns quarterback Josh McCown will be looking for his third straight win when facing his former team.

Former Cleveland Browns quarterback Josh McCown will be looking for his third straight win when facing his former team.

The New York Jets know that to pull off an upset against the Cleveland Browns, the Browns being a one-point favorite at SBG Global Sportsbook, they need to know their A-B-C. A-always, B-be, C-closing. Always be closing. Always be closing. They learned the hard way that, as head coach Todd Bowles told the team’s official website, “when you get somebody down, you have to kick them while they’re down. We didn’t do that this game [against the Jaguars], but we pulled out a win. Going forward, we need to make those types of plays to close people out.”

To his point, no one is downer than the Browns. As matter of fact, the only person who’s arguably lower in the head coaching pecking order than Bowles, it’s probably Cleveland’s own Hue Jackson. It actually does boggle the mind that it’s 0-4 Browns rather than the 2-2 Jets who are the faves on this one, when it could and probably should be the other way around. But then again, it could have been, the other way around, with the Jets the team with the losing record and the Browns breaking even, that’s how similar these two are. There but for the grace of God, right?

Sure, the Jets have won two straight, but they have lost their two road games – which mirrors their ATS record as well. Moreover, Josh McCown, their starting quarterback, who knows Jackson well, has never won three starts in a row. So, if one thinks about it, McCown is sort of like Ultraman. You know, “Because of Earth’s polluted atmosphere, Ultraman can only retain his gigantic form for three minutes. Time is running out.” Will McCown lead a team to a three-game-winning streak for the first time in 15 years before he runs out of time? If can’t get it done against the Browns, then he’s certainly no more than a two-hit wonder.

The Jets have won and covered in four of their last six meetings with the Browns, including a 31-28 win last year. Nonetheless, “The Browns are a team you can’t count out,” defensive back Morris Claiborne said via the NY Post. “One thing we know coming into this game is that it’s going to be a fight. They’re not going to come to the stadium and lay down for us. And if we’re not on top of our game and playing with the energy and physicality we’ve been playing with, we’ll be their first victim. Our team knows that.” More generally speaking, the Jets are 3-7-1 ATS as road dogs since 2015 – the worst record of any team in the league in that period, which should, if they knew or care about covering the spread, ward off any thoughts of overconfidence. Or, as Bowles said Monday on a conference call, “We’ve only won two games. We’ve got nothing to get big-headed about. We’ve got a lot of work to do.” You do need a few more wins before you head starts taking on Minnie Driver proportions.


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