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Embarrassed Browns to bounce back? Get NFL tips for Monday night

Leigh Copson 12 Sep 2019
Odell Beckham Jr (credit:Frank Jansky/Zuma Press/PA Images)

NFL Monday Night Football predictions for Week 2 of the 2019 NFL season. The Cleveland Browns suffered an embarrassing defeat on opening weekend – can they bounce back at the expense of the New York Jets in a repeat of the first ever Monday Night Football matchup? Read on for all of our free predictions and betting tips.

Cleveland Browns at New York Jets (Tuesday 01:15 BST)

Week 1 provided Cleveland with a massive reality check as they look to finally end their postseason exile this season. The Browns have not made the playoffs since blowing a 12-point lead in the final 186 seconds of a wildcard clash with Pittsburgh in January 2003, but they rebounded from an 0-16 season in 2017 with a 2018 campaign that showed plenty of promise, and some impressive offseason moves, including the acquisition of Odell Beckham Jr, meant expectations were high coming into the 2019 season. They may have been dampened a little by their Week 1 display.

The Browns produced a dismal performance as they were dismantled by Tennessee in front of the home fans, crashing to a 43-13 defeat at FirstEnergy Stadium. Things started well enough as Dontrell Hilliard went in from four yards to cap off an 88-yard drive that saw Baker Mayfield spread the ball among his receivers, but they missed the point after and things went downhill from there. Tennessee responded with a couple of field goals and a safety to edge ahead before the break, and they then poured on the misery after the halftime, putting up 31 points as they stormed to victory. In his desperation to haul his team back into the game Baker Mayfield tossed three picks, with the last of them capping off a miserable day as Malcolm Butler took it in for the score, but that was not the most alarming thing about their performance – that was the 182 yards they gave up in penalties.

It goes without saying that Cleveland need to clean up their game quickly, but it is far too early for anyone to be pressing the panic button about this team. This is still a talented group and they will turn things around. The question is can they turn it around immediately when they visit the New York Jets for a repeat of the first ever Monday Night Football game?

While the Browns were stinking things up in Week 1, the New York Jets were busy blowing a 16-0 lead in home defeat to the Buffalo Bills. There are not many games on the Jets’ calendar this year that will be considered winnable, but this was one of them and they put themselves in a promising position when a pick-six and a Le’Veon Bell score either side of a safety gave New York a 16-0 lead with just under 19 minutes to play. They had been far from convincing up until that point though, so there was always the danger that Buffalo could get back into the game if they could find an offensive spark, and it came early in the fourth quarter after Stephen Hauschka had put their first points on the board. Josh Allen led the Bills downfield on an eight-play 85-yard drive that culminated with Allen rushing in from three yards, and the comeback was complete with little over three minutes to go has Allen found John Brown for a 38-yard go-ahead score. The Jets were down and out and I do not see things getting much better for them on Monday night.

Yes, the Browns underwhelmed on opening weekend and yes it was a sloppy performance that lacked discipline, but it is far too early to write them off as all hype. All three of Mayfield’s picks came when they were chasing the game in the fourth so there will not be too much concern over that, and it is difficult to imagine them giving up almost 200 yards in penalties for the second game running. And of course, they are quite simply a better team than the Jets, so I am confident when I suggest backing Cleveland to bounce back and win this game by at least a touchdown.

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Embarrassed Browns to bounce back? Get NFL tips for Monday night

NFL Monday Night Football predictions for Week 2 of the 2019 NFL season.

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